Hollywood or Bust!

Forum Baking Thread

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06/12/2012 at 09:08
My mum has had some prestige tins that were my grandmothers. They will have been in the oven at every temperature going!
I tend to only use my oven at GM 9 if I'm crisping up some meat I've griddle so I use my cast iron griddle.
27/12/2012 at 15:16

OK.... I'm here to beg for help/advice/ideas.

I have open on my desk 10 different cookery books/good food guide magazines and i'm getting myself in a complete tizzle.

We're going to some friends for NYE and everyone is bringing their own dishes for the meal. I've been asked to do an appetiser/starter. This should be for around 10 adults and 7 kids, but when I started making a list of people's intolerances i'm running at a blank.

I have:

- 5 with dairy intolerance (3 kids, 2 adults)
- 1 vegetarian
- 4 wheat/gluten intolerance (3 kids, 1 adult)
- 2 with specific dietary requirements (but they're planning to bring their own food so i'm not too concerned)

So... does anyone have any suggestions for anything that I can cook for those mentioned above?

I've thought of everything from mini pizzas/dips/raw veggies with assorted dips/cheese and pineapple etc. I was planning on 2-3 different dishes that could cater across the board for the intollerances mentioned above.... but again - my cookery books are running a little short on ideas.

27/12/2012 at 15:40

How about:

Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) - gluten/wheat free, vegetarian and dairy free all in one

Onion/cauliflower bhaji - made with chickpea flour, also suits all of the requirements

Sushi rolls

Frittata (loads of variations, I just like this one)

Crostini/bruschetta (using gluten free bread) with a variety of toppings

Guacamole and tortilla chips (check labels for allergens)

27/12/2012 at 15:47

Bookie - you are an angel! Why did I not think of asking you?!

27/12/2012 at 15:55

Gluten-free bread is, for the most part, horrible.  Might as well (try to) eat a brick.

I've go for mixed dips (humous, tapenade, etc), olives, stuffed vine leaves, roasted peppers, mixed grilled vegetables, crudites, etc., that everyone can eat (and maybe pitta bread for those who do eat wheat).

You can make the dips, or buy them, or a bit of both.

27/12/2012 at 16:07
Gluten free bread lends itself very well to bruschetta - it's normally quite dry, so crisping it up is the best way of using it
27/12/2012 at 19:51

OK... well after suggesting my ideas - i've been told that i'm doing dessert instead.... so - Bookie/Wilkie -any ideas? I've got:



But it doesnt fulfil all of the criteria

27/12/2012 at 20:12
Chocolate mousse with mandarins. As long as you use plain chocolate it should be OK for everyone. And if they don't like it I suggest making some and eating it yourself, it's fab. But very rich - only small portions required.

Edited: 27/12/2012 at 20:13
27/12/2012 at 20:16

Thanks RR! I'm going to give that a go this weekend. Is it hard to make? I've heard Mousse's can be tricky?

27/12/2012 at 20:23

OK... well after suggesting my ideas - i've been told that i'm doing dessert instead.... so - Bookie/Wilkie -any ideas? I've got:



But it doesnt fulfil all of the criteria

27/12/2012 at 20:27
No, not at all. It's all about stirring and whisking (and cleaning out the bowl afterwards...)
28/12/2012 at 21:23

A flour-free chocolate cake, or a flour-free orange cake for no dairy (both have eggs).  Or one of each?

Let me know if you want recipes.

28/12/2012 at 23:14
I have a brownie recipe that suits all requirements if you want it. You can garnish with raspberries, etc. to make it look a bit fancier
Or you could do a pavlova using a soya cream/tofu and fruit mousse on place of whipped cream.
29/12/2012 at 13:55
Yes please to both Wilkie and Bookie.

I'm playing with recipes this weekend to see what works out. Has anyone tried cooking with coconut flour or quinoa flour? How does this compare to normal self raising? I've read on the packet that it'll make the cake 'firmer'. Can anyone offer any advice?
29/12/2012 at 14:35

Coconut flour gives a lovely coconuty taste (you'd never have thought it!) and is moist, but doesn't rise at all so doing a direct swap with self-raising will give a very different result. Xantham gum and a raising agent will give it a lighter finish. What were you thinking of making? 


150g 70% cocoa solid chocolate
100g dairy free margarine (Vitalite, Pure soya, etc.)
1 tsp strong instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g ground almonds
175g caster sugar
4 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line a 20cm/8 inch square cake tin.
2. Melt the chocolate and margarine. Cool slightly before stirring in the coffee and vanilla. Stir in the eggs and sugar, then fold in the ground almonds. 
3. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool in the tin before turning out.

If you wanted, you could separate the eggs. Stir in the yolks as normal, but whisk the whites to a stiff peak before folding in gently. It would make the finished brownie a lighter  


29/12/2012 at 14:57

Or how about Nanaimo bars? 

Bottom layer
110g non-dairy margarine
50g granulated sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
200g crushed gluten free biscuits (any of the free from cookies/digestives/shortbread would work) 
65g desiccated coconut 

Middle layer
50g dairy-free margarine
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp soya milk (or any non-dairy - almond/coconut/etc.)

Top layer
150g chocolate (check for dairy) 
20g non-dairy margarine 

1. For the bottom layer. Melt the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg and remaining ingredients. Press into a greased and lined 8 inch square baking tin. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. 
2.  For the middle layer. Beat together all of the ingredients until smooth. Spread over the chilled base. Chill again for around 30 minutes.
3. Top layer. Melt the chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth. Spread over the first two layers and leave to set. Cut into squares. 

You can make various alterations to this if you want to. Add nuts to the base, or different flavoured biscuits; add different flavouring to the middle, etc.

30/12/2012 at 11:51
Bookie - you are a baking legend. Thank you! I'm off to the supermarket now to try and top up my cupboard with ingredients and I'll give it a go today
30/12/2012 at 15:01

Rich Chocolate Almond Torte

200g dark chocolate (~75% cocoa solids)
200g butter, diced
4 large eggs, room temp, separated
100g caster sugar
50g Light soft brown sugar
100g ground almonds
Icing sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4

Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base.

Break up the chocolate and melt with the butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water.  Leave to cool a little.

Whisk the egg yolks and both kinds of sugar until very thick and fluffy.  Add the chocolate mix and the ground almonds.

Beat the egg whites until stiff.  Fold them into the chocolate mixture gently, with a large metal spoon, in batches.

Spoon into the prepared tin, and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 mins, until the centre is barely set.  Leave to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin.  Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar.

The orange cake recipe can be found here.  Grease the tin with oil rather than butter, and dust with ground almonds or wheat-free flour.


30/12/2012 at 15:08
Thanks for this Wilkie! I'm going to give this a go now. Do you know if you can substitute the almonds for anything else? E.g. How to make it just a chocolate torte? I've run out of ground almonds and the shops have shut. I've got ground coconut - would that work?
30/12/2012 at 15:19

Give the coconut a try!  I've only ever done them with almonds, though.

I think the almonds give the cakes the structure that flour otherwise would, so maybe the coconut would work.  Should taste good, anyway!

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