These are my go-to cookbooks every time, I cut recipes out of magazines, papers and sides of packets, the special ones are those that my Nanny (God bless her) wrote out for me. I’ll be honest, my Savory scrapbook is less busy with sticking in … I’m working on it, honest! but for a 10yr old who can also be fickle when it comes to eating I have less fun cooking meals for now.

Some of the recipes are gluten free but many are not … I’ll let you into a secret shall I? You don’t need special recipes for gluten free, you just change the flour! What you will get used to after a while is those little adaptations required for a successful bake. Some tips to get you started are;

  • Learn to gauge the right consistency of the mixture – if the recipe doesn’t mention add milk but your cake/biscuit batter is too think … add milk!
  • GF flours absorb moisture and plump up so I always make sure the wet ingredients are slightly over-added, use large eggs, add a bit more butter, marg or oil.
  • Cooking times can be a beggar! GF tends to caramelize and brown far quicker and leave you with a burn top and custard centre to cakes, if you’re bake needs longer, don’t be afraid to cover with foil or baking paper for the first half and then remove to brown
  • On the flip side of that GF dries out a lot in cooking so you have to judge between getting a lovely healthy baked finish and a bake that’s still moist
  • GF loves to be paired with fruit and veg! … in fact, I’m going to experiment with apple puree icecubes soon, I’ve read somewhere that apple can appear fairly tasteless in baking in small quantities but adds and retains moisture. Watch this space for the results!
  • Accept the fact that GF goes stale super-quick, always bake celebration sponges on the day, attempt it the day before and your guests will need to take a bite – gulp tea – take a bite – gulp tea!
  • To Xanthan Gum or not to Xanthan Gum? I have it in my cupboard and it does come out every once in a while but I’m hard pressed to see the difference it makes to the elasticity of the mixture. In conclusion, not fussed either way!