We're back 'home' in Shrewsbury permanently now having left the lights and sights of London behind us. As well as applying for jobs and getting the house and garden in some sort of order, I've been busy catching up with friends. Back in 2012 when Dave and I set off on our travels around Europe I left a job, and a team, I really loved. Thankfully we've kept in touch since then and last week I invited them over for afternoon tea.
One of the 'girls' is on a gluten free diet so I set myself the challenge of ensuring that nothing was 'out of bounds' for her. The savoury dishes included smoked salmon pinwheels, celery and cottage cheese boats, mozzarella and cherry tomato salad, quiche (made with gluten free pastry) and individual prawn cocktails. The mini desserts included meringue nests with strawberries, profiteroles, lemon tart, chocolate cheesecake and macarons with salted caramel.
It might have been beginners luck but the two variations of gluten free pastry I made were a great success. I had read horror stories of how difficult the pastry could be to work with and how wet/hard/inedible others had found the end result. The trick seemed to be to start with a slightly wet mixture, let it rest in the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of cling film. The recipe on the Doves Farm Gluten Free Flour packet varied slightly to that on their website so I aimed for somewhere in the middle! For the lemon tart pastry case I added a little sugar and egg yolk to the standard mix. I followed the Doves Farm Choux Pastry recipe to make the profiteroles and was very satisfied with the results. I would defy anyone to tell the difference once they are filled with cream and covered in chocolate!
Macarons and meringues are already gluten free so no adaptations were required there. The chocolate cheesecake I made with crushed Asda GF chocolate cookies for the base and a standard cream cheese topping.
Good food, good friends, good times........all gluten free!