Championing inclusive baking, Howard Middleton shows how you can create deliciously tempting wheat-free and gluten-free bakes: FRESH BLACKBERRY AND ALMOND SCONES andRASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD.
To mark the first day of National Baking Week 2017 we are presenting you two deliciously healthy and scrumptious recipes from Howard Middleton, the gluten-free baker of Great British Bake-Off fame.
FRESH BLACKBERRY AND ALMOND SCONES
It’s no surprise to find a bit of fruit in our scones – the odd raisin, maybe even glacé cherry or two. But would you really consider fresh fruit, with its dangerous tendencies to ooze and dribble? Why it could even turn into jam, and whoever heard of scones and … I rest my case. The blackberries do indeed splurt and seep a little erratically but personally I find the random ripple rather attractive. Sugar comes only from the berries and the almond milk, but you could add a spoonful in the mix or sprinkle a little Demerara on top if you have a sweeter tooth. Replace the butter with a sunflower spread if you need these to be dairy free – if not,serve with clotted cream or mascarpone.
Ingredients (6–8 scones)
150g rice flour, plus extra for shaping
50g millet flour
50g ground almonds
2 tsp xanthan gum
4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
50g cold unsalted butter, cubed
(or dairy-free sunflower spread)
75g fresh blackberries, washed and
patted dry with kitchen paper
180–200ml almond milk drink
a few drops of almond extract
a little beaten egg for glazing (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Mix the flours, ground almonds, xanthan gum and baking powder in a large bowl. Rub in the butter (or sunflower spread) until there are no lumps visible.
Cut the blackberries in half (or quarters, if very large), add them to the bowl and gently toss to coat them in the flour mix.
Add the 180ml of the almond milk and the almond extract and stir with a wooden spoon. Depending on the juiciness of the fruit, you may need to add the remaining almond milk but it should be a very soft dough.
Tip the dough onto a well-floured surface, and pat it down gently (dust with a little more flour on top if necessary) to a thickness of about2.5cm (1in).
Cut out the scones using a 6cm (11/2in) round cutter and carefully transfer them to the baking sheet. Gather together any spare dough, clump it together and pat it down again to cut more scones. The more you handle it, the more the fruit will squelch, so try to be as gentle as you can.
Brush the top surface of the scones with beaten egg (if using) and bake for 15–20minutes until risen and golden. Transfer to a wire-rack to cool.
RASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD
It took several experiments to get this right, adjusting quantities, oven temperature, and soon. Every time, this so-called biscuit puffed up like a cake. About to give up, I discovered that the latest attempt had pulled itself together and firmed up on cooling, in time to avoid an imminent journey to the bin. Just in case this is actually a crucial part of its character-building process, I suggest you threaten your shortbread with a similar fate.
For the shortbread (about 16)
150g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
150g rice flour
75g gluten-free ground rice
1 tbsp icing sugar
10g freeze-dried raspberries
about 50g organic white
chocolate, broken into pieces
5g freeze-dried raspberries
Preheat the oven to 185ºC/165ºC fan/gas 4and line a 22cm (81/2in) square tin with baking parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and then add the rice flour, ground rice, icing sugar and freeze-dried raspberries and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and press it down to compact it and make it level.
Bake for about 25 minutes until pale golden. During cooking, the shortbread will puff up like a cake and look disastrous. Even when it comes out of the oven it will still be too soft, but leave it to cool in the tin and it will eventually firm up enough for you to cut it into fingers.
When the shortbread is cold, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave (or over a pan of simmering water).
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the shortbread fingers and sprinkle with more freeze-dried raspberries. Store in an airtight tin for up to 4 days.
Recipes from DELICIOUS GLUTEN-FREE BAKING: Sweet and savoury recipes for everyone to enjoy by Howard Middleton.