Sainsbury’s allergy friendly Stir up Sunday
Back in September I was lucky enough to be invited to a “Stir Up Sunday” baking masterclass by award winning baker and food writer Dan Lepard. It was held in Sainsbury’s rather swish HQ in London where Dan demonstrated cooking allergy-friendly festive treats that everyone can share in.
If, like me, you didn’t know what Stir Up Sunday is, it’s traditionally the last Sunday before Advent and designated the day used to bake the all important Christmas pudding. This year it falls on Sunday 25th November. Whether you’re a slave to tradition or not, Stir up Sunday is a good time to at least think about those gluten-free festive treats.
My main focus for the masterclass was on Dan’s tips on gluten-free baking which I have had varying degrees of success with so was eager to learn from an expert. Dan talked about the importance of adding spices, particularly ginger and extracts like Valencian orange, to gluten-free Christmas bakes to give that extra taste boost. It was also the first time I’d heard of Psyllium Husk Powder which Dan said acts like gluten and makes the dough easier to roll. Psyllium Husk is a naturally occurring fibre that swells in water to form a gel and acts like egg white when added to a recipe, it looks like this..
Dan made a delicious Ginger and Orange Christmas Pudding which was not only gluten-free but dairy-free, egg-free and vegan too. I’ll post the details for this recipe later this week.
We all had a slice of Dan’s Christmas cake which tasted as Christmas cake should, no gluten-free inferior product here! Again it’s gluten, dairy and egg free as well as being suitable for vegans. I’ll also give you the recipe for that in another post.
To me mince pies seem to be a bit like Marmite, people either love them or hate them. I fall in the first category but am quite fussy about the quality of them and that was before I was denied wheat in my diet. So what chance does a gluten-free mince pie have? Well I have to say Dan Lepard’s were pretty good. He made them with Shortcrust pastry using the aforementioned Psyllium Husk and filled them with golden mincemeat. When making the pastry Dan gave a few tips explaining that when mixed, it will be a sticky mess so leave it to cool for about 10 minutes before handling it. He also added that if you want a crumblier texture to add some ground almonds.
You can see the man in action creating the mince pies in this video
and check out the recipe on the Sainsbury’s website.
Watch out for recipes of Dan’s Christmas cake and his ginger and orange Christmas pudding, coming soon along with some other gluten-free festive treats!
In the meantime I’d love to hear what your home-made gluten-free Christmas treats are going to be this year, so drop by and let me know by leaving a comment.
Please note, I was not paid by Sainsbury’s to attend this event but received a goodie bag of their FreeFrom range. Also, my usual photographer was not available so the images are my own ( you can probably tell!) or Sainsbury’s as stated.