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Great British Bake Off – inspiration for Alternative Ingredients Week

Great British Bake Off – inspiration for Alternative Ingredients Week

by Great British Chefs 28 August 2015

Pressure is mounting in the Great British Bake Off tent and the judges have come up with a fresh challenge for the contestants – baking without dairy, gluten and sugar.

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Alternative Ingredients Week is a first for the Great British Bake Off as Paul and Mary look for new ways to test the remaining bakers. For this episode they are tasked with making sugar-free cakes, gluten-free pitta breads and dairy-free ice cream rolls all of which we imagine will be very testing indeed! But while baking without the holy trinity of butter, sugar and flour may seem daunting, there are recipes here to suit even the most intolerant sweet tooth!

Cooking without sugar is relatively easy as there are plenty of other ways to sweeten cakes, puddings and biscuits. There are sugar substitutes that are very sweet like honey, maple syrup or agave nectar and others that are less so, for example, beetroot, parsnips or carrots. Fruits like bananas, apricots and dates are naturally sweet or try replacing caster sugar with newcomers xylitol (which comes from the bark of birch trees) or stevia leaf. Have a go at Tess Ward’s Gluten and sugar-free chocolate supreme cake or Madeleine Shaw’s Raw chocolate brownies – you will not believe they don’t have sugar in them!

Gluten-free baking can be more challenging but the improvement in gluten-free flours and the proliferation of ‘free-from’ recipes means that people with gluten allergies and intolerances needn’t miss out on favourites like chocolate cake, biscuits or bread. Victoria Glass, owner of Victoria’s Cake Boutique and Great British Chefs contributor, has a gluten-intolerant boyfriend and has therefore had to develop gluten-free recipes for him to enjoy – try her excellent Gin and tonic cake which is made with rice flour, her chestnut and vanilla cake or, for something that’s also dairy free, her Blueberry and coconut cake. Another dairy and gluten-free possibility is Peter Gordon’s fantastic Boiled orange cake which is made from powdered almonds and is served with coconut custard.

Dairy-free ice cream is particularly challenging especially if you don’t like coconut milk which is the most popular and effective substitution for cream but there are many dairy-free puddings and treats that still satisfy like Adam Gray’s Cereal bars, Victoria Glass’s Lemon chiffon cake and Giulia Scarpaleggia’s Biancomangiare (almond milk pudding). We promise you will not feel you are missing out!

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