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Eating & Living gluten free Summer 2014

Eating & Living Gluten free mag cover

Eating & Living Gluten Free Issue 1, July 2014

Keeping it simple

Emma photo
We chat to Emma Goss-Custard, founder of award-winning artisan bakery Honeybuns, about her passion for gluten free baking.

Emma Goss-Custard started Honeybuns in 1998 when she was a student in Oxford. Trying to find a way to make some extra money, she used recipes handed down from her mother and grandmother and set about making delicious cakes to supply to local businesses and cafés.

Back then all the cakes were made in the kitchen at her digs and then delivered by Emma on an old bicycle.

In 2001, the bakery relocated to Naish Farm in Dorset, and today every bake is gluten free. All the cakes are hand made and slow baked in their vintage oven and over half the range has won Gold at the prestigious National Great Taste Awards.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN BAKING GLUTEN FREE?
A lot of the recipes I inherited from my mum and my grandmother were naturally light on gluten. They were way ahead of their time and were using polenta, ground nuts and seeds.

The texture and taste of these cakes is beautiful. The fact that they were gluten free was a bonus. When my customers asked if coeliac friends and family could eat them I began to research safe gluten free ingredients and production systems.

tin of mini cakes

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES WHEN BAKING GLUTEN FREE?
I think dryness has been a problem in the gluten free sector. Rice flour and potato derivatives along with chickpea and buckwheat flours can all be quite drying. Without gluten you can also lack the glue and stretch of a wheat-based mix. 
By experimenting with different gluten free flour blends you can overcome both of these issues. Extra glue can be achieved by adding egg, and moisture can be found in ground nuts, seeds and roasted vegetables and fruit.

WHAT ARE PANTRY ESSENTIALS FOR GLUTEN FREE BAKING?
My ‘go to’ base gluten free ingredients are: tapioca and sorghum flours, gluten free baking powder, kibbled pumpkin seeds, ground almonds and golden flax.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR NEW GLUTEN FREE BAKERS?
Start with a relatively simple cake. Lemon drizzle is a lovely contender (you’ll find
my recipe on page 83). You can then experiment by just swapping the wheat flour part with a mix of ground nuts or seeds for moisture, and then a mix of sorghum or soya flour as well as tapioca flour. Just ensure your gluten free ingredient total is the same weight as the gluten free flour.
More moisture can be added with a lemon syrup drizzle and/or mashed roasted lemons added to the cake mix. If you get it slightly wrong you can convert it to a lemon pudding and limit any waste!

Cakes

DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR FAVOURITE GLUTEN FREE BAKE?
Currently it is our cornbread muffins, which we’ll be launching as a mix this autumn. They are soft enough to eat as they are or we serve them with added roasted red onions and brie baked inside.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO DEVELOP EACH NEW RECIPE?
It varies. Some recipes are straightforward and behave as you hope they will in the test kitchen. It’s the follow-on work that takes time – working out shelf life, freezer testing, blind taste checks, and getting written gluten free assurances from all the ingredients suppliers.
Soon we’ll be launching a blackcurrant and elderflower muffin and a pea, mint and creme fraiche bake!

ARE YOU PLANNING A SECOND BAKING BOOK?
Yes, but we’re not known for writing quickly! We’re planning on Honeybuns Cook Book to be out in spring 2016. Taste for yourself! Honeybuns cakes can be found in Waitrose, John Lewis and other major supermarket cafés or order online at www.honeybuns.co.uk/shop

Bakery exterior

VISIT THE FARM 
Honeybuns also run a gluten free and vegetarian café, The Bee Shack, based at Honeybuns HQ and you can even go glamping at the farm! The Bee Shack café is open on the first Saturday of the month between April and December, 11am to 4pm. For more information visit www.honeybuns.co.uk

Also featured are recipes for Heathcliff brownies, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Squillionaire's Shortbread, all taken from Honeybuns Gluten-free Baking by Emma Goss-custard.

Best Buys - Cake Mixes

When you don't have time to bake from scratch but fancy a sweet treat, these cake mixes are a great store cupboard staple.

Cake mix

Complete with free recipe sheet, this yummy sponge cake mix will get your baking off to a flying start. Honeybuns Gorgeous Gluten Free Cake Mix for Sponge Cakes, £4.99 

Cook's book Shelf 

Honeybuns Gluten-free Baking by Emma goss-Custard £14.99 Pavilion

Dorset-based baker Emma has put together a collection of her best-selling cakes, muffins, traybakes, brownies flapjacks, biscuits and puddings, each a taste sensation! See our heart-to-heart (above) with Emma about all things baking (gluten-free, of course!).

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