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Tips & Tricks Archive col 2

collection of orange pansies planted in a vintage metal container

Crystallised Flowers

Crystallised flowers are a gorgeous and natural way to beautify sponge cakes and cupcakes. All you need are some edible flowers (pansies, violas and violets are all good), an egg white and a small bowl of caster sugar. Briefly whisk the egg white and then use a small paintbrush to gently coat the petals, before sprinkling with sugar (shake off any excess). Leave the flowers to dry on parchment paper for approximately 24 hours before using.

Stack of four small lemon shortbread sponge cake slices on vintage green wooden surface

Lemon and ginger Snowy Hills Pudding Pots

These fresh and creamy desserts are lovely in the summer and will always please a crowd. Lightly whip 300ml of double cream with 250g of good quality lemon curd and the zest of one lemon. Split the mix between small dessert dishes and drizzle over some more lemon curd, marbling it through the cream. Freeze for 30 minutes until nice and cold, then crumble over a couple of gluten free lemon and ginger Snowy Hills cakes and serve immediately. If you would prefer to make your own homemade Snowy Hills cake, you can find the recipe here.

Overhead view into a glass kilner jar with freeze dried raspberries in it.

Freeze-dried fruits are a god-send

We all know how difficult it is to keep fresh fruit like raspberries and strawberries in the fridge; either they’re eaten before we get to them or they’ve gone off when the time comes. We love using different freeze dried fruits to add an element of natural tang and they give the most glorious pop of colour too. Freeze dried raspberries look amazing on a light cake or dessert to make it really stand out on the plate. 

Stack of shortbread biscuits with a pretty pattern embossed on the top, with a vintage wooden rolling pin with blue handles blurry in the background

Edible Christmas Tree Decorations

Homemade edible decorations are a great addition to all Christmas trees – the additional bonus being that they don’t have to go back into storage after the festivities are over. Make up a batch of your favourite robust biscuit dough (our gluten free shortbread is nice and reliable), skewering a small hole in the cut out shapes just prior to baking. Once baked, cooled and iced, thread some festive ribbon through the holes and hang all over your tree. You could also string several biscuits together to make edible bunting – the possibilities are numerous!

Homemade hummus in heart shaped dish, on a pretty vintage plate surrounded by sa;ad, pickle and a tart

Make your hummus your own

Hummus is a filling and healthy snack for anytime of day. The plain, chickpea kind can sometimes become a bit ordinary. So we say…spice up your hummus! Try blitzing a cooked beetroot in a food processor and stirring this in to add a sweet flavour and pop of colour. Other adaptations to your humus could be adding roasted bell peppers, paprika to give it a spicy smokey kick, or caramelized onion. If it’s texture you’re looking for, add seeds like pumpkin, sesame and poppy. Make the hummus from scratch or add the flavours to a ready made pack, we don’t mind, we just hope you like it!

Bowl of freshly picked red and yellow tomatoes, all varying sizes.

Super Speedy Tomato Chutney

Slice one large onion or two small ones along with two celery sticks and pop in a pan along with 500g of fresh tomatoes, add 70 ml of red wine vinegar and 140g of light Muscovado sugar. Season and simmer for half an hour to 40 minutes until you get a jam / chutney like consistency. Place into sterilized jars. For optimum enjoyment try in a cornbread sandwich with mature cheddar cheese. 

Side view of gorgoeus red rosehips roasted in a baking tray

Rosehip Jus

I can't pretend to have made this syrup yet. I started off full of good intentions this summer after being inspired by the massive & plentiful Rosa Rugosa (or Sea Spray rose) hips in the Bee Shack garden. I left the hip picking too late- the flesh had started to shrivel. This is delicious served with the Honeybuns cake of your choice. So over to the expert, Adele Nozedar (from her gorgeous book, The Hedgerow Handbook):

Makes approx. 1/2 litre
1kg rose hips 
50g soft dark brown sugar
Water (see recipe for amount)
"Split all the rose hips in half and scrape out the seeds...Then all you do is put the prepared hips, the sugar, and the same volume of water in a large, heavy-bottomed pan, bring to the boil, then simmer til the hips are soft. Leave to cool, then...blend util smooth".
Sounds simple & Adele recommends it to accompany cheese dishes. Will make sure we harvest the hips in time. 

Roasted hazelnuts on a baking tray

Healthy Nutella

A guilt free all-natural dairy free alternative to one of our favourite indulgences.

400g roasted unsalted hazelnuts
90g (dairy free) dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt

Roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray for 10 mins at 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4, remove and cool. Remove excess skin on hazelnuts and place in food processor. Blitz for 8-10 mins scraping down the side to make sure a creamy mix is achieved. Melt chocolate and add to hazelnut mixture. Add salt and vanilla extract and enjoy.

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