Back in 1998, Emma, the founder of Honeybuns must have been way ahead of her time. Gluten free cakes even back then in the ‘nineties‘ were nothing like the quality we have gotten used to today. It is with thanks to her Gran’s Northern Italian heritage that Emma discovered the naturally gluten free way of baking with ingredients such as polenta and ground nuts, for a superior cake, the likes of which now grace the shelves of many cafes, deli’s and John Lewis Partnership Stores.
And now you and I can have a bash at the legendary brownies, almondi, lemon and ginger slices, almond moon, congo bars and more with their own gluten free baking book. However it should be noted that this book goes way beyond their expected retail receipes – I am always surprised when companies publish their recipes.
Recreating many of the much loved gluten-y favourites, recipes include bourbons and custard creams, black forest gateau, spotted dick, iced gems, and whole chapters devoted to brownies and flapjacks.
On first look, the ingredients list looks lengthy, but there is a focus on individual flour and ingredients to bring their distinctive characters to each bake. And don’t be daunted by the number of eggs in some of the recipes…5 in the spotted dick for example. On baking, it produced a stunning sponge that my whole family fought over and was quite unlike anything else I had made.
Despite numerous ingredients, the methods for most of the bakes are simple with only a few steps. Namely melt something, whisk something, mix and bake. Oh but an electric mixer may be useful for beating all those eggs.
Many of the recipes – namely the retro ones – are bookmarked, but so far the spotted dick was amazing even with the sultanas instead of sour cherries. The Black Forest Gateau was the best use of the cherries from my rented cherry tree (I have a lot of cherry recipes) to date! And it was easy and caused a complete flashback to the 1980’s. The Amondi cookies were a welcome use for the stash of frozen egg whites I had and some is now frozen ready to bake in a biscuit emergency!
So really, this book for me was quite a surprise. Many companies produce a cookbook now, and many really aren’t that exciting. But this one for me is packed with unique, retro inspired recipes that are easy to make. And many of them are using up the copious funny flours I have bought – off to make the chocolate and prune cake to use up that chestnut flour now in fact!