Sausage rolls, vegan and gluten free

As is often the case, my photography skills in no way match the deliciousness of the recipes… After making them three times, I have either forgotten to photograph them at all, or taken pretty odd photographs of these sausage rolls (I think maybe I was trying to be arty).

Don’t let the picture put you off though, this sausage roll recipe is ace! It’s definitely my favourite recipe out of everything that we made for a Christmas buffet, and Alex’s too. They went down immensely well with everyone!

The pastry isn’t exactly the cheapest, being made with rather a lot of ground almond, but it stays tender for a couple of days after it’s baked which can be a difficult thing to achieve with gluten free pastry!

The filling uses traditional sausage flavourings, along with rusk and tofu and is savoury and moreish. We get our gluten free rusk here, it’s great for sausage mixes and burgers too. You could probably use gluten free breadcrumbs instead of rusk, although we haven’t tried it. If you do choose to, be careful of the amount of water you add to the filling, you’ll probably need less than we’ve specified in the recipe.

We firmly believe that is important to make more of these sausage rolls than you think you’ll need, it’s almost impossible to stop eating them. But if you do end up with any leftovers, they reheat beautifully!

The sausage filling is great, we’ve got more recipes using it to come soon!



Sausage rolls, vegan and gluten free (and delicious)


Makes 24 sausage rolls 10 – 12 cm long

for the pastry

175 g                     rice flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the pastry
175 g                     ground almonds
85 g                        cornflour
85 g                        tapioca starch
15 g                        potato starch
5 g                          xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
250 g                     vegetable fat (we use Stork)
130 – 140 ml       cold soy milk

for the filling

1 tsp                      gluten free yeast extract (the marmite type stuff)
100 ml                 hot water
400 g                     firm tofu (or 1 standard pack, usually 396 g for some reason)
80 g                        gluten free rusk
0.5 tsp                  ground allspice berries
0.25 tsp                crushed caraway seeds, or a little less ground caraway
2 tsp                      dried sage
20 g                        tapioca starch
30 g                       coconut oil, melted (we melt it in the jar uncovered in the microwave for 30 seconds or so)
6 g                          salt

Before starting, freeze the block of vegetable fat for around 2 hours. It shouldn’t be completely frozen but this will make it much easier to grate.

Using a balloon whisk, mix together the rice flour, almonds, cornflour, tapioca starch, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt until well combined.

Grate the fat into the flour mixture, dipping the end of the fat into the flour after each grate. This helps the strands stay more separate and not just clump back together into a block.

Toss the strands in the flour mix and then lightly rub them in to get rid of any large lumps.

Add the soy milk, starting with 80 ml and mix together with flours and fat until it can be formed into a soft, slightly sticky ball (or lump!)

Wrap in cling film or a bag and chill for around an hour, this helps the pastry to firm up.

To make the filling, first dissolve the yeast extract in the hot water.

Next add the rusk, allspice, caraway, sage, salt and tapioca to a large bowl and mix together. Crumble in the tofu (no need to press it first), pour in the coconut oil, and then the water and yeast extract. Mix well and leave for 10 minutes to allow the rusk to soak up the water. I find it easiest to squodge it all together using my hands. You can use a food processor if you like.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.

Split the chilled pastry into 4 and roll the first piece into a rectangle around 10 cm x 40 cm and 2 mm thick. Trim the short edges and cut the rectangle into 6 pieces.

Split the filling into 4, and then each quarter into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage around 10 cm long and 1.5 cm across. Lay the sausage on the first piece of pastry and roll, it should fit nice and snugly. The pastry can be prone to cracking, don’t worry if this happens, just lightly pinch the edges back together. Transfer the sausage roll seam side down to a baking tray and pat down slightly. Then repeat with the rest of the pastry and filling to end up with 24 rolls. You can trim the ends at this point if you like, but we don’t bother.

Cut slashes through the pastry in the top of each roll, at an angle and about 1 cm apart.

Bake for 25 minutes, until just starting to turn golden.

The sausage rolls are gorgeous hot or cold, but if you’re making them in advance for a party it’s really nice to heat them through for a few minutes in the oven before serving. This also crisps up the pastry a little.

By A. and E.


Christmas almond macaroons

We wanted to make a Christmas treat with similar flavours to stollen, lots of dried fruit, spices and yumminess. These really exceeded our expectations, they are moist, slightly chewy and full of Christmassy goodness!

The aquafaba and ground almond mix is a bit of a star, and can be made without any of the dried fruit and nuts to make a lovely soft cookie.

These almost didn’t last long enough to photograph…


Christmas almond macaroons

makes 12 to 14

100 ml aquafaba (this should be half the amount you get from 1 400 g tin of chickpeas)
50 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp mixed spice
150 g ground almonds
50 g pistachios, roughly chopped
60 g glace cherries, quartered
30 g mixed peel
50 g raisins
2 tbsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and line a tray with baking paper.
Using a hand or stand mixer beat the aqua faba until it forms soft peaks. As aquafaba varies in strength, this can take anywhere 4 to 8 minutes.
Beat in the sugar until mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Next beat in the xanthan gum, salt and mixed spice.
Fold in the ground almonds, pistachios, cherries, mixed peel and raisins until well combined. The aquafaba meringue mixture will lose volume, this is correct.
Using two dessert spoons make quenelles of the mixture and drop them carefully onto the lined tray.
Bake for 20 minutes until attractively browned.
When cool, dust with the icing sugar.


Christmas almond macaroons, just dusted with icing sugar

By A. and E.


Chocolate chip and peanut oat flour biscuits

The first time we made this recipe we wrote it up with the title ‘the best of biscuits’, and they really are the nicest we’ve made so far! And we’ve made a lot of biscuits…
The oat flour adds a gorgeous toasty flavour, and adding whole oats too gives them a great texture. They’re a cookie type of biscuit, so crisp round the edges and chewy in the middle, and they’re perfect for dunking in tea!
You could omit the peanuts if you like, but they’re so good with the chocolate that it would be a shame to leave them out 🙂


Chocolate chip and peanut oat flour biscuits

makes 12

100 g gluten free oat flour
30 g cornflour (corn starch)
150 g vegan margarine
150 g dark brown sugar
40 g gluten free oats
1 tsp baking powder
large pinch salt
70 g small dark chocolate chips (we get them from Aldi)
30 g salted peanuts

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and line two trays with baking paper.
Sift together the oat flour, cornflour and baking powder and mix in the oats and salt.
Cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the flour and oat mixture and beat together until everything is well combined.
Lastly add the chocolate chips and peanuts and mix well to ensure they are evenly distributed. It should be a sticky dough.
Divide the mixture into 12 balls and lay 6 on each tray, with plenty of space around as they spread a lot while baking. Pat them down a little. You can do them in two batches if you only have one tray, the dough is fine to sit a while.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are browned.
Cool completely before eating to let them set.

By A. and E.


Vegan, gluten free chocolate mallow teacakes!

The teacake is a beautiful thing. Soft biscuit, jam and airy mallow all encased in a chocolate dome. It’s such a treat!
We’ve been thinking about having a go at a vegan, gluten free version for a while, pretty much since we heard about aquafaba!
Aquafaba is the cooking liquid (or canning liquid) from legumes, often chickpeas, and can mimic egg whites. It whips up really well, so we’ve used it as the base of our mallow filling.
Rather than beat in lots of icing sugar as you would for a traditional meringue or marshmallow, we’ve used sugar syrup and a little xanthan gum which gives a lovely airy finish with very little sugar (comparatively!). It’s a long recipe, but none of the steps are difficult and they’re such a joyful thing to make!


Vegan, gluten free chocolate mallow teacakes!

makes 6

200 g dark chocolate
3 tsp raspberry jam
for the biscuits
50 g vegan margarine, we use vitalite
50 g dark muscovado sugar
50 g caster sugar
100 g rice flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp soy milk
for the vanilla mallow
100 ml aquafaba (around half the amount you get from a 400 g tin of chickpeas)
25 g sugar
25 ml water
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
you will also need..
a 6 x 6.5 cm silicon dome mold
a 6 cm round biscuit cutter
an electric hand mixer to make the mallow (it’s perfectly possible with a balloon whisk, but is much quicker this way)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Melt 150 g of the chocolate, we use use the microwave in 15 second bursts. Put a tsp of chocolate into the first dome and smooth it out. Add more chocolate until the dome is covered with a thin layer.
Repeat with the other domes, you should have used about half of the chocolate. Refrigerate the domes for 10 minutes.
Give the chocolate a quick burst in the microwave if it has started to set, and add another layer to the domes. Pop them back into the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
While the domes are setting, make the biscuits. Cream together the margarine and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Add the rice flour, baking powder xanthan gum and salt and mix well.
Add the soy milk if it feels a bit dry, it should come together as a soft dough. Pat the dough out on a lightly greased tray to about 3/4 cm thickness. The shape isn’t important as long as you make sure that you will be able to cut 6 biscuits out of it.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While the biscuit is still soft cut the rounds out, but leave them on the tray to cool and set.


The biscuit bases

Next make the vanilla mallow. Make simple syrup by dissolving 25 g sugar in 25 ml water over a medium heat. Leave to cool a little, although it still needs to be quite hot for the mallow.
Beat the aquafaba in a large bowl until it reaches the soft peak stage, around 5 minutes. While the beaters are still going, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the top and add the vanilla. Beat again until well combined.


Light, airy vanilla mallow

Now to assemble the teacakes!
Carefully loosen the edges of the chocolate dome molds and remove the domes.


Chocolate domes

Place the domes back in the molds and then fill 2/3 full with vanilla mallow. Put 1/2 a tsp of jam in the middle of each biscuit and then place jam side down into the chocolate domes. Melt the last 50 g of chocolate and cover each biscuit, smoothing it around the edges to form a seal with the dome.
Return to the fridge for 30 minutes, and then carefully remove the finished teacakes from the molds.


Vegan, gluten free chocolate mallow teacakes!

By A. and E.


Vegan, gluten free filled doughnuts

Doughnuts, wahey!
These are such a treat, a lovely golden crispy outer with a soft interior with ever such a slight chew. Filled with vegan custard! Or jam, jam is great too.
We’re very pleased with the dough, Alex has been experimenting more with homemade gluten free flour mixes recently and these doughnuts are one of the results.
You can even make a doughnut plait as you can see from the photograph!
They’re best eaten straight away (but really, how could you not!). But the dough could be kept covered and refrigerated for a couple of hours before frying.


Vegan, gluten free filled doughnuts

makes 10

for the doughnuts
110 g gram flour
250 g rice flour (split into 130 g and 120 g), plus extra for dusting the board
40 g tapioca flour
60 g potato flour
6 g xanthan gum
4 g baking powder.
7 g instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
300 ml tepid water
around 750 ml sunflower oil for frying
100 g icing sugar for dusting
for the custard
200 ml soy milk
1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
3 drops of vanilla extract
a tiny pinch of salt
8 tsp raspberry jam, optional

Mix the gram flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, 130 g of the rice flour, the xanthan gum and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix together with a balloon whisk to make sure the gram flour doesn’t clump. Put the salt at one side of the bowl, and then the yeast and sugar at the opposite side. Tip the tepid water onto the yeast and sugar and then mix everything together well, it’s easiest to do this using your hands.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes. After this time the dough should be well risen. Tip it out onto a board floured with rice flour. It will be very, very sticky. A little at a time, work the extra 120 g of rice flour into the dough. You may not need it all, stop when the dough is malleable enough to be rolled out.
Roll out to 2 cm thick. Take a 6 cm round cutter and cut 10 rounds out. Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan until a tiny bit of dough sizzles and rises to the top. Drop the rounds into the oil, holding a slotted spoon underneath them for a few seconds. This allows the doughnut to form a skin and stops it sticking to the bottom of the pan. As they cook the doughnuts will float on the top of the oil and puff up nicely. When the underside is a deep golden colour, flip them over and cook the other side. About 4 minutes per side. If the oil bubbles a lot or the doughnuts are browning too quickly, turn the heat down.
Have the icing sugar ready in a shallow bowl and as each doughnut is done, roll it in the sugar.
Make the custard while the dough is rising. Heat the soy milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a saucepan. When it is just below simmering point, add the cornflour and mix furiously. It will thicken and become glossy. Cook for 2 minutes stirring all the time.
Cool, and then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a narrow 0.5 cm round tip. If using the jam, pop that in a small piping bag too.
To fill the doughnuts, make a hole big enough for the piping tip with the handle of a teaspoon. Push it in and waggle it around a bit to make a cavity for the custard or jam. Push the tip into the doughnut and pipe in the filling. This works best when they are warm.
Repeat for all the doughnuts.
Eat, happily!

By A. and E.


Okra and mushroom tempura with horseradish dipping sauce

Okra isn’t something I cook with much, it’s not easy to get round here. So it’s quite a treat to have some to play with!
I decided to go the tempura route this time, partly because there’s still rather a lot of fresh horseradish left from the Christmas pie recipe, and with horseradish often being used as a wasabi substitute it seemed to fit nicely with the vaguely Japanese theme.
I’ve done mushrooms too, because they work so very well in tempura batter, and make a nice contrast to the okra. Crisp batter, tender vegetables, and punchy dipping sauce. A treat indeed!


Okra and mushroom tempura with horseradish dipping sauce

serves 2

for the tempura
100 g okra, cut in half lengthways
2 large flat mushrooms, cut into 5 mm slices
100 g gluten free flour
1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
a pinch of salt
120 ml ice cold sparkling water
3 tbsp cornflour (corn starch), for dredging
oil for deep frying
for the dipping sauce
1 tbsp finely grated fresh horseradish
3 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
a pinch of sugar

To make the dipping sauce, simply combine all of the ingredients and leave for a few minutes for the flavours to infuse.
It’s best to work quickly when making tempura, so make sure the baking powder and salt are mixed into the flour, the water is measured out, and the vegetables are prepared.
Get the oil on to heat up. I used a 22 cm cast iron saucepan with about 4 cm of oil in it, which was 750 ml. Heated on a medium flame it took 5 minutes to get hot enough, so a little drop of the batter sizzles on the top if the oil.
Sprinkle the cornstarch onto the vegetables, and toss to coat.
Put the flour mixture and sparkling water into a bowl and whisk lightly, it should be lumpy.
Shake each piece of vegetable to remove excess cornflour and then dip into the batter. Lower carefully into the oil. Don’t overcrowded the pan! Fry in batches, for around 3 minutes until crisp.


Tempura frying!

Drain on kitchen paper before serving with the dipping sauce.

By E.


Christmas Dessert – Lapsang souchong and persimmon sticky toffee cake with tahini caramel sauce

For the dessert for our Christmas meal we’ve gone for an indulgent moist cake based on the traditional sticky toffee pudding recipe. Rather than use plain tea to soak the dates though, we’ve used beautiful smokey lapsang souchong tea, and added sweet persimmon with their subtle melon-like flavour to the mixture.

Rather like an upside down cake, the tin has a layer of muscovado sugar and persimmon slices added before the batter goes in, so that when the cake is turned out it has a beautiful design of caramelised persimmon on top.

And the caramel sauce is pretty special! We used tahini in it, to add an extra layer of toasty flavour which balances the sweetness.

All in all, it’s a delicious, different end to the festive meal!


Lapsang souchong and persimmon sticky toffee cake, with tahini caramel sauce

makes 6 – 8 servings


for the date, tea and persimmon sauce

2 lapsang souchong tea bags

200 ml hot water

100 g stoneless dates, chopped

1 persimmon, chopped (remove the core if it is woody)

for the cake

225 g gluten free plain flour

225 g dark muscovado sugar

225 g vegan margarine

75 g plain soy yogurt

1 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

A pinch of salt

for the topping

5 thin slices of persimmon, about 2 mm each. Pick the slices with the attractive star shape in the middle, caused by the core.

2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

for the tahini caramel sauce

100 g white sugar

4 tbsp tahini

100 ml soy milk


Preheat the oven to fan 180 degrees c and grease a 22 cm cake tin. Line the bottom of the cake tin.

Put the tea bags, water, dates and persimmon in a small saucepan on a medium low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 -15 minutes, until the persimmon is soft and the dates have broken down and thickened the sauce. Remove the tea bags and set the sauce aside to cool.

Spread the 2 tbsp of soft dark brown sugar over the bottom of the cake tin, and arrange the persimmon slices on top. They should not overlap.

In a large bowl mix together the sugar and margarine until well combined. Add the date, tea and persimmon sauce and mix well, then add the yoghurt and mix again. It will look lumpy at this stage.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and then add to the bowl.

Mix until everything has come together to make a smooth batter.

Pour the batter carefully into the cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes, until the cake doesn’t wobble when you carefully shake it.

To make the tahini caramel, put the remaining white sugar in a heavy based saucepan on a low heat and cook until it melts and turns lovely deep brown. Don’t stir the sugar, but if it’s melting unevenly swirl it around the pan. Remove from the heat, add the tahini and stir quickly, then add the soy milk mixing all the time. It will bubble up! Mix until the sauce is smooth and glossy.

To serve, turn the cake out onto a decorative plate so that the persimmon slices are on the top, and drizzle with some of the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce in a jug to add as you please.


By A. and E.


Baked apricots with caraway and maple syrup

I picked up a pack of apricots cheaply at the supermarket a few days ago, as usual assuming that an idea of what to do with them would occur to me later…

They were just so pretty!

Breakfast at work is usually a mixture of gluten free muesli and soy yoghurt, made the night before so that the oats and dried fruit soften beautifully.

I thought it would be such a treat to have baked apricots to add to it this week!

The apricots were a bit sharp, so I drizzled them with a little maple syrup, and added caraway for spice.

They’d be lovely with a bit of soy or rice cream too…

Baked apricots with caraway and maple syrup

Baked apricots with caraway and maple syrup

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Pickled cauliflower fritters with herb sauce

Today I wanted to make snacks to have with a drink this evening, but thought it would be fun to go a little fancier than the usual crisps and dips…

Something fried is always fun to eat with a beer, but the richness can be a bit much, so here I’ve pickled my vegetables first! The light herby sharpness goes beautifully with the crunchy coating, I’ve used rice flour for this, which works very well. It can also be done a little in advance as it stays lovely and crunchy for a while!

The simple herb sauce is a welcome change from ketchup…

I also made some pretty amazing potato wedges, I’ll post the recipe for them tomorrow!

Pickled cauliflower fritters with herb sauce

Pickled cauliflower fritters with herb sauce

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Risotto burgers

So this is what I made with some of the leftover risotto from the other day!

As I’ve mentioned before, I do like to make something silly to have on sandwiches for lunch at work on a Friday…

The burgers are golden and crisp on the outside, and lovely and gooey inside (particularly if you put a little melty vegan cheese in as I did…), although to be honest they’d have been great without.

They’re super easy to make, and certainly one of the most delicious, indulgent dishes I’ve ever made with leftovers!

Risotto burgers - I may have 'tested' one of them before I took the photo...

Risotto burgers – I may have tested (okay eaten…) one of them before I took the photo…

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