Sunday, 22 December 2013

Need a last minute Christmas gift? Chocolate Bark!

If time has caught up on you and you're suddenly left without a gift for one of your Christmas guests, have no fear. This homemade chocolate bark recipe is seriously impressive and more importantly ridiculously easy to make. We used Barkat gluten free pretzels and a handful of other yummy treats to decorate our chocolate so feel free to choose anything that takes your fancy and sprinkle it over the melted chocolate. We've experimented with Jelly babies to candy sticks to coffee beans- use your imagination (or whatever you have in your cupboards!) This is a great one for the kids to get involved too!


However much chocolate you would like- try and buy the highest quality you can (either Dark, milk or white)
Classic toppings: raisins, cranberries, pistachios, hazelnuts, coconut flakes and more and more and more.
Exciting toppings: candy canes, popping candy, honeycomb bites, gluten free pretzels, popcorn and more and more and more.


* Gently melt your chocolate either in the microwave (stirring at 30 second intervals) or over a saucepan of water (making sure the water does not touch the chocolate)
* Pour the melted chocolate into a lined baking tray.
* Cover the chocolate with your decorations (we think the more the merrier for this!)
* Place in the fridge to set (approximately 40 mins)

That's all there is to it! We like to break the chocolate into bitesize pieces and then wrap in cellophane with a big ribbon!

Homemade gifts make celebrations that bit more special sometimes!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Homemade Tasty Christmas Gifts

Sometimes it is far more special to receive a handmade gift than another generic box of shower gel or a Christmas jumper which will never see the light of day. For our third 'festive bakes' installment, how about making an edible gift?

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

These biscuits taste delicious when dipped into a hot chocolate on a cold winter's night. Wrap them up in cellophane and a big red ribbon and you will be making someone very happy indeed!

We use Barkat gluten free all purpose flour mix and baking powder to make these lovely treats!

1/4 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups Barkat all-purpose gluten free flour mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Barkat gluten free baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts

* Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.

*In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs.

* Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into the egg mixture. Mix in the cranberries and nuts by hand (get your hands dirty!).

* Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. (Warning: the dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle the mixture more easily).

* Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 135 degrees C.

* Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides of the parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.

* The colours of the fruit and nuts make the biscuits look so festive!


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas- Baking treats

Christmas is only 15 sleeps away!

During the countdown to Christmas we've decided to share a festive foodie recipe every day! If you like the sound of any of the dishes, get baking and share with your friends and family- let's get a festive baking trend going!

Today we are rustling up Frangipane mince tart! This tart is crumbly, rich and when paired with high quality mincemeat, it makes an extremely tasty, festive treat!

Serves 8:

175g Barkat all purpose flour mix
75g butter, cubed
25g caster sugar
1 egg

Half a 410g jar good mincemeat

Almond filling:
75g butter
75g caster sugar
2 eggs
75g ground almonds
25g Barkat all purpose flour mix
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

about 75g icing sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
about 50g toasted flaked almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, and put a heavy, flat baking tray into it to heat up. You will need a 33cm x 10cm x 3cm rectangle tin.

2. First make the pastry, either by the usual rubbing-in method by hand or measure the flour and butter into a processor and process until rubbed in. Add the sugar and mix for a moment, then add the egg and water. Process until the mixture just holds together.

3. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and use to line the flan tin. There will be ample pastry. Prick the base of the pastry using a fork.

4. Next make the filling. Process the butter and sugar until creamy, add the eggs and blend, then mix in the ground almonds and almond extract.

5. Spread a thin layer of mincemeat over the base of the pastry and spoon the almond mixture on top.

6. Sit the tart tin on the hot baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

7. To finish the tart, make a glacé icing from the icing sugar and lemon juice, adding water to make it a pouring consistency. Spread over the tart and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Serve warm or cold.

If you want to serve this on Christmas day, the pasty-lined flan tin can be kept (covered in clingfilm) for up to 12 hours. Or you can prepare the entire pie (Up to the end of stage 6) and freeze it until the day.

This tart tastes fantastic with Brandy cream!

Get ready for many more Christmas bakes this month!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Breakfast in style- Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

The mornings are cold and dark and the only way to get the youngsters out of bed is to entice them with a yummy brekky!

We've got the answer: Using Barkat porridge flakes, we have rustled up a batch of chewy, gooey breakfast bars! These bars are filled with healthy nutrients, full of flavour and seriously easy to make.

Makes 12 bars (can store up to 1 week in an airtight container)


100g butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
85g demerara sugar
140g Barkat porridge flakes
½ tsp ground cinnamon
50g desiccated coconut
2 tbsp linseeds, slightly crushed
1 tbsp sesame seeds
100g chopped hazelnuts


* Heat oven to 160C
* Butter a 22cm square baking tin.
* Melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan. Pour in the oats, cinnamon, coconut, seeds and nuts, mix and pour into tin.
* Bake for 30-35 mins. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then cut into slices and enjoy!

Once you have made this a couple of times, begin experimenting- why not add a handful of chocolate chips or some raisins? Let us know your creations!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Mastering Mac'N'Cheese

One of our team is off to NYC next week and the rest of us are very jealous! We think the American cuisine is one of the best in the world (if you don't care too much about your waistline)! One of our favourite dishes is the ultimate comfort food- Macaroni and Cheese

With Barkat macaroni and flour mix, gluten free followers can enjoy this American classic!

Serves 4


250g Barkat macaroni
40g butter
40g Barkat all-purpose flour
600ml milk
250g grated cheddar
50g grated parmesan

*Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes; drain well and rinse, then set aside.

*Melt the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan slightly larger than that used for the macaroni. Add the flour and stir to form a roux, cooking for a few minutes.

*Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Cook for 10-15 minutes to a thickened and smooth sauce. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to hot.

*Remove the sauce from the hob, add 175g of the cheese and stir until the cheese is well combined and melted.

*Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep ovenproof dish.

*Sprinkle over the remaining cheddar and the parmesan and place the dish under the hot grill. Cook until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

Serve straightaway and enjoy a little taste of American life!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Christmas is on its way!

Fireworks night is over. SO let the festivities commence. Yes, it is fully acceptable to start getting in the spirit of Christmas!

If you haven't seen our Festive Christmas Collection yet then get clicking! We have created the ultimate gluten free gift.

Included in our box of treats is one of our favourite Gluten Free brands; The Foods of Athenry

This family run business, is set among the famous rolling Fields of Athenry. It was once a full-time dairy enterprise and back in 2004, they transformed and became a charming artisan bakery.

Using only fresh ingredients and absolutely no additives in sight, their bakes have earned them 25 Taste Awards!

The artisan bakery has a dedicated Gluten Free area which is where they have created some of our favourite gluten free treats.

Included in our collection are:

The fruity mince pies which are ridiculously moreish. The mincemeat filling is full of dried fruits, nuts and more than enough brandy- the pastry is buttery and light and it is finished off with a pretty pastry star.

The Gluten Free Christmas Pudding- This dessert has won 2 star Great Taste awards and it is easy to see why. Made with the finest of ingredients- select dried fruit macerated for days in brandy & Cider, combined with the other ingredients then gently steamed for up to 5 hours. And finally - seasoned with brandy. The perfect addition to Christmas time. We have even tried it out on those who do not follow a gluten free diet and they loved it!

The Christmas Cake- An ideal Christmas afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Baked with brown sugar, fresh eggs & macerated fruit and topped with marzipan and white icing.

So get ordering and give in to the spirit of Christmas! Also with every Collection you buy you will get a FREE yes FREE gift!

Just call us Santa Claus.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Haunted Halloween Competition & FREE pretzel treats

Can you feel the spook in the air? The creepiest night of the year is dawning. It's time to get the carving knives out and the face paint on- it's HALLOWEEN.

We've been getting creative and have been decorating Barkat Digestive Biscuits with our scariest icing designs.

You've still got 2 days to send in your pictures to:

You could be one of the 5 winners who will receive a FREE pack of Gingerbread Cookies- they are seriously yummy!

Also don't forget- until the end of the week you will receive a FREE pack of pretzels with every order! Just quote OCT13 in the coupon number when you check out!

So- get your icing pens out, get your kids in the kitchen and get ordering!

No tricks just plenty of treats!

Happy Halloween...

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Italian Gluten Free Style

The Italian cuisine is one of the most popular- and it is easy to see why. There's nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta, a slice of crunchy garlic bread and a big slice of pizza. Being gluten free no longer means that you will have to miss out on these favourites.

So if you want an Italian Feast, follow our tasty tips:

Garlic Bread:
1 par baked baguette
1 head of garlic
A splash of olive oil
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt
Mozzarella (if you want a cheesy topping)

This is seriously simple-

1. Preheat the oven to 200c
2. Smash the head of garlic to release the cloves and place them in a roasting tin, still in their skins. Add a splash of olive oil and a pinch each of salt and sugar and toss together. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft, roast garlic out of their skins.
4. Press the garlic cloves into the baguette (add them to taste).
5. Bake the baguettes for 15 minutes. The baked baguettes should be golden-brown and have a slight sheen to them.
6. If you want a cheesy topping: once cooled, preheat the grill to hot. Slice the bread, top with mozzarella and grill until melted and bubbly.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake
This pasta dish is packed with nutrients and is seriously tasty- a real crowd pleaser

Serves 4

400g Buckwheat spirals
1 aubergine
2 peppers (yellow and red make it lovely and colourful)
2 courgettes
1 handful of pine nuts
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 shallots
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp of pesto
a pinch of salt and pepper
a glug of white wine
1 tbsp of tomato puree
grated mozzarella for a cheesy topping

1. Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil and when hot add the shallots and garlic
2. When soft add the peppers, aubergine, courgettes and leave to cook for 10 minutes mixing every now and then
3. Add a glug of wine and stir, then add the tomato puree, and the pesto and stir.
4. Season with salt and pepper and add the pine nuts. Leave to cook for another ten minutes.
5. Meanwhile cook the pasta for 15 minutes and add salt to taste.
6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain with water and add the pasta to the sauce and mix.
7. Then pour into a casserole dish and cover with the grated cheese
8. Put in the grill for ten minutes until golden and crispy

Serve with the garlic bread and enjoy!

Italian cooking- gluten free style!

Next time: Pizza filling ideas- send us your suggestions!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Melt-in-the-mouth Gluten Free Brownies

As The Great British Bake Off nears the end of the series, all of us at Gluten Free Foods HQ have developed a new found passion for baking.

These gluten free chocolate brownies always go down a treat and are extremely simple to make.

What you need:
100g butter
150g Dark Chocolate
100g Gluten Free Plain Flour (you can get Barkat's flour in the starter pack!)
100g Chopped Hazelnuts
200g Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Barkat Baking Powder


*Gently melt together the butter and chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water.
*In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.
*Beat in the eggs followed by the melted butter and chocolate mixture.
*Stir in the nuts if used.
*Pour into a greased and lined baking dish.
*Bake in a pre heated ove for 35/40 minutes.
*Cut into slices before serving.

These brownies are a perfect treat with a cup of tea or coffee during the cold evenings! Send us pics of your creations.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Warm up with a bowl of beet soup

Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of soup on a cold,wet day.

Seeing as beetroot is in season, we thought we'd share our favourite soup recipe which tastes great with a thick slice of Barkat's gluten free country loaf and a slice of mature cheddar!

We love the vibrant colour of the soup and to get a fiery kick, we add a teaspoon of horseradish- delish!


* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1 onion, sliced
* 500g potatoes, peeled and chopped
* 750g beetroot, peeled and chopped
* 600ml chicken or vegetable stock
* 100ml soured cream
* 4-5 tbsp horseradish
* Barkat's Country bread loaf
* small handful dill (to make it look professional!)

* Heat half the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and on a medium heat, cook for 5 minutes, until softened.

* Add the potatoes and beetroot and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the while. Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock and 500ml of water.

* Bring to the boil, then simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

* Pour into a blender, along with half the soured cream, and whizz until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the horseradish, to taste.

* To make it look ultra professional, serve with a teaspoon of soured cream and a sprinkling of chopped dill.

Then all you need to do is bake the crunchy loaf and slice up your favourite cheddar.

This is a definite winter warmer!

October recipes- Homemade granola

It's getting colder and so a comforting breakfast is ultra important! We need something to get us out of the bed in the morning.

This homemade gluten free granola is seriously simple- it is ready to enjoy in just 10 mins and tastes delicious with a handful of berries and a big serving of greek yoghurt or a dairy free equivalent like COYO.

Makes 5 servings (to last you through the week)

* 2 1/2 cups Barkat's porridge flakes
* 2 handfuls of almond flakes
* 1 cup of desiccated coconut
* 1 handful of chopped pecans
* 3 tbsp maple syrup/ agave nectar
* 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

*Preheat the oven to 180c

* Mix the ingredients together and then pour onto a greaseproof baking tray

*Place in the over for 10 mins, turning half way.

*Remove from the oven when the granola looks lovely and golden!

*Leave to cool and then serve with a serving of yoghurt and a drizzle of orange blossom honey!

An easy yet super satisfying start to the day.


Monday, 7 October 2013

WInter Warmer- Baked fruits with porridge

The sun was shining this weekend but it seems that we have now descended into the start of the winter months.

Breakfast is all about firing you up for the day and there is no better way to do that than with a delicious bowl of warm porridge- the ultimate winter warmer.

We love to have our porridge piled high with baked fruits and a drizzle of golden syrup.

* All you need to do is pick your favourite seasonal fruits: Ours are pears, prunes and blackberries.
* Wash them and slice them (if you need to) and then spread them onto a baking tray.
*Add a tablespoon of water, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a glug of apple juice.
*Place the tray in the oven at 180c for 25 mins.
*The fruit will be soft and gooey.

Then all you need is Barkat's porridge flakes (we make the porridge with almond milk to get a really nutty taste). Then spoon on the fruit and drizzle with golden syrup.

A delicious winter warmer!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Pinch Punch First of the Month!- October recipe planner

Pumpkins hog the limelight in October- we love the autumn; from hearty vegetables to heart warming roasts and comforting desserts.

Throughout October we will be posting our top seasonal, gluten free recipes that are all gluten free- of course!

What's on the October Menu:

Breakfast ideas:

*Baked fruits with porridge and golden syrup (using Barkat's organic Porridge flakes)

*Poached eggs and smoked salmon on a slice of toasted Barkat's country loaf

*Homemade granola with greek yoghurt and a drizzle of orange blossom honey


*Beetroot soup with a oven baked baguette (perfect for soaking in the soup)

*Basil and chicken pasta bake with a sprinkling of pine nuts (we love buckwheat pasta spirals as the health benefits make this grain a superfood!)

*Warm roasted vegetable salad with a balsamic glaze served with some crunchy crispreads


* Roast chicken with a lentil and beetroot salad (we use Barkat's simple gravy mix to add flavour to our roasts)

*Kale and garlic pasta dish (using any gluten free spaghetti)

*Squash stir fry with buckwheat ramen and Canton Chef's Black bean and garlic sauce.

These recipes will feature on our blog throughout the month.

Stock up on the gluten free essentials that we have noted here and get ready to cook up some autumnal dishes with us over the coming weeks!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Autumn Harvest: Recipe One

We're just finishing off our October Newsletter here at Gluten Free Foods HQ, so it's all pumpkins, Halloween and comfort food!

To kick off the start of Autumn, here is our top pick for a comfort meal! Each week we'll post a different take on the classic Roast. Let's start with the traditional!

Simple Roast Chicken, stuffing and seasonal veg

(serves 6- the whole family)

1 large free-range chicken, giblets removed (about 2kg)
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly
1 lemon, sliced
A bunch of rosemary sprigs

* Heat the oven to 190c.
* Scatter the roasting tray with the chopped veg then stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
* Smother the chicken with butter and season the skin with salt and pepper.
* Place in the oven for 1hr 20 mins (this will be the ideal amount of time for a perfectly roasted chicken).
*Once cooked through (the juices should run clear), leave to rest for 20 mins.

Meanwhile: The stuffing

330ml boiling water
20g butter or margarine to top the stuffing
Gluten Free Sage and Onion stuffing

* Grease an oven-proof dish and pour in the stuffing mix.
* Pour in the boiling water and stir.
* Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.
* Dot the top with butter and bake in the oven at 180c for 20 minutes.

Serve with a selection of seasonal veg and pour over the delicious juices of the chicken: we love to roast some squash with a drizzle of honey! Get in the autumnal spirit!

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Monday, 23 September 2013


Just to remind you all- each month we send out a Gluten Free Foods Newsletter- packed with gluten free news, new products and even free giveaways!

This month we are giving away packs of Barkat's pretzels which are HIGHLY addictive and make a perfect snack. We sometimes dip them into melted chocolate to make them even more naughty!

Sign up now Gluten-Freers!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Eating out Gluten Free style

We all like to hang up the apron and get a break from the washing up from time and treat ourselves to a lovely meal out with friends or family.

There has been a huge development for us gluten freeers when dining out in recent years- from Pizza Express having a huge gluten-free friendly variety to Carluccios having a tailor made gluten-free menu. However, there are still times when dining out can be a real hassle with either waiters not understanding what 'gluten' even means or even worse, when you have been misguided and have been left 'glutened'.

So here are Gluten Free Foods top tips for relieving the stress when dining out:

1) Ring the restaurant beforehand. We have been to many restaurants that just need a little bit of prep time in order to ensure that we can enjoy gluten free bread on arrival. Also ringing before you arrive will mean that you can spend more time socialising and enjoying your evening rather than tediously having to explain what 'Coeliac' means to your waiter.

2) Choose somewhere that you know is 'gluten free' friendly. Either a well-known chain or if you are wanting to find somewhere a little bit more unusual or 'special' than have a research online. There are so many gluten free bloggers out there who are constantly updating and reviewing new restaurants etc. Check out the Gluten Free Tart, the Gluten Free Foodie or Gluten Free B and see what their top picks are.

3) Never feel embarrassed to ask, ask and ask again. We know that sometimes it feels awkward to check that the waiter is aware what 'gluten free' means but we have witnessed responses including 'it means you cannot eat cheese', 'it means you can only eat spelt flour' and 'it means you are a fussy eater'! Even if it takes longer to order, make sure you are certain that you know what you are eating is gluten free as it is not worth suffering for the week after.

4) Sometimes it is easiest to just go for the safest option such as grilled meats, fish and veg. Although you may be pining after a bowl of gluten free pasta, naturally gluten free foods are readily available at many restaurants and remember you will be saving yourself the calories too!

5) Be careful with sushi- although it is a great choice for coeliacs, make sure you check the mayonnaise is gluten free and remind the waiter not to use soya sauce. Also, the soba noodles that are often included on the menu, are supposedly pure Buckwheat, however we have been 'glutened' many times because the noodles were thickened with wheat flour- so don't forget to check!

Finally, enjoy your evening out- remember you won't be left with a pile of dirty dishes!

Have a great weekend!