Strawberry and Lime Gin Cupcakes [GF/DF]

With Christmas coming up I thought I’d start experimenting with some alcohol containing cupcake recipes. For mine I wanted a sweet flavour rather than a huge alcoholic hit so I used Koppaberg strawberry and lime gin. If you don’t have any flavoured gin to hand, I’m sure a standard gin will do as the coulis already has a fruity flavour. Makes 12 medium – large cupcakes.

Ingredients
For sponge:
200g gluten free self raising flour
200g dairy free spread (room temperature)
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pink/red food colouring (optional).

For coulis:
150g strawberries
50g raspberries
2-3 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp gin

Buttercream and decoration
200g dairy free spread/butter (room temperature)
400g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3.5 tbsp gin
1 lime zest for decoration

Method
Preheat oven to 160*C fan/180*C standard
I use an all in one method for my cakes as I find this works better with the allergy free/special dietary ingredients.
1. Mix with a whisk in a large bowl the flour, dairy free spread, caster sugar, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract until all combined and a smooth batter is achieved. Add food colouring if using it and mix again until pink/red.
2. Split the cake mixture evenly between 12 cupcake cases.
3. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a starting to brown and a bouncy consistency is achieved.
4. While the cakes are baking, start the coulis. In a pan on a low to medium heat mix the strawberries, raspberries, icing sugar and 4 tbsp gin. I recommend just using 2 tbsp of icing sugar, but add more if it looks watery.
5. Keep pan on the heat for approximately 10 minutes until fruit has collapsed into a coulis.
6. Mash up any larger lumps of fruit and use a blender if need be.
7. Allow cakes and coulis to cool.
8. In a clean bowl mix the buttercream, first cream the butter, then add icing sugar and slowly turn up the whisk speed. Then add the vanilla and gin and continue to whisk.
9. Cut a 20 pence piece size hole into the centre of the cool cupcakes, this should go about 2/3 of the way down into the cupcakes.
10. Syringe/spoon the coulis into the holes in the cupcakes, make sure they are pretty much full to the top.
11. Pipe the buttercream on top of the cakes in whatever pattern you like. (Sprinkle lime zest onto buttercream to decorate)
12. Serve and enjoy!

Key Lime Pie [GF]

Ingredients
300g/2 boxes of gluten free HobNobs or similar
175g butter/dairy free alternative
400g of condensed milk
3 egg yolks
4 limes
300ml of dairy free double cream (trying to reduce the lactose levels but normal cream is fine)
2Tbsp of icing sugar

Method
Heat the oven to 160*C fan/140*c
Smash up the two packets of HobNobs until they are crumbs.
Melt the butter until it is liquid either in a microwave or a pan.
Add the butter to the crumbs, making a sticky mixture.
Put the mix into a loose based tart tin, making sure you fully line the base and sides.
Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, remove and cool. I cooled mine in the fridge.
While base is cooling put egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until they are thicker and foamy. About 3-4 minutes should be enough.
Add the condensed milk and whisk for a further 3 minutes.
While whisking juice and zest the four limes. These should slowly be added to the mixture as the whisk runs for a further 4 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the now cooled base, put back in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool and then chill in the fridge for approximately 5 hours or more.
When ready to serve whip up the double cream and icing sugar with a whisk on a high speed.
Once thick enough consistency, use to decorate top of tart.
Remove from base, slice, serve and enjoy!!

My easy take on strawberry and chocolate pavlova [GF/DF]

Ingredients
For meringue:
300g caster sugar
6 egg whites
For topping:
400g of strawberries
150g of dairy free white chocolate
50g of dark chocolate
300ml of dairy free double cream

Method
Preheat oven to 140*C
Cover two baking trays with grease proof paper.
In a mixing bowl whisk egg whites for about 4/5 minutes until a white fluffy foam is achieved.
Gradually mix in the caster sugar about a tablespoon at a time until a white glossy consistency is achieved that forms stiff peaks when the whisk is removed.
Split the mixture between the two trays, shaping into disks, with a thicker outer rim so they can be filled.
Bake for 45 minutes – an hour.
Bake until the meringue solidifies and is crispy on the outside, be careful it doesn’t burn.
Allow both meringue disks to cool on a wire rack.
Once cool, take one disk, top with half the topping ingredients; cream, strawberries, and melted white and dark chocolate.
Then top this with the second meringue disk and top with the remainder of the toppings and serve immediately! Enjoy!

Completed pavlova!

Profiteroles [GF/DF]

Ingredients
50g dairy free spread
95g GF plain flour
200ml water
3 eggs
3 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
110g of dark chocolate
400g of dairy free double cream (whipped)

Method
Preheat oven to 200*C.
Line baking tray with grease proof paper and grease.
Sift flour onto a plate with sugar and a pinch of salt.
Crack eggs into a bowl and beat.
Melt dairy free spread on a low/medium heat and add the water.
Bring pan to the boil.
Remove from heat and add the flour mix, stirring together at a very fast pace.
Return to heat and stir vigorously for 30 seconds until a dough like consistency.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly and add the eggs, ensure the mixture is cool enough or you will essentially cook ans scramble the eggs. This will form a thick smooth paste.
Pipe or use two small spoons to make a small ball of dough on the baking paper about 5cm in diameter. Repeat making even sized balls, spread out on baking paper, until all dough is used.
*if dough is not thick enough, you can use baking tray for cakes/muffins to pipe the mixture into*
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Prick each profiterole with a thin skewer to allow steam to escape.
Wait until chilled.
Whip cream with a whisk until thick consistency achieved, can add icing sugar to sweeten.
Pipe cream to fill each profiterole.
Melt the dark chocolate on a plate over boiling water or more easily in a microwave but be careful not to burn it.
Dip each profiterole into it.
I also added edible glitter for extra decoration!
Once chocolate is set, serve and enjoy!!

Finished profiteroles!
*baking tray type to use if mixture is too thin!

Basic small cupcakes [GF/DF]

Ingredients
100g Caster Sugar
100g gluten free (GF) self raising flour
100g dairy free spread (I use vitalite)
2 Eggs
1/2 TSP baking powder
1 TBSP almond milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan.
Add all the above ingredients in a bowl, sifting the flour in and then mix with an electric whisk or with the paddle attachment of a stand food mixer on a medium speed for 2-4 minutes.
Make sure ingredients are completely combined and you have a smooth consistency of the mixture.
Separate mixture out evenly into paper cake cases.
Bake for 15-20 mins in the center of the oven until golden brown and they feel spongy to the touch.
Leave to cool for 30 mins and then decorate as you like.

Decoration
I decorated these cakes using Betty Crocker Vanilla buttercream icing and some sugar paper unicorns I got from B&M, but feel free to decorate yours however you like!