With the rise in awareness of allergies and food intolerances, more and more of us are searching for free from alternatives that will satisfy the entire family at mealtimes. Best-selling cookery author Grace Cheetham has spent the last 10 years serving up tasty, and trusted, dishes from energising breakfasts, weekday winners and delicious treats…
A little more time in the mornings during the school holidays or weekends? Get the day off to a great start with this fruity breakfast suggestion.
5 tbsp unsweetened dairy free milk
2 tsp dried active yeast
250g/9oz/2 cups Bread Mix (see page 336)
1/2 tsp sea salt, crushed
65g/21/2oz/generous. cup dairy free margarine, chilled and cubed, plus extra for greasing
5 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
4 peaches, pitted and sliced into 8 pieces
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat until warm. Stir in the yeast and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Put the bread mix and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly. Add 50g/1.oz/. cup of the margarine and, using an electric mixer, blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and yeast mixture, 2 of the eggs and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and blend for about 5 minutes to aerate the dough. Put the dough in a large bowl, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to prove for 1 hour.
- Grease an 8-hole muffin tin (pan) with margarine. Stir the brioche dough thoroughly and spoon evenly into the 8 holes of the prepared muffin tin. Using the back of a metal spoon, smooth the surfaces. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove for 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the brioche buns, using a pastry brush. Bake for 15–18 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for 2–3 minutes, then turn out of the tin and transfer to a wire rack.
- While the brioche buns are cooling, put the remaining margarine and sugar in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the margarine has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down again to low and simmer for 4–5 minutes until the mixture has caramelised slightly and become syrupy. Add the peaches to the saucepan and shake the pan to cover the peaches in the syrup. Cook for 2–3 minutes until tender, continuing to shake the pan occasionally. Serve immediately with the brioche.
Make the most of seasonal ingredients to create this light, healthy summer weekday supper.
150ml/5fl oz/scant ⅔ cup olive oil
4 courgettes halved and shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
¾ tsp ground allspice
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp finely chopped basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE FARINATA:
200g/7oz/2 cups plus 3 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp olive oil
600ml/21fl oz/2½ cups sparkling water
FOR THE LEMONY YOGURT:
200g/7oz/generous ¾ cup dairy free plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the farinata, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and sparkling water and beat gently with a hand whisk to draw the flour in to make a smooth batter. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to stand for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Heat 120ml/4fl oz/½ cup of the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Working in batches, add a large handful of the courgette (zucchini) ribbons and fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the courgette from the pan and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds, remove with the slotted spoon and leave on the kitchen paper with the courgette.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavybased ovenproof frying pan until hot. Whisk the batter lightly, then pour half of the mixture into the pan, turning the pan as you pour to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes until the farinata has set and the edges are slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, turn the farinata out onto a serving plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, making sure you whisk the batter again lightly before pouring into the pan.
- Meanwhile, to make the lemony yogurt, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix together the allspice and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour over the courgette, add the basil and mix in gently. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the courgette mixture over the farinatas and serve warm with the lemony yogurt.
A taste of the exotic adds flavour to summer’s essential after dinner ice cream.
500ml/17fl oz/2 cups plus 2 tbsp dairy free cream
75g/2½oz/6 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
4 lemongrass stalks
12 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
3 very ripe, large mangoes, plus extra sliced mango to serve juice of 1 lime
- Put the cream, sugar, lemongrass and lime leaves in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until just starting to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lemongrass and lime leaves and discard. Mix together the cornflour (cornstarch) and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add it to the cream and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture has thickened a little. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully slice each mango down both sides, avoiding the stone. On the inside of each slice, cut the flesh into squares, cutting down to the peel but not piercing it, and scoop out with a spoon. Peel the remains of the mango and slice the flesh from the stone, setting some slices aside for serving. Put the remaining mango flesh in a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth. Add the lime juice and mix well.
- Using a large spoon, fold the cream mixture into the mango. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a large freezerproof container, cover with a lid and freeze for 2 hours. Whisk the mixture well, using an electric mixer, then return it to the freezer. Freeze for another 2 hours, then whisk again. Freeze for another 3–4 hours until completely frozen, or overnight.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer and leave to soften slightly for 10–15 minutes at room temperature, then serve with extra mango slices.