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Free From Baking

With so many people now developing an allergy to wheat, gluten free baking can seem a little daunting. It needn't be so. Most of our recipes can be made gluten free, some can be dairy free as well although I still haven't found a reliable egg free recipe - more on that another day.

Having tried many different types of gluten free flours, my favourite is from Doves Farm. They have a wide range of products for baking, from cakes to bread, along with ready made snacks such as flapjacks and cookies, produced following organic, ethical and Fairtrade principles. Doves Farm are a family owned business based in Berkshire and are specialist flour millers and bakers. They mill a whole range of flours including; organic flour, gluten free flour, cake flours, pasta flour, gram, buckwheat, spelt flours, malthouse, rye and rice flours. For more information about them and their range of products go to

Anyway, back to our gluten free cakes. I use Doves Farm Self Raising flour which is finely milled and gives a light fluffy texture to sponges. Also it doesn't have an after taste unlike some other brands I've tried. You may find cheaper brands are okay if you are making strongly flavoured cakes and you will probably need to add extra baking powder if you don't fancy serving up a rather solid, brick-like cake. Personally, I'm very fussy about what I serve at tea time so finding the right kind of flour was essential. Our Chocolate Fudge Cake contains no flour at all just eggs, sugar and cocoa. The chocolate fudge frosting is made with dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids so it is very rich. We can also make this dairy free using Pure Dairy Free fat and Alpro Dairy Free single cream in place of butter and condensed milk in the frosting. I have to say that this is the most requested cake in our collection and if you can't manage to finish it, it freezes excellently for up to 3 months.

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