Intro

What's WIDE CIRCLE COOKING about?
I blog information, news and recipes about gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free and vegan cooking. Right now I've been working on an exciting project where I avoid refined sugar and create recipes using a range of healthier alternatives.

Happy cooking!

ps. ask all guests if they have an allergy (because the recipes use some unusual combinations and they may not expect to find citrus and soya in the chocolate cake, for example).
pps.if you are cooking for someone with an allergy, please read my allergy page first.

Cherry and almond cupcakes


My vegan, dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes are your favourite post, so I thought I’d do some more along the same theme! These totally moreish cakes take about five minutes to make so can easily be whipped up before your guests arrive (or indeed at any other time!) and are particularly delicious fresh from the oven when the top is slightly gooey and crispy. If you use tinned cherries, they don’t keep for more than a day (they’ll go soggy), so use glace cherries instead if you want to make them in advance.



Makes 12



150ml soya milk/rice milk

1tsp lemon juice

80g sugar

50ml sunflower oil

100g Doves Farm gluten free self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

1tsp baking powder (check it’s a wheat-free version, though most are)

2 drops of natural almond essence

1 tin stoned dark cherries or a tub of naturally-coloured glace cherries



Oven at 160C. Before you start, halve 12-16 of the cherries and place the cupcake cases in a cupcake tray. In a bowl, place all the remaining ingredients and mix with a fork – it’ll be pretty sloppy, but that’s OK. Add the cherry halves and mix again. Distribute the mixture and cherries into the 12 cupcake cases and then place in the oven. The cakes should be cooked and lightly browned after 30 minutes. Here I've topped them with 'butter' icing made from some Pure margarine, icing sugar and a little of the juice from the tinned cherries, but to be honest they don't really need it (I only did it for aesthetic reasons as they look so much nicer in the photo!).

Hazelnuts and coconuts are my latest discoveries!

Alpro's new Hazelnut Drink is pretty ace and well worth a try for anyone who's ever enjoyed a hazelnut yogurt. It's great on its own, but where it really scores is made up as a latte - it makes a fantastic non-sweet version of a conventional hazelnut latte, which can be too syrupy for my liking.
Also worth a try is Kara's Dairy Free Milk (made from coconut milk) - I think it's tastes more similar to cow's milk when eaten with cereal than either soya milk or rice milk, and reckon it would work well in cooking. I found both of these in Waitrose, but I think Tesco also sells the Kara coconut, plus it has Alpro's Almond Milk (off to try that soon!).

Interesting nutritional facts about hazelnuts (from www.nutrition-and-you.com)
Hazelnuts contain oleic acid and linoleic acid (good for preventing heart disease) and are rich in folic acid too (good for expectant mothers). They are also high in fibre, vitamin E and several B vitamins. If that wasn't enough, they also contain manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium!

Climate Week - encourages a vegan diet!

If you don't already know about Climate Week then here are a few details about this great idea!
Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future.
Culminating in a week of activities, it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society - including eating vegetarian or vegan food a couple of times a week (plant-based foods are more environmentally friendly than animal-based ones) and opting for seasonal foods with low food miles. I'm well up for this idea and while of course all the meals on this blog are vegan I must admit it's a bit more difficult to choose seasonal foods at this time of year! However, my minestrone uses the lovely spring cabbage that is around at the moment, so that's a definite winner.
If you like these ideas, it's a great idea to check out the Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society for more recipes. Happy cooking!

Baking with Allergies course

Bridge 67 Cookery School, Leicestershire will be running a Baking with Allergies course on Saturday 20th June, giving baking inspiration and fresh ideas to those with food intolerances.
Check out the link for more details!

http://bridge67cookeryschool.co.uk/cookery-courses/baking-with-allergies-cookery-course.html