These days, food allergies are more common than ever. Luckily, cooking for gluten-free and dairy-free customers need not be as hard as you think.
We are spoilt for choice more than ever these days with regard to ingredients, knowledge and products. With some forethought, practice and preparation, there are many delicious recipes in the gluten-free and dairy-free category to try and taste.
Still, you need to put in the effort and do your research. the internet is a great source of information and, while you need to read all your food labels very carefully, it’s important to give gluten-free and dairy-free baking a go.
the key for industry professionals is to maintain flavour sensations for the customer – study, experiment and be passionate about delivering the best possible result.
establishments have a reputation to uphold and to keep menus current and enticing. Not everyone in the food industry has these skills, but obtaining them can give you a competitive edge and help you build a happy and very loyal customer base.
If in doubt, it’s always possible to consult with a doctor. I know of bakers and chefs who have even visited a dietitian for insight into food options available on the australian market and advice on how to proceed with preparing food for people with special dietary requirements.
Restricted diet recipes are notorious for not having great flavour or taste. however, we can change this! I’ve obtained a number of gluten-free and diary-free recipes that are not only true to the needs of people with food allergies, but more importantly, have great taste and texture.
here is one of my favourite easy-to-prepare gluten-free and dairy-free recipes for you to try. I’ve included step-by-step instructions and photos by Frank Selmo, courtesy of Learn Cake decorating Online as a starting point.
Orange and almond cake
• 500g eggs
• 500g boiled orange purée
• 500g almond meal or other nut meal
• 500g white sug
• 2 x 6” square tins
• Stick blender or food processor
• Mixing bowls
• Digital scales
• Heat resistant spatula
• Flaked almonds (optiona)
1. Grease and line your tins with baking paper;
2. Sprinkle your flaked almonds in the tin if using;
3. Whisk the eggs;
4. Rain in the sugar and mix through with your whisk;
5. add the fruit purée and mix through;
6. add the almond meal and mix through, making sure you scrape down the sides and the base to make sure the mixture has no unmixed pockets of ingredients;
7. Place 1kg of mixture in each tin;
8. Bake for approximately two hours until golden at 140°C; and
9. Check the cake bounces back when lightly pressed. If you insert a skewer the cake will be moist but the cake should not stick to the skewer.
Note: This recipe can be scaled up or down depending on your requirements.
• 5 oranges
1. Place your oranges in a saucepan and cover with water;
2. Bring to the boil;
3. Boil uncovered until the oranges are swollen (about two hours);
4. drain the water and using a stick blender, blitz until you have a smooth purée; and
5. allow to cool.
Note: Excess purée can be frozen and added to other desserts.
• 750g dark chocolate pistols or chopped
• 130g soy milk
• 115g Nuttelex or vegetable-based butter substitute
• 1 tablespoon glucose
1. Bring all ingredients except for the chocolate to the boil on the stove;
2. Pour the mixture over the chocolate pistols or chopped chocolate and allow to stand for one minute to let the chocolate melt a little;
4. Whisk until smooth; and
5. You can add all flavourings at this point, such as coffee liqueur or oil flavourings.