Gluten Free in Edinburgh – Tupiniquim’s crepes!

Since I moved to Edinburgh this summer, every time I’ve passed the ‘Brazil Crepe’s’ stall (it’s actually an old police box) just going into the Meadows, I’ve thought I needed to go there. I just never got around to it until last week. On the awning above the ‘box’, it says ‘gluten free’, so this was a pretty obvious choice for me!

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I wish, wish, wish I had known about this place on the few occasions I was around during the Edinburgh Festival, with the weather being so fantastic this summer and all the things that are happening around the streets at the time, I bet the atmosphere would have been cool! If you go onto their website and go to the pictures section, there are a few which make it look like they had their own little festival going on!

So I went to this place last week – and after getting home and looking it up online by just typing in ‘Brazil Crepes Edinburgh’ to Google (cause that’s what their sign says), I found out it’s actually called Tupiniquim. (Which actually is a name for some indigenous people of Brazil, don’t you know).

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I got chatting to the owner and asked him about why he decided to make ALL of the crepes they make, gluten free. He explained that his son had a lactose intolerance, which led to a gluten intolerance, and in light of this, he began cooking gluten free. When he opened the crepe stall, he said having a batch of each gluten free and regular batter could cause cross-contamination, so decided to go totally gluten free. To which I am very glad, as I’m sure lots of other people are!

I ordered a chicken curry piri-piri crepe, and I was asked whether I needed it dairy free too – I found out they can also make them with soya milk or almond milk batter – they’ve thought of everything! So I got my crepe – chicken in a spicy sauce with tomatoes and peppers, spinach, cheese, and jalapeños – it was supposed to have avocados in it, but I’m not a fan of those.

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It was super good. I wouldn’t normally have a savoury pancake – I’m 100% a lemon and sugar girl, but this was good. The crepe was as good (better) than I usually make at home, and the filling was really tasty. It cost about £4.50 – very reasonable when you consider what a hot sandwich could cost, especially when there was pretty much a large meal inside it!

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I went back again this week and got myself a lemon and sugar one. I took my friend with me (who doesn’t follow a gluten free diet), and she agreed the crepes were great! It makes me happy when a friend can eat something which is gluten free, and genuinely say it’s fantastic and they’d go again, even though they could easily go out and get/make themselves a glutened-up version.

Here’s a link to their website. 

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Gluten free in Edinburgh – Falko: Konditormeiser

Wow, I haven’t written on here in a long time! I’ve had a busy summer so I have a huge back-log of gluten free adventures to write about. I have millions (not literally) of food photos saved from different outings, now I just need to get organised and write all about them!

So I have moved from Glasgow now (boooo) and into Edinburgh, I finished my two years at college and have now progressed into 3rd year at Edinburgh Napier University. Being in a new city means finding new fantastic places to eat fantastic food!

The first place I’ve been to for some gluten free treats is a German bakery called Falko: Konditormeiser in Brunstfield. My mum came down to Edinburgh and I am staying in the Bruntsfield area, so we decided to have a wander around and see where we could go for lunch. Bruntsfield is full of lovely little cafe’s and shops, but this German bakery caught our eye.

Once inside the cafe, there is a wonderful display of freshly baked varieties of bread and amazing looking cakes, each of which had a small label highlighting which common allergens each contained – eggs, dairy, nuts, wheat and gluten. I ordered the sweet potato and chilli soup which was lovely – super spicy, but lovely. Even though I had made sure it was gluten free before ordering and asked if they had any gluten free bread to go with it (which they didn’t), the soup was served to me with two slices of ‘regular’ bread. I guess they were just serving me what they would regularly serve and didn’t want me to be missing out, but for the fact that I’d stated that I couldn’t have gluten I thought it was a bit silly.

The soup was reaaally filling so I probably shouldn’t have had anything else, but I couldn’t resist having a slice of the gluten free rich looking chocolate cake. It was made with ground almonds instead of flour and was pretty heavy – not in a bad way though – it was just quite different, I had never really experienced German baking before! The cake was lovely and I will definitely be trying more of their gluten free baking! My mum had an amazing looking cake as you can see in the picture, but sadly I couldn’t try it as it wasn’t gluten free!

Here is a link to their website.

Adventures

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Apart from eating a lot, I have been visiting some of my favourite places – today we went to Strathconon – a huge valley which is amazing to look at. The place is full of mountains and streams.  A river runs down it which comes into lochs at points. Every time we’ve been there we’ve seen loads of deer (red deer and roe deer) – hundreds of them, and we’ve seen Golden Eagles twice. Today I saw a little lizard too. The journey up to Strathconon takes you through little towns and we decided to take a picnic instead of going out for lunch. I decided to make food before I left as opposed to relying on there being something I could buy from a shop, and I’m glad I did – we stopped in a town called Beauly and went to a lovely deli with loads of home-made cakes and freshly made sandwiches and paninis and the like, but sadly the only gluten free things they had were Mrs Crimbles biscuits in packets – 1. They were macaroons and I’m allergic to coconut and 2. Even if I wasn’t allergic to coconut I wouldn’t want only a biscuit for lunch.

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I had bought the new Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse gluten-free baguettes, and decided to try them for the first time. If anyone’s bought them, they’ll probably be shocked at how light (in weight) they are – I was really surprised especially as sometimes you’ll pick up a loaf of gluten-free bread and it feels heavy like a brick – these baguettes felt really hollow! I made myself a cheese and lettuce baguette to take with me and I was really pleasantly surprised, especially as if I’m eating gluten-free bread I’ll usually have it toasted because I think it just improves the texture loads. It tasted good although it was pretty dry – it was on its way out of date because I’d bought the pack at reduced price from Tesco because they cost something like £2.30 originally which I feel is a bit of a joke. I also bought the new Warburtons Newburn Bakehouse wraps which I haven’t tried yet but I hope they’re good too as a packet of three costs around £3.00 too! 

Highlands of Scotland!

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I’ve been staying at home for the last week whilst on my Easter holiday from college. It’s really nice to come back from Glasgow back up to the Highlands to see my family and of course there are a few nice places to look at up here! When I was younger I used to hate living here in such a small place, but having the choice to live in a city or back up here makes me appreciate it more and actually enjoy the quiet and scenery.

I’m from a little town called Grantown-On-Spey but usually I just tell people I meet in Glasgow or other places further south, that I’m from Aviemore as it is recognised more because of the Cairngorms skiing resort and it’s pretty frustrating trying to explain to people where a place is if they have no idea that this area even exists! I thought that while I was here I’d have a chance to get all my college work done but in reality all I’ve done is gone on mini adventures with my mum and sister and eaten my body weight in food (which isn’t great because I’m supposed to be on a diet for going on holiday in two months)!

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I only became diagnosed as being allergic to wheat when I was 17 and I had moved to Glasgow by then to start college so I actually never got to know where in the Highlands was good for gluten-free food, I just have to look around a bit and have a back-up when I go out to eat now. I do have two places I think are super good though – one is ‘The Potting Shed’ which have two café’s – one in Kingussie and one at Inshriach. This place makes THE most amazing cakes. I mean, actually totally amazing. They even got voted in the top 10 places for tea and cake in Britain by Cosmopolitan Magazine – https://www.facebook.com/questions/508831655840714/. I went there last week and I was half way through eating my cake when I realised I should have taken a picture of it looking all nice. But it was too good to mess around taking photos of it – I had to eat it. Their gluten-free cakes are made with a light almond sponge which works really well and gives a lovely texture and I don’t feel they taste of almonds – I am allergic to all nuts apart from almonds for some odd reason so I’m lucky that I can eat these cakes! They are definitely some of the best cakes I have tried, all made with fresh cream and fruit (probably not good for the diet, oops) and it is great that there are options for anyone eating gluten-free.

The other place that I love and that I know have a lot of gluten-free options is ‘The Mountain Café’ in Aviemore. Any time I’ve been there in the summer we’ve had to queue for a while to get a table (which is annoying but a good sign) and I reckon it’s just because they do lovely fresh tasting food which seems to be incredibly popular. On their menu they say they can do loads of things as a gluten free option – breakfasts, sandwiches and rolls – and have a whole section on their website describing how dedicated they are to keeping their allergy-suitable foods separate and uncontaminated. They always have a huge selection of cakes and I’d say every time I’ve been there, there’s been at least two gluten-free options to choose from. 

 

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe!

These are probably the best gluten free chocolate chip cookies I’ve had – they’re so simple to make and they are amazing warm straight out of the oven. For me, foods with chocolate in is quite difficult and adds another factor to me finding foods I can eat because I’m allergic to soya, and it just so happens that practically all chocolate you can pick up in a supermarket will have soya lecithin in as an emulsifier. If I am desperate to get some soya free chocolate I will go to a health food or organic shop as most will stock some varieties of chocolate which don’t contain soya (sometimes the dairy free options), but if I’m honest, I usually just buy regular and put up with the effect as I’m not too badly allergic – however saying this I only have chocolate on rare occasions. You can alter the amount of chocolate in this recipe if you don’t want them too sweet, or if you want them super chocolatey you can add in a tablespoon of chocolate powder.

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Ingredients:

5oz caster sugar
4oz light brown sugar
9oz gluten free self-raising flour
5oz butter
4oz white chocolate
4oz milk chocolate
vanilla essence

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 Measure out the butter into a bowl, and put this bowl in the microwave for about 10 seconds, just to loosen the butter up a bit. Now cream together both the types of sugar with the butter until completely mixed. Gradually add in the flour, and then add the beaten egg. Cut up the chocolate roughly and add it in. Roll small balls of the mixture about the size of a ping pong ball and place them spaced evenly on a tray with baking paper on – you will probably need 4 or 5 trays for this amount of mixture but they cook so quickly you can re-use the trays. I like to put a block of chocolate on top of each cookie too. Cook each batch for about 8 minutes. Serve warm for an extra specially magic taste!

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Is anything safe from the gluten monster?!

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I just found out that fizzy rainbow laces (called Fizzy Multicolour Belts from Tesco) have gluten and wheat in them. WHY!? This is awful news, not only because I love them, but because I just bought some and ate them without reading the packet. Cue the itching, sore stomach, stingy eyes, blocked nose and cold symptoms.  Having been diagnosed as being allergic to wheat nearly 4 years ago, you’d have thought I’d have learned to vigorously check EVERY packet.  Which I usually do. But not this time. It just shows that even when you think you’re used to living a certain way, and you’re used to knowing which kinds of products to scan the ingredients list of, you can still mess up, especially when there’s the temptation of sweets in your way! It just goes to show – in a world where when people ask me “so what does that mean you can’t eat then?”, when I tell them that I am allergic to wheat, it’s not just the obvious ones such as bread, pasta and cakes, it can include almost anything – even fizzy rainbow sweeties.

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Gluten free toad in the hole and Yorkshire pudding recipe!

This batter can be used either to make toad in the hole or Yorkshire pudding. I prefer it as a toad in the hole, because as you will know if you have made gluten free Yorkshire puddings, they don’t rise and become a bowl shape like regular ones, they puff up more like a bread roll. The toad in the hole has more surface area, therefore leaving more of the batter to get crispy, something I miss with the dough-ey consistency of the Yorkshire puddings.

If, like me you had a struggle finding gluten free sausages in supermarkets such as Tesco, I’d suggest Marks and Spencers as even their value range – which is only 61% pork – is made with gluten free crumb, as are most of their other own-brand sausages.

I make enough for two meals so I cut it in half and freeze one for another time. Using half the ingredients makes enough for one meal.

Ingredients:

4oz self-raising gluten free flour
2 eggs
4 fluid oz milk
1 fluid oz water
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
dripping or oil
4 sausages

Turn the oven on to 220 as soon as you start cooking. Cook the sausages until done, but not crispy as they will have more cooking time in the oven with the batter. Whilst the sausages are cooking, pour the milk into a large measuring jug (you will use the jug for the entire mixture so it needs to be big enough to fit a whisk in) and then measure the water in with the milk. Weigh the flour and put that in along with the baking powder, and then the eggs after. Add the salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Use a hand or electric whisk to mix the batter – if you are using a hand whisk make sure to mix it quite well as to get some air in. When the sausages have about 5 minutes to go, put the oil or dripping into a baking tray and put in the oven. The fat needs to be smoking hot.
When the sausages are cooked enough and the fat has been in the oven for 5 minutes or is hot enough, take the pan out of the oven, place the sausages in it evenly spaced apart, then pour in the batter – this needs to be done quickly so that the fat stays hot enough and sizzling when the mixture is poured in. Put this back in the oven now for about 10-15 minutes and take it out when it’s quite brown.

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“Boy those French, they have a different word for everything.”

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Last week I went on a lovely holiday to Paris for my birthday present – it was so cold, waaaay more snow than there is in the Highlands of Scotland just now, and on top of that  I got tonsillitis while I was there – but I still had a wonderful time. As I’m certain is the case for everyone on a gluten-free diet, going away places is always a stress – especially when you speak the language about as well as you can handle gluten! Whenever I go away, there will always be meals when I will inevitably eating just chips and salad to save myself the embarrassment of trying – and failing badly – to explain that I can’t have any wheat or gluten, but also to save the hassle of the puffed up eyes, swollen mouth and stomach cramps. I don’t help myself in these situations, I am not only allergic to wheat, soya and nuts, but I’m pretty fussy so ordering things in a foreign language can be like a minefield trying to avoid these allergies plus mayonnaise, tomato ketchup (I literally won’t touch anything on the plate if either of these have been on it!) mushrooms, truffles, fish, veal, olives  – to name a few.

I do have the apps for the iPhone which have the gluten free travel cards, but I often find this leaves me with about three choices – a salad, steak or chicken with chips or potatoes. So that’s what I ended up eating most of the time, and it was delicious. Our hotel was near a little chicken grill restaurant which I had been to before when I went to Paris on a college trip – this place offers a plate of half a chicken, chips, rice and salad (!) all for 9 euros 50… needless to say my boyfriend and I could have ordered one between us and still had some left over. I have read reviews on this place online and people seem to think of it as somewhat as a hidden gem – it is a cheap restaurant selling simple, quality food, which luckily for me happened to be naturally gluten free!

I did find quite a good selection of gluten free products in the supermarket on Boulevard de Clichy– pasta, biscuits, small cakes, breadsticks and boxes of readymade toast (this seems to be quite popular in France) – I bought some chocolate fingers and some chocolate covered digestive type biscuits. My lack of French was my downfall here, as after eating half of one of the biscuits I realised it was actually a coconut biscuit, which I am allergic to. I had actually scanned the ingredients on the back of the pack (I have no idea why as I hadn’t a clue what any of the words meant) and since getting home and going on the internet and finding out the French word for coconut – ‘noix de coco’ which to me just sounds like it is something chocolatey – wasn’t on the front of the packet, and I clearly wasn’t paying any attention to the ingredients on the back. Luckily I had a supply of anti-histamine which I have to take every day anyway, so I didn’t feel too much of a reaction.

I can’t say my lack of wonderful elaborate French food put any kind of downer on my trip – I’ll have the simple cheap chicken and chips any day!

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Domino’s Gluten Free Pizza!

As most coeliac’s will have probably heard, Domino’s now do gluten free pizzas. I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy four years ago so was very happy to find out a few months ago about Domino’s offering gluten free options as I hadn’t had a decent pizza in aaaages! (The frozen ones you get from Tesco, DS, Genius and so on are all good and well but they don’t really compare.) 

If anyone is dubious about the quality of the Domino’s gluten free pizzas – you needn’t be. Yes, the price is very high considering they are only offering the small size for gluten free, but after four years of no decent pizza, it’s a small price to pay for the occasional treat – although hopefully in the future they will be offering medium and large pizzas too as it seems unfair enough that we have to be gluten free, let alone that you get more for your money when ordering a large size.

One thing that bugged a lot of people was that, because the pizzas only come in small, they were excluded from the Two for Tuesdays deal – however after receiving feedback from customers, they have changed the deal to now include these which is a step forward.

(Unless like when I first ordered a gluten free pizza as part of the Two for Tuesdays deal along with a ‘regular’ pizza for my boyfriend, they completely missed the gluten free pizza from the order, saying it wasn’t part of the deal. After a phone call, I got my pizza, plus a voucher for another free one for my inconvenience – thanks for that Domino’s!)

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Gluten free cheesecake recipe

This cheesecake recipe is basically a ‘normal’ cheesecake with a gluten free base, but it’s delicious!

You can basically use whatever gluten free biscuits for the base but here’s what I use:

For the base:
roughly 200g gluten free biscuits – I use Tesco digestives for a plain base, or Tesco tripple chocolate chip cookies for a chocolate base
75g butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup

For the topping:
300g (1 large tub) of Philadelphia
300g of double cream
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
small amount of zest from 1 lemon (this makes the cake taste very fresh)
one vanilla pod, or some vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of golden syrup

Sometimes I add the zest of a whole lemon to make it a lovely lemon cheesecake and add raspberries on top, or if I’m making a chocolate based cake, I will sieve chocolate powder over the top.

Melt the butter in a bowl over simmering water with the golden syrup, whilst this is melting, crush the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin until crumbs. Add the crushed biscuits to the butter mixture when melted and press into a 9 inch (roughly) loose bottomed or spring form cake tin. Put this in the fridge to get cool.

Put the Philadelphia in a large bowl, add the golden syrup, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and stir to loosen the cream cheese. In another bowl whisk the double cream until about the same consistency as the cream cheese (not whipped totally). Add the cream to the Philadelphia and very briefly whisk  to combine. Put this mixture in the cake tin over the biscuit base, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for about 3 – 4 hours to set. Alternatively you can put the cake in the freezer for a short period of time (about 30 minutes) although the cake may still be a bit too wobbly when cut into.

Once removed, add raspberries/chocolate sprinkles/hundreds and thousands/glitter/or what ever else you can possibly think of that you might want to put on top!

Enjoy! 🙂

chzcak