Friday 21 September 2012

Take Two

This elimination road has been a very long a windy one and baseline has been very hard to hang on to. What started with me telling my boy that we would cut out food for a few weeks and slowly add things back has actually been over two years and nothing new has been added, but more has been taken away. Because baseline has been hard to come by it has been really difficult to pin point exactly what causes these reactions even when we were being super strict.

The sudden realisation that citric acid was looking like the culprit sent me into a spin. It seems that the way it is made means that it is contains glutamates which lead me to some more research which bands them into a group called excitotoxins. And now we seem to have our missing link. A few weeks of reduced excitotoxins and we have a new found baseline that has actually been sustained for more than a couple of days. For our family this is brilliant, for my cooking adventures it has been quite traumatic. Now we are trying to minimise citric acid, gelatin, corn, extracted pectin, anything with malt in the name and all vegetable gums.

So now I am relearning to cook gluten free and without gums. There are quite a few recipes floating around the internet for this type of cooking, but trying to find things that are failsafe is nigh impossible. People use ground chia or flax - Not failsafe, but there is also a few that use psyllium which is failsafe. So now the conversions begin. I apologise to those who avoid eggs as I am going to be using them a bit more now.

The first conversion is the iced biscuits recipe. I just made this a triple batch straight up as the dough still freezes well, so this makes a good quantity of biscuits.

Iced Biscuits - Take two
  • 300g nuttelex
  • 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups white rice flour 
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour (if you can't find this brown rice would work fine too)
  • 2 Tbsp psyllium husks
  • natural sprinkles (optional)
  • bamboo skewers (soaked for half an hour and with the sharp end cut off if you prefer)
Royal Icing
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  1. Cream nuttelex and sugar together. Add eggs and Vanilla. Beat to combine. Sift flour over mixture. Stir to combine (or if you have a stand mixer use a slow speed until dough comes together) Place dough onto plastic wrap. Knead gently. Shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for a couple of hours or until firm. If after this time your dough is still to sticky add flour one tablespoon at a time until it is less sticky (this is still a little softer than the other ones) little things like the size of your eggs can make this adjustment needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line baking trays with baking paper. Roll dough out between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick (don't get carried away and roll it too thin as the biscuits will be too hard). Use whatever shaped cookie cutter you have to cut shapes form the dough. Press remaining dough together and repeat.  Place on baking trays leaving a little space around them. If you are putting them on stick, carefully slide the skewer at least halfway into the dough. Bake for approx 12 mins (depending on the size of you shapes) or until slightly golden on the bottom edge. Stand for 3 minutes. Cool on a rack (biscuits firm up when they are cooling, so don't think they are not done because they are soft straight away).
  3. Make icing. Place egg white in a bowl. Gradually add icing sugar, whisking until smooth. Spread over cookies. Top with sprinkles. Set aside for 20 minutes or until set.

These taste good! The texture is slightly different, but I've finally had a gumless baking success. The next thing I need to get my head around is bread, just when I had finally got a good handle on making Kersten's recipe...


  1. ahhhh I feel your pain - the whole RELEARNING thing! Gggrrrr. But sounds like you are on to a winner and it is all worth while!

  2. Trish, love that you're calling it "Take Two". It really feels like that for me too, trying to avoid excitotoxins, after years of Failsafe, low fructose, GF and DF etc etc. Will follow with interest!. Thanks :)