The 13th January is National Gluten Free Day in the US.
Many people choose to have a Gluten Free lifestyle as they feel it is healthier. For Coeliacs it is not a health or wellness choice, it is a must. There are many misconceptions around about Coeliac Disease. It is NOT a food allergy. It is an autoimmune disorder caused by the abnormal functioning of the immune system that produces antibodies against their own tissue.
Here are 5 things to remember about Coeliac Disease.
- It is not an allergy It’s a common misconception that those with Coeliac are allergic to gluten.
- It is autoimmune Those diagnosed with Coeliac Disease suffer damage to the lower intestine if they ingest gluten.
- Coeliac for life There is no cure or prevention, but following a gluten-free diet is the way of life!
- Gluten hides everywhere From beer to soy sauce, gluten is in far more items than the bread products lining the shelves of your local bakery.
- Coeliac leads to other issues If undiagnosed, this autoimmune disease can lead to other issues, such as lactose intolerance, anaemia, and GI cancers.
I have a very close family member that is a Coeliac. Diagnosed 23 years ago, things have certainly changed in that time and the availability and quality of gluten free products has improved vastly. Here is a favourite gluten free cake recipe for special occasions (cause we all need to splurge every now and then), given to me by a dear friend, Liz.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
11 ounces (311 gm) best bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces (57 gm) best milk chocolate
3/4 cup (180 gm) unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
scant 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 175 deg C and put the kettle on to boil
Line the inside of a 9 inch springform tin with foil, making sure you press the foil well into the sides and bottom of the pan so that it forms a smooth surface. This will prevent water getting into the cake when it is cooked in its water bath
Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or double boiler, and let it cool. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugars until very thick and pale, as creamy as mayonnaise: the mixture should form and fall in ribbons when you lift up the whisk. Stir in the vanilla and salt then the cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form, then lighten the chocolate mixture with a briskly beaten in dollop of whites before gently folding the rest of them into it
Pour the cake batter into the foil-lined springform tin, which you have placed in a large roasting pan. Add hot water from the recently boiled kettle to come about 1 inch up the sides of the cake pan and carefully put the roasting pan into the oven
Cook for 50 minutes-1 hour. The inside of the cake will be damp and mousse-like, but the top should look cooked and dry. Let it cool completely on a cooling rack before releasing it from the pan. This calls for a little bit of patience, because you will need to peel the foil away gently from the sides. Just go slowly and remember that this is a very damp cake, and you won't be able to prise it away from it's foil-lined base - tough it's easy enough to tear off excess foil once you've set the cake on it's plate. Dust with sifted cocoa or icing sugar if you want, and serve with crème fraiche or whipped cream and some raspberries.
What’s your favourite gluten free recipe? Please share below, it would be great to try out some new recipes.