I love cookery programmes and celebrity chefs but being gluten free more often than not I'm left frustrated by their wheat laden offerings. Over the years I've learnt to adapt recipes but I still find it frustrating that so few celebrity chefs cater for people with food and dietary intolerance's.
There are exceptions though and one chef that 's probably done more than more for raising awareness of gluten intolerance, than anyone else, is Phil Vickery. A regular on ITV's This Morning, Phil Vickery has written 3 best selling books, full to the brim with gluten free recipes. I only own one of his books Seriously Good Gluten Free Cooking, but there some really good recipes in it ranging from main meals, to smoothies and of course cakes and desserts.
I love baking from scratch but as you can see sometimes from Great British Bake Off sometimes baking isn't as easy as it looks. Although I've pretty much perfected my gluten free sponge, believe you me, me and Mummy Lou have has our disasters over the years. Baking and especially gluten free baking in my opinion takes practise, and patience but what if you don't have that patience? Well you could go the supermarket and buy a ready made cake or you could by a box of cake mix.
Packet cake mixes are ideal for beginners and there a great way of teaching young children how to bake. It's not the same as making a cake from scratch but at least you have the satisfaction of saying "I made that". If you're gluten free or dairy intolerant though, it's sometimes not that easy to go into a shop and buy a packet of free from cake mix. Thankfully as times change, and allergy awareness increases, it's much easier than it was, the selection though still isn't amazing and more often than not you need to visit a specialist health food store or a large supermarket.
For choice I still buy a lot of food online and recently whilst searching for gluten free food I discovered that the Phil Vickery (the chef not the rugby player obviously :) has introduced has own range of gluten free baking mixes. I decided to give them a go and ordered a couple of boxes of cake mix and some cookie mix. I'm going to review them all for you but I thought I'd start with some cupcakes.
Phil Vickery Seriously Good Gluten Free Vanilla & Raspberry Cupcake Mix, is both gluten free and dairy free (more on that later), and vegetarian, they do contain eggs though and the manufacturers can't guarantee that they're nut free.
The box makes 12 cupcakes, and contains 12 silver cupcake cases, a packet of sugar mix, a packet of vanilla sponge mix, and a packet of raspberry fondant icing mix, and a tub of glitter sprinkles.
The box comes with full, easy to follow instructions. All you need to do is add some eggs, some vegetable oil, and some milk, to the sugar and cake mix sachets. If you're dairy intolerant you can use whatever milk you normally use, for example soy, coconut or almond, but I just used normal semi skimmed. Then you just fill up you cases and pop them in the oven for around 20 minutes.
When their done you just leave them to cool, and mix the icing sachet with some boiling water and then spoon it over your cakes, and top with your sprinkles.
Okay my decorating skills leave a bit to be desired but it's all about the taste, isn't it? The sponge is probably the fluffiest and lightest gluten free sponge that I've ever eaten, it had a light vanilla flavour and it wasn't too sweet, which was in direct contrast with the icing. The super sweet, bright pink icing contained real raspberry powder which gave it a subtle, real, raspberry flavour.
These cakes were yummy and even Mummy Lou couldn't tell that they were gluten free, The instructions were really easy to follow, and they came out perfectly. I love baking and I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at it, but even a complete beginner could make these cakes and enjoy them.
The one drawback is the price these usually retail at £5.95 a box, but they are currently on special at £3.57 from Squires Kitchen. However, you can get the Phil Vickery Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Bumper Baking Kit which was the kit that I got. It's currently on special for just £7.93, and contains a box of Vanilla and Raspberry Cupcakes, a box of Very Lemony Cupcakes, and a packet of Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. I'll been reviewing these other two mixes soon but in the meantime if you're looking for some easy gluten free baking options then these Phil Vickery kits could be something to try. You can view the full range online at Squires Kitchen and you can find out more about Phil Vickery here. If you have any questions let me now and I hope you all have a nice weekend x