Gluten-free: no more cakes and ale?

June 10, 2019 6:29 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you think, because you are gluten-free, that there shall be no more cakes and ale? (Apologies to Sir Toby Belch, c/o Shakespeare.)

No more gluten-free cakes and ale?


Well, don’t fear. Being gluten-free isn’t the same as being virtuous anyway (as per the original quote): you can be utterly wild and depraved and still refuse to eat gluten. However, if you are gluten-free, then regardless of your level of virtue, there shall be no shortage of cakes and ale nowadays. You just need to know where to look…

Cakes for all

Let’s start with the cakes. Here’s a great recipe for gluten-free chocolate eclairs (and cakes don’t get much better than that). As the author, Naomi Devlin, points out, these won’t be exactly the same as standard chocolate eclairs – but they might just be better.

The recipe comes from Naomi Devlin’s River Cottage gluten free recipe book, in which Naturally Good Food features as a recommended supplier. The book is a joyous exploration of gluten-free cooking of all kinds, covering pastry, bread and savouries, as well as amazing cakes. Once you’ve finished your plate of chocolate eclairs, check out their Lemon and Honey Tart, their Bourbon biscuits and their Marmalade Pudding.

You can’t completely throw virtue out the window of course, because you do have to make the cakes. You’ll therefore need a mixing bowl, a wholesome pinny and some proper gluten-free ingredients. River Cottage recommends us for those – what more do you need?! Come to Naturally Good Food for your gluten-free flour, your gluten-free starches and for the xanthan and guar gums, pectin, ground linseed and psyllium husk that make gluten-free baking work.

When you’ve wolfed your way through the cakes in that book, we’ve got still more. Naturally Good Food is also tipped as a top supplier in Erin McKenna’s Babycakes book. McKenna is possibly the most well-known cupcake-maker in the USA, where she sells vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free cupcakes and other bakes from her famous bakery in New York. Fancy making some of her doughnuts or chocolate chip sandwich cookies? You’ll need access to all our gluten-free baking section, then.

Of course, sometimes virtue doesn’t sit easily in an apron. You might want something gluten-free that’s ready-made. How about one of our gluten-free treats, such as a resolutely dissolute Quadruple Chocolate Cookie from Prewett’s?

Ale for all

Ale with your cakes? It’s becoming easier and easier to find beers (and other alcoholic drinks) that are gluten-free. They’re likely to be made from grains such as millet, maize, buckwheat and rice, rather than barley; alternatively, they might be made from gluten-containing grains, but have the level of gluten in the finished product lowered to less than 20 ppm (parts per million – the level at which a product is officially ‘gluten-free’). There are even home-brewing kits for making your own gluten-free beer.

Cakes and ale?

There’s no need to take Shakespeare literally. Cakes-and-ale is really just another way of saying ‘fun’ – whatever form that takes for you. It’s no fun being an undiagnosed coeliac, of course – the health problems while you get things sorted out will see to that. But once you’ve managed to eliminate gluten from your diet, we’re pleased to say that being gluten-free is easier and more enjoyable than ever before. There’s a wealth of cakes, biscuits and treats of all kinds available without gluten, along with gluten-free breads (and bread mixes), pancakes, noodles, pasta and grains. You can see Naturally Good Food’s whole gluten-free range here.

And, of course, there are inspirational recipes, blogs and books, such as the River Cottage gluten free book, which markets itself specifically as a ‘joyful’ book: a ‘positive and life-enhancing’ look at new ways of eating, designed to turn the ‘regretful no’ of giving up gluten into a ‘glorious, greedy yes!’. We’re with River Cottage (and Erin McKenna, and all the other happy gluten-free people) on this. There’s a whole new dietary world out there: exploring it, and making it work for you, can be very good fun!

Naturally Good Reads v2

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This post was written by Yzanne

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