Life with specific dietary needs can be lonely and tough, but we're here to help!
It's Coeliac Awareness Week (starting today), and as a lot of our customers order gluten free cakes, we wanted to share some of the fab blog we've discovered in our recipe researching on alternative diets, be it vegan, avoidance of certain allergens, or a gluten free diet.
If you're gluten intolerant or a full-blown coeliac, you're not alone, despite what you may feel when the standard diet office cake comes round - lots of people share your difficulties, and these blogs prove triumphs on the plate do still happen. Have a good read and let us know if you like any blog in particular.
1. The Gluten Free Blogger - does what it says on the tin and is presented in a beautiful way. Our favourite one of the five we're showcasing today! You can find the author on Twitter too: @GFblogger
2. The Happy Coeliac is another blog you should take a look at - we especially like the recipe for raspberry cheesecake bites.
3. A shop, eating out guides, a forum, recipes... You can find it all on Coeliac Sanctuary.
4. Andy writes his blog from the perspective of a dad with a coeliac child. Some good tips and bags of empathy here!
5. The Gluten Free Goddess - another beautifully presented blog, full of useful information. We really like the section that's gluten free AND vegan.
Hope you found this useful,
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We're problem solvers at 280 bakes - here's Seven problems we can solve for you today!
Welcome to my week long blogathon! I'll be solving one customer problem a day through team 280 Bakes fabulous cake baking and top rated services. Let's get started!
You have a vegan friend visiting this weekend and you have no idea how to feed them.
Well, we're vegan baking specialists, so that's dessert/elevenses/afternoon tea all sorted. Check out our cake ranges, all available with vegan alternatives.
You love to bake but can't eat any more!!
We're always looking for new bakers to join our team. If you're a keen cake baker, you have a car and you're looking to make some extra cash, our position could be for you! Find out more on our 'work for us' page.
Problem # 3
You forgot your friend's birthday!
Never fear, we're here for you when you need a gift last minute. On our CakeOD service (registered trademark, don'cha know?!), you can choose from six customer favourites to be delivered to any Bristol address, same day. Just let us know which cake you'd like by 12.30pm, any day of the week, and we'll get baking. All cakes are available gluten free and vegan, of course.
You'd like to order a cake (because a birthday ain't a birthday without a cake!), but want a little extra more for your friend - they deserve it!
This year we started offering chocolates and flowers as an optional extra to cake orders. Just mention when ordering that you'd like to add one or both of these to make your cake order extra special.
You can't bake to save your life
Take a look at our baking hacks cheat sheet - you'll find some helpful tips to help you nail that bake. And if you're looking for a good recipe to start you off, why not try one of these?
Bread Pudding Pumpkin Based Recipes Tres Leches Cake
You can't eat gluten but you lovvvvve cake
No problem! We have numerous recipes, including ones for the old favourites, for gluten free customers. From Victoria Sponge to Apple Cake, we've got you covered. Just give us a call on 07835 882817 and we'll deliver!
A friend's having a tough time and you want to cheer them up
We quite often get calls from lovely people who just want to cheer up a friend who's not having a good time of it lately. Perhaps they've had some bad news at work, some health problems, or it's a significant sad anniversary. And what better way to show you care than to have a cake delivered. They might even be kind enough to share it with you! We're not saying cake takes away all problems, but at least the recipient knows they're in your thoughts.
These are genuine customer photos - thanks to the subjects for sharing!
That's it for our week long blogathon, solving problems with cake. Which one did you identify with the most?
Great, now I have this song in my head now!
"There's ain't a problem that we can't fix, cos we can do it in the mix!"
Owner, 280 Bakes
We love that you're reading our blog (over 2300 views this week alone!) but here are five other blogs we think you should check out...
All in the spirit of good baking, we recommend a good read of the following blogs. Let us know if you have any favourites we're missing!
The Pink Whisk - we especially like the 'how to' section, and the advice on making macaroons. Give them a go some time!
She Who Eats - Chika's blog is inspired by Japanese food, and her recent post on Rhubarb Pistachio Tarts is mouth-watering, photos to salivate over.
The Boy Who Bakes - The Bake Off's Edd Kimber writes this great blog, and we really like the sometimes international theme he does, touring bakeries in, say, Chicago.
Call Me Cupcake - this is a relatively new find for us, but we love this Swedish blog. Full of new recipes, and a little broader than just baking. We look forward to making the beetroot and ginger ice cream this summer!
My Baking Addiction - This is an old favourite, with loads of great tips, right from basics. We found this post on the different types of sugar used in baking quite helpful, great work from blogger, Jamie.
Enjoy having a browse!
The Team at 280 Bakes
Our Louise has just come back from Costa Rica, bearing photos of cakes from the Latine American country. No tasters, but the photos look awesome!
So, Costa Rica s not known for its cake - or really, even its food. You might think of beaches, wildlife, music, before you think of the food from that area, but there really is so much lovely goodness to try, and cake is no exception. Take a look at some of my photos below ... Let me know if you've ever baked these yourself!
A true baker snaps photos of cake while she's on holiday...
Look out for more cakes from abroad, whenever one of our bakers goes on holiday. You can follow our 'cake holidays' on #280ontour on Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Louise & Team.
We're the gluten free cake myth busters! Here are six myths about gluten free cakes... totally busted!
Umm... These cakes from our bakers rose beautifully! This is a carrot cake (left) and gingerbread (right), both 100% gluten free. It does help if you have a good recipe - just replacing the 'normal' flour with gluten free versions doesn't always cut it.
Why not learn more about our gluten free cakes and test the myth yourself!
Myth #2: Gluten Free Cakes Are 'Gritty'
Again, it's all about what you put in the mixture. A pure gluten free flour may be a bit gritty, but mixed with other types of flour can really balance it out. Try coconut flour, ground rice, chickpea flour... There's lots to choose from.
Myth #3: Gluten Free Means A Grain-Free Diet
A common mis-conception of having a gluten free diet is it needs to be 100% grain free. This isn't the case, as rice, millet, buckwheat, corn, quinoa are all gluten free grains.
Oats often falls into the no-go category for gluten free diets, but actually, this is also incorrect. The reason oats get a bad name is they're easily contaminated with wheat in production and processing, so you're best off avoiding our banana oat cakes and flapjacks if you're having issues with gluten, though through no fault of their own!
Myth #4: Gluten Free Products Are 100% Free Of Gluten
No need to panic - you can still trust our 'gluten free' cake labelling, but gluten free is a legal definition, not a scientific one. It means food contains less than a certain legal amount of gluten. In the UK, for example, this is less than 20 parts per million. More info on this can be found on this website for Coeliac sufferers.
Myth #5: 'Glutinous' Products Contain Gluten
Wrong! 'Glutinous' actually means 'sticky'. Gluten is in wheat, barley and rye (see oats above), so, for example, 'glutinous rice' is just sticky rice - you're safe there! Why not try this fab recipe for this gluten free Sticky Date Cake from Food52, now you know you can?
Myth #6: Going Gluten Free Is A Fad
This is the worst myth of all. Going gluten free, for the majority of cases, is a decision a person takes to improve life changing, often painful and complicated symptoms. If you're medically diagnosed - and please don't self-diagnose - as a coeliac, you may have a combination of a number of symptoms (these are just a few):
- weigh loss - liver complications - repeated miscarriages
- alopecia - mouth ulcers - ataxia (loss of coordination)
Changing to a gluten free diet can alleviate some of these problems, and lead to a healthier lifestyle - for those who need to make the change.
If you're concerned you may be coeliac and could therefore benefit from a gluten free diet, make an appointment with your GP. More information is on the Coeliac UK website, but nothing beats face to face, personal medical advice.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We're hosting a vegan cake baking workshop in Bristol in the new year, and we'd love for you to join us!
Join a collection of other keen bakers (some vegan, some not), and be triumphant with the cakes you take home! We'll be sharing three of our favourite recipes with you, helping you to get the best bake to be proud of.
More information is available on our Facebook page, but where you really want to go is here:
This would make an awesome gift for the vegan in your life this Christmas, or a fabulous treat to cheer yourself up with on a dingy January afternoon. Hope to see you there!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Halloween's come and gone - is your pumpkin still hanging around? Here are our three favourite ways to use up your pumpkin to avoid food waste.
1. Pumpkin Spice Cake
2. Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Friend of 280 Bakes, Louise G, sent us this recipe for Paleo Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins - sooo tasty! Remember, paleo (no flour or refined sugar) cakes don't rise as much, so full your muffin cases well.
1 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
(we used golden syrup - they're interchangeable here)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (plus extra for topping)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a 12 cupcake tin with paper cases. Mix all the ingredients bar the chocolate chips) in a bowl - should be a fairly thick batter. Fold in the chocolate chips and divide the mixture into the 12 cups. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips, if desired - we like this touch!
Bake for about 20 mins until the cakes are firm to the touch. Allow them to cool before serving.
3. Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies
No collection of sweet pumpkin recipes is complete without a recipe for brownies. Pumpkin is perfect for using in this kind of bake, and the brownies don't stick around long after they've baked - they're perfect snacks. This recipe uses less butter (replacing it with cream cheese) and recommends sprinkling them with walnuts, but we like them with almonds too.
Don't let that pumpkin go to waste - get baking!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
... Push her down a hill. Sorry, bad joke!
Especially since it's National Baking Week. Louise made her first Swiss Roll, and honestly, won't stop talking about it, so we let her blog about it. Maybe it's out of her system now?!
Doesn't it look just yummy?!
I filled my Swiss Roll with double cream and raspberry jam - a perfect compliment to the chocolate sponge. You could also do a classic vanilla sponge with jam, and I imagine one with desiccated coconut and jam would be a total delight. Might try that next time!
Honestly, making this cake didn't take as long as I imagined, it was easier and more fun than I thought it would be too. Why not have a go yourself?
Owner, 280 Bakes
Baking Tres Leches cake for her Costa Rican husband is fast becoming an annual tradition for our Louise. Check out how the birthday cake turned out for 2017!
Tres Leches is everything Costa Rican. It's sugary, full of milk and fruit, and, like everything in that country, ENORMOUS! This year's birthday cake was a step up from last years, I feel - what do you think?
The recipe is here, but here are the photo stages of the most impressive Tres Leches cake ever. The birthday boy is ice cream crazy, so I went with that theme for this year.
Tres Leches starts with baking two enormous vanilla sponges, doused in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and semi-skimmed. The two sponges have 10 eggs between them on the ingredients list, so it's about as far from vegan as you can get!
Stage two - decorate and fill the beast with cream and fruit. Tropical fruit works really well, but anything colourful works.
I love how it looks like someone's dropped a couple of ice cream cones on the top of this one, and the chocolate really finishes it off.
Pretty proud of this one!
Even better, it will last for days (kept in the fridge) - there must be 30 slices there. No doubt we'll have visitors this weekend...!
Simple is sometimes the best. This recipe for Bread Pudding reminds me of my childhood, when my mum would use up any bread which had gone stale, or the last of the milk. It's full of flavour, moist, good for any meal of the day, and I reckon it's good for you too, full of calcium from the milk and dried fruit. Come on, let me have that one, forget about the sugar this once! (If you can't forget, check out our Skinny Bakes!).
Here's the bread pudding recipe I use - it's worth bookmarking. Try it, enjoy it, and let me see your bakes!
Owner of 280 Bakes
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