Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter! Gluten Free Hot Cross Bun Review

I have to admit that hot cross buns are not something I have truly missed since being gluten free, as we never really ate them at Easter when I was growing up. But this Easter, I was determined to be like everyone else and enjoy this part of our Easter celebrations.

So this all started when I visited Three Ducks Guten Free Gourmet (read my previous blog post about them here). They had tastings for Jane's gluten free hot cross buns. They were amazing! So I ordered half a dozen to try at home and share with a gluten free colleague.

My next source for hot cross buns was from Just Yummy, a gluten free bakery in Chirnside Park (45 mins from Melbourne). Another colleague offered to pick me some up because she lives right by there, so of course I gratefully accepted!

And of course I had to try and bake some hot cross buns. I picked up a recipe from Three Ducks using the Springhill GF bread packet mix.

1. Jane's Bread Hot Cross Buns

So yummy with soy cream cheese!
Jane's hot cross buns are darker in colour than most, probably because they are so full of flavour, and the colour is from all the spices. The stand out flavour was cinnamon, while most buns usually just have mixed spice, so I loved this difference. When heated in the oven and toasted, all of the flavours are intensified and I really love the aroma they bring!

The amount of fruit is not overbearing which is nice, however they are very dense, and still resemble a cake like bun. In saying this though, they are so moorish due to the flavour combination Jane has created that I wish they were available all year round!

These are only available in store from Jane's Bread at Three Ducks Gluten Free Gourmet Food in Richmond. Get in quick!!!

2. Just Yummy Hot Cross Buns

Just like 'normal'

In contrast to Jane's, these hot cross buns are light and fluffy, and I can't believe how big they are! They look just like a normal hot cross bun, and their taste and texture is also pretty similar; so as far as a replicated gluten free hot cross bun, they get top marks! However, they are like a standard hot cross bun in taste, rather than a gourmet version. Just Yummy also do chocolate and fruit free versions, so those with fructose intolerance can also enjoy these too.

Just Yummy is located in Chirnside Park, about 45 mins from Melbourne, but they are definitely worth the drive. They also do a number of breads, and their bread rolls are famous- they sell hundreds every day they are open!

3. Home Made- Springhill Hot Cross Bun Recipe

The finished product

I have heard great things about the Springhill bread mix, but am yet to try it as a loaf. I picked up the recipe for the hot cross buns using their packet mix at Three Ducks, but you can also find the recipe on their website here.

It was pretty easy- just combine all of the ingredients and mix with a dough hook for 10 mins, roll into balls, let them rise and then cook them.

A few things I would do differently if I had my time again!
1. Less fruit! This recipe asks for 3 cups of fruit which I felt like was way too much. I would cut this back to 1.5-2 cups
2. Mix the warm water with yeast separately, and mix all the dry ingredients together first before adding the water.
3. Add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon (I loved Jane's cinnamon taste but this might not be for everyone).

Anyway I wasn't 100% happy with the finished product. The buns failed to rise for some reason, so they were really dense and hard, but they were still delish! Again, there was far too much fruit, but this might be what other enjoy, but it wasn't for me.

As for all gluten free bread products, the hot cross buns are best eaten fresh, or otherwise if frozen, defrosted at room temp (not in the microwave) and then toasted in the oven.

I think hot cross buns are quickly becoming my favourite thing about Easter (especially since I can't enjoy chocolate as freely as I used to!) Yum!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Best Gluten free hot cross buns!

As you know (if you've been here before) Twolicious are on a mission to find the best gluten free bread ever.

Bread- Gluten free, store bought or recipe.

theGFCookie, twolicious hot cross buns
Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, hot cross buns. 

This is a great Hot Cross Bun recipe from Recipes for Living, a fellow Etsian. If you've been reading along with our bread reviews you will have already met Chris's bread. It's good stuff. And this recipe is no exception. It's good, it's pretty easy and so adaptable.

Actually I found it by accident. Just doing a search for gf hot cross buns. A regular occurrence about this time of year. I clicked onto this site, and found Chris' recipe. And to be honest, unless I knew the author of the recipe, I wouldn't have tried it. The pictures do no justice to the results you'll get. Or at least that I got. The response I got from the pics I posted on the FB page were pretty impressive too.

The best part about Chris's recipe is that not only is it gluten free, it's dairy free, grain free, easilyt made egg free, soy free, and tasteful, flavourful, delicious!
So try them, you'll be impressed too.

Here's a Temporary Link to Chris's original Gluten Free, Dairy free Hot Cross Bun Recipe. It's only available until the end of Easter, so go quickly. If you are gluten free and haven't tried a Recipe For Living, this is your chance to trial one and see the difference they will make on you outlook on gluten free bread.
Recipes for Living original recipe

So a few substitutions that I've made so far:

-Swapped buckwheat flour and tapioca flour for my GF flour mix- Light and fluffy, Lighter in colour and very close to flavour and texture of wheat flour HCB's.

-swapped out the 2 eggs for 1/4C ground flax seed mixed with 1/3C hot water and whisked until viscous( this may vary so please rely on the consistency, adding water as needed or heating for 10sec in the microwave to achieve that magma like viscosity)

- swapped 10g of gluten free flour for 1T of cocoa, and the fruit for chocolate chips.

-I'd love to swap out the choc chips for cacao nibs, but didn't have any on hand.

- made sugar free by swapping 2T of sugar with 1tsp of stevia (I used the natvia brand) and using 1tsp of gelatin in 3Tsp of cold water to bloom about 2min. heating for 30sec in microwave, stir, then 10sec, until completely dissolved. add 1tsp of stevia and 1T of cool water at a time to make a smooth consistency. Use this as the glaze to brush over your buns as you pull them out the oven.

-I'm also going to make a fruit free, sugar free (fructose friendly) recipe this weekend swapping the fruit for macadamias and using the sugar substitutions I tried with earlier batches (mentioned above)- can't wait!
:::Update on fructose free- Delicious, however not nearly as sweet as a regular HCB, you may like to up the stevia to 1Tblspn, or swap out the sugars for glucose or dextrose (keeping it a fructose friendly HCB).
The nuts were a nice surprise within the bun, and provided a slight sweetness and variance in texture also.

These are made with gluten free flour mixture, and ground flaxseed eggreplacer.

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns


375g or about 3C Gluten free flour mix (I have used White Wings gluten free flour with good results previously)
20g or 4 tablespoons psyllium husks
28g or 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups mixed fruit of your choice (we just used sultanas)
1tsp lemon zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp dried yeast
1/3C ground flax seed gel (made by whisking 1/4C ground flax seeds + 1/3C hot water until gel like)
4 tablespoons oil
400ml warm water

Ingredients – crosses

1/3 gluten free flour
25 ml warm water

Ingredients – glaze

2 tablespoons GF icing sugar
1 tablespoon water.


I do this in my stand mixer, but it is easily done by hand
Mix dry ingredients and fruit in a large bowl.
Mix in eggs, oil and warm water.
Mix well. Make sure the ingredients are completely combined (I use the paddle attachment for about 3-4minutes)
Cover and Set dough aside in a warm place to rise for at least 20 minutes, or until double in size.
Prepare your baking tray (line with baking paper)
Knock down dough and knead for a few minutes (I popped the dough hook on and mixed on medium for 2 minutes).
This is a very sticky dough so be sure and liberally dust your surface with a gluten free flour of your choice (I like to use tapioca) and add as required to prevent sticking to the bench).
Shape dough into a log about 50-60mm diameter.
 Cut the kneaded dough in half, and divide each into half again, then into thirds. You’ll end up with 12 bits of dough, around the same size.
Roll each piece into a ball and place on the lined baking tray with a little tapioca flour sprinkled.

Cover and Set the dough to rise somewhere warm for 15-20 minutes. I preheat my oven at this time with my HCB's sitting covered on top of the oven where it is nice and warm.

While the rolls are rising make the paste for the crosses: mix the gluten free flour and water to make a paste.
Spoon the paste into ziplock bag, the cut the corner when ready to pipe.

If you can tolerate eggs, make an egg wash with 1 egg and 2Tablespoons of water whisked, brush this over the buns. This gives them a golden glow. I have also used oil to brush them with good results.

When the buns have risen and are ready to bake, lightly score a cross into the top of each bun with a sharp knife, and follow this line as you pipe the cross mix.

Bake the buns at 200*C for 35 to 40 minutes.

While the buns are baking, make the glaze: mix sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is almost boiling. Remove from heat.
When you remove the buns from the oven, brush them liberally with the glaze then place on kitchen paper, on a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Coeliac Awareness Week: Three Ducks Gourmet Gluten Free Food

I have to admit that after 7 years of gluten free eating, I am always experimenting with gluten free baking and cooking (sometimes with disastrous results), but I rarely buy many ready made products, mostly due to their cost. So when my sister told me about an open night with product tastings at some place called Three Ducks in Richmond ("that's close to you isn't it?" she said), I thought, what have I got to I get free food!

After detouring to Richmond on my way home, I entered Three Ducks Gluten Free Gourmet Food and the place had a buzz. There were people everywhere in this beautifully presented little shop, with so many different and new products that I had never seen before. It was exciting to discover so many fantastic products.

The most delicious marshmallows. So much better than that squishy stuff from the supermarket.

On taste were a number of Easter inspired treats, all displayed on stunning vintage plates (sourced from Minettes Vintage just up the road). There were Easter cookies, a chocolate gingerbread loaf, marshmallow hearts, and of course (the reason I came) Jane's gluten free hot cross buns. I must admit that they were all amazing, and not having eaten marshmallows in so many years, they were a real treat, but what I couldn't believe was how great the hot cross buns were. The last couple of years I have searched for GF hot cross buns, and have been forced to purchase the only options available in Thomas Dux. While I have previously been happy to have something that sort of resembles a hot cross bun, never again will I purchase the inferior supermarket varieties that are hard-as-a-rock and get stuck in your throat, needing a drink to wash it down (I mean really, how do these products even make it onto the shelf?!).

Decorated Easter cookies. Yum! And that gorgeous detailed plate from Minettes Vintage. Ali runs pop up high teas using these beautiful plates so I will be on the look out for the next high tea at Three Ducks!

Jane's hot cross buns really are worth the trip over to Three Ducks. After waiting a few minutes for some to be heated I couldn't believe how soft, light and delicious they were! Not too much fruit or spice...just right! Yum! You can order yours for Easter now and pick them up in store. It's never too early to have hot cross buns!

The mind, brilliance and passion behind Three Ducks is the wonderful Ali. I can't thank Ali enough for giving me a mini tour around her shop. Hearing her enthusiasm for fantastic gluten free products was really refreshing. Having moved from Sydney to Melbourne almost 3 years ago, I absolutely fell in love with the food this city has on offer, but not having any gluten free comrades to share my quest for amazing gluten free food, I do it alone. I realised that there is a whole gourmet gluten free society in Melbourne that I have been missing out on, and Ali is keeping everyone happy with her continual search for fantastic products.

Pumpkin bread- thanks for finding this bread Ali and thanks for the recommendation. So soft and light.  Bread made by Black Ruby.

I can't finish this blog without mentioning the amazing bread that Ali has sourced. I have never seen anything like it- gluten free bread that is the same size as regular bread. A normal sized loaf! Bread that is soft and light (not dense and cakey), tastes delicious, and allows you to create a sandwich (I mean one that you can fit the normal amount of fillings on and it won't crumble apart). It's a miracle! This bread is from Black Ruby in Carlton. Their cafe is definitely on my list to try for breakfast very soon.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how big this loaf was.

 I could have bought the whole shop, but seeing as I knew I had to move on the weekend, I refrained. But I will be back! All products are tried and tested by Ali, so you know that whatever you get, it will be good...not like the products you sometimes find in the supermarket!

Now to order some delicious hot cross buns! Jump online to see what Ali has on offer and you can even order online. Sadly, the hot cross buns are in store only.

My first real sandwich in 7 years. I was in heaven!

Monday, 18 March 2013

I took a piece of your custard pie,

We are continuing coeliac awareness week celebrations here at twolicious with an easy naturally gluten free dessert: Baked Custard.

This is so simple you can mix it up while the kettle boils. Which is handy especially if you have friends over for an impromtu dinner
You will look all flash and so posh whipping this dessert out after your delicious gluten free dinner.

Baked Custard:

Set oven to 170C or 325F
Add to bowl:
3 eggs
6 yolks (save the whites for another recipe like meringue or crepes)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt

Bring just barely to boil:
3 cups Full cream Milk (easily done with full fat soy or coconut milk)
2 tsp natvia stevia

  1. As soon as you see bubbles forming around the edge of the pan, take it off the heat.
  2. Pop all eggs and egg yolks, maple syrup (if you are using it) and salt into your stand mixer and with the paddle start beating on low (you don't really want much air in it, just to completely combine it.
  3. Once the eggs are combined, keep mixing on low and begin to slowly pour the milk into the eggs (so you don't scramble the eggs). Continue till all of the milk is incorporated.
  4. Pour into Individual ramekins or a pie dish coated with butter or coconut oil, or even a pie crust and make yourself a bakery style custard tart!
  5. Place the dish in a roasting tray or baking tray with sides in the centre of the oven. Carefully fill the baking tray with boiling water halfway up your ramekins or dish.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the custard is just set in the middle. Jiggly just a little, if it is too jiggly give it another 5 minutes until only a little jiggly in the centre.
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or we like just plain nutmeg grated ontop while they're still hot.
  8. Let rest on the counter before serving.
well I only took a little piece of your custard pie

Delicious hot or cold, now skip to it!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Coeliac Awareness Week: Red Robyn Gluten Free Cafe

I am so excited to tell you all about my new favourite breakfast place in Melbourne. And the best thing is that it is completely gluten free and so friendly for lots of other allergies too!

The search for an allergy friendly cafe came after a friend of mine was diagnosed with egg, soy and rye allergies. After a decade of feeling sick and thinking it was IBS, she finally got all the tests done and was relieved to know what was causing her stomach pain. However, eating out became a real issue.

Avocado mash with feta, mushrooms, tomatoes. Yum!

We began eating at a vegan cafe (no eggs on the menu) which was a nice change from the usual egg overloaded breakfast menus, until my friend told me about Red Robyn. I checked out the website and was so pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they have a completely gluten free menu, but they also catered for fructose intolerance, egg, soy, dairy allergies, vegan diets, and nut allergies too!
Red Robyn on Urbanspoon
Check it out on Urbanspoon to read how much everyone else loves it too!
I must admit, the menu can be quite difficult to navigate on first attempt. They use letter codes to mark out which diets the menu item is suitable for. Check out the menu here yourself- Red Robyn Menu

However, as someone with an allergy, or if you have ever dined with someone with a food allergy, you are probably so used to trying to navigate menus and then choose something that you hope the staff understand your dietary requirements for, that it is such a relief when the Red Robyn staff understand all food allergies and are so knowledgeable about their menu that they can suggest something delicious anyway!

I chose the dukkah crusted eggs with prosciutto, chickpea patties and tomatoes. Delish! 

The other thing is their coffee. They offer a number of milks so that everyone is catered for. Their main dairy milk is A2 (perfect for those that can't tolerate normal milk), and they also offer lactose free milk, rice milk, and soy milk. And don't worry- the dairy and non-dairy milks even have their own dedicated milk steamers. Wow!

The look and feel of the cafe is great too. It feels really cosy and homely. It's warm and inviting and the staff are so lovely and friendly. They never seem too rushed to help you out or to stay for a short chat. And did I mention that they are really knowledgeable about the menu so you don't need to worry about your food allergies here?! It's great.

It's hard not to get excited when you know you can have anything on the menu!

They also do lots of yummy take home treats too. I picked up a jam donut (gluten/dairy free) and a yo-yo biscuit (gluten free/vegan). They were so delicious and I forgot to take a photo before I woofed them down! I love this place and if you are a coeliac in Melbourne or having breakfast or lunch with a coeliac in Melbourne, this place is a must. And once you go the first time, you will want to make it your new favourite place for breakfast too!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Coeliac Awareness week: Naturally Gluten free Cookies


 Celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week! March 13-20, 2013

Celebrate by making something easy, delicious and naturally gluten free!
Who loves chocolate?

If you answered no, I think you'd better just make these to be sure (they make a lovely gift!).

These are great cookies to make if you have someone coming around who is gluten free, and even Dairy free!

Mostly you'll have the ingredients already in your pantry, Just be sure to check the ingredients- even the nuts- so they are free of traces of gluten.

Use baking paper on your baking trays so there is no risk of cross contamination from previous baking episodes.

So get to it, whip up a batch and impress everyone.
You know what's gunna happen here,
that little hand is subject to subliminal mind forces: "must eat cookie, must eat cookieeeee"
She can't help herself.


  • 450g or 3 cups Pure icing sugar (Double check the ingredients to be sure it's gluten free, Bundaberg and CSR are both GF, and are labelled so)
  • 75g or 3/4 cup Pure cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 140g or 5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I use Dullo brand as it's free of gluten, dairy and animal products, check your packaging for traces of gluten cereals)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts or more chocolate!
  • 100g about 4 large egg whites (I've tried a few egg replacements, without success)

slightly demolished


  1. Preheat oven to 160*C or 325*F.
  2. Into a large bowl, sift together sugar and cocoa.
  3. In a second large bowl whisk up your egg whites until doubled in size and foamy
  4. Fold in sugar/cocoa 1/4C at a time.
  5. Stir in chocolate and nuts
  6. Drop mixture by tablespoon, about 50mm apart, onto baking paper lined baking trays.
  7. Chill about 15 minutes (it's probably not necessary, but it's habit).
  8. Bake until cookie tops are dry and crackled, about 20-25 minutes, rotating trays halfway through.
  9. Pop trays onto wire racks and remove cookies when completely cool or pop in the fridge.
  10. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days (they will somehow vanish before you get to the 5 day mark, so watch out for that)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Happy Birthday Au-wee Sour

Happy Birthday Sis!
It is my baby sister's birthday, or as Bunny calls her "Au-wee Sour", gotta love that precious toddler talk, where everything makes me giggle.

theGFCookie, twolicious, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, fruit flavoured

So I made you a virtual cake today, I really wanted to ship it down for you, but I was really hoping that the cookies and cupcakes will suffice till you visit our kitchen again.

I have been experimenting with flavour within the cake batter a bit lately. Bear's Preschool took out a basil plant and the kids were encouraged to snip some off to take home- so he did- a lot!

It wasn't until we got home that I realised that Bear was most probably not going to eat a dinner of basil chicken, or taste a pesto.

I had to come up with something different, so with the help of a Christmas present (from my generous husband), we juiced the basil leaves.

I had watched a Martha Stewart episode while Pregnant with Bunny, where the owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes did their strawberry cupcake by adding pureed strawberries. I wanted to use this technique with the basil juice.

gluten free, pink, raspberry buttercream,
Happy Birthday!
Basil cupcake with Raspberry buttercream, gluten free,
Basil Cupcake with Raspberry Buttercream
To my surprise-It worked.

And even better, Everyone loved them! Forget using herbs in you savoury meals, just pop a few in your cakes.

I found a combination of strawberry and basil icecream, which I wanted to try, but decided to use raspberries (gotta use what I got!), and mix it up a bit. We made frosting instead. Basil cupcakes with raspberry swirls.

So now the book was open, I kinda feel like this could work with anything. So using my fave cake I swapped out some of the liquid (about 20mls) and changed it from vanilla to raspberry, to passionfruit, to ... who knows what next.

So here is your virtual cake Sis.

TheGFCookie, twolicious, gluten free

This is the the Sprinkles recipe made gluten free:

  • Stand mixer is preferable, but if you've got a strong arm- go for it, use a hand whisk.
  • 2 bowls plus your stand mixer bowl.
  • measuring jug
  • whisk
  • measuring spoons
  • cupcake pan and patty papers

  • 1 cup whole frozen raspberries, thawed and pureed
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I used my own mix, but have had good results from both white wings gluten free and orgran)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 70ml cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 180*C (350*F). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. I used mini cupcakes and sheet cake pans, both worked fine also with time adjustments.
  1. Place raspberries in a bowl and mush until pureed. set aside. Or use your handy dandy Kenwood fruit press attachment
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the measuring jug, mix together buttermilk and puree,set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy and almost white (this is essential for good rise). Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add eggs, beat on med-high again until fluffy and white and almost doubled in size.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the buttermilk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared patty pans. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes (mini cuppies for 17minutes, sheet pan for 35minutes but always test early as oven vary). Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing

I chose passionfruit and raspberry, in fondness of the pavlovas we often devoured smothered in passionfruit straight from the vine as kids.

I'll have your tastes great.

Love ya!