Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is the lunch I cooked this afternoon. I was a bit nervous about it because I’d never made macaroni and cheese before, but the recipe sounded easy enough, and it turned out really great! The recipe I got from the lovely Karina over at Gluten-Free Goddess who has a knack for devising the most wonderful gluten-free recipes.

The full recipe can be found here at Gluten-Free Goddess, so I’ll just list the few changes that I made to it.

Instead of Cheddar cheese I used Emmental, and I didn’t have any cottage cheese so I used soft fresh goat’s cheese instead. Also I left out the addition of either dry sherry or white wine, simply because I didn’t have either. And lastly, I didn’t have any small cherry tomatoes so I used big grape tomatoes instead and chopped them into small pieces.

I didn’t have any ready-made gluten-free breadcrumbs either, so I used some leftover buckwheat crackers instead.


The end result was delicious, even if it doesn’t look all that great in the pictures (I need to work on my photographic skills when it comes to food).


But seriously, if you ever feel uninspired at that crucial moment when you need to whip up a quick dinner, just take a peek at Karina’s website. There’s something there for everyone, and her recipes not only accomodate a gluten-free diet, but a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle as well.


Christmas Cake

I know, I know, it’s January so we shouldn’t be talking about Christmas any longer. But I wanted to share with you my take on a traditional Christmas cake which I baked on Christmas Eve. It was based on the recipe by Mary Berry from the Great British Bake Off Masterclass (this links to the original recipe), but I changed it a bit to make it gluten-free.

I don’t remember exactly what I used for the filling and how much, but I threw a lot of raisins and sultanas, and different kinds of dried fruit together, and instead of soaking them in brandy (which I didn’t have), I soaked them in Armagnac for 3 days. I also used the zest of a lemon instead of an orange, simply because I didn’t have any.

The recipe also calls for mixed spice, which you can’t buy here in France, so I made my own mix:
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp nutmeg
2 tbsp ground mace
2 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground ginger

For the cake base I used a traditional banana bread recipe, which I use for lots of cakes. What is nice about this is that there’s a lot less fat in it than in a normal cake, because a large part of the butter is replaced by mashed bananas. So instead of the 250 grams of butter that is used in the normal recipe, I only added about 125 grams, and 3 medium sized mashed bananas.

Apart from this I followed the normal recipe, only I didn’t cover it in royal icing. I used pink marzipan to cover the cake, and I thought it would be a shame to cover it again after that. In the end I’m glad I left it like that, because the cake was already incredibly sweet, and with the icing it would’ve been even worse. It was really tasty though, and I was very happy with the way it turned out, especially since it was my first try.

It is definitely true that this cake is best made a few days before it is eaten. I made it on Christmas Eve, and even though it tasted alright at the time, it tasted a lot better when I had another slice of it a few days later. I’ll definitely be baking this again next Christmas!


Oven roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes

Just a little something I whipped up for lunch this afternoon. I had two sweet potatoes left, and about a dozen really small normal potatoes. So I peeled and sliced them, and popped them in the oven for 40 minutes. And they were delicious (if I may say so myself).

What you need:

  • a baking tray
  • parchment paper
  • potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • smoked paprika powder
  • dried thyme
  • coarse sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • few cloves of garlic
  • olive oil

Put the parchment paper on the baking tray and spread the potatoes and sweet potatoes out on top. Add a few cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with olive oil, smoked paprika, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for around 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes I put the oven on 150C, and after that I turned it up to 180C to make sure they potatoes turned a nice golden brown colour. We ate them with some cajun chicken fillets and a salad.

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