...And all things nice...

How I love a challenge!

Our weekend was choc full with friends calling, and of course I love to feed the masses! I was set an unusual challenge though when I got a text from Ciara who, minus Jay for the second time in less than a month, was coming for dinner on Sunday. She asked me to leave her out on the dessert course, her intolerances making it impossible for her to enjoy anything moreishly sweet.

Ciara has found that she functions better avoiding refined sugar, but can eat honey and she also suffers a high intolerance for gluten. It was a challenge to combine the two points into my little project as the commercial products for coeliacs contain refined sugar, and a lot of the diabetic products contain wheat. I was certainley not going to hand her an apple while we tucked into a chocolate cheesecake, and I was sure I could make a sugarless mousse but I wanted to really challenge myself. So I decided. I would make a Gluten free Sugar free cheesecake if I died trying (or got very tired...)
I ran around health shops, I ran around supermarkets, what would work? what could I use? Its amazing what has gluten in it, you'd be surprised. Here is just some of the exhaustive list...

Oats, wheat, rye, and barley.

Malt vinegar.
Grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it will be necessary to seek out hidden gluten.
The following terms found in food labels means that there is gluten in the product.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), unless made from soy or corn, Flour or Cereal products.
Vegetable Protein unless made from soy or corn, Malt or Malt Flavoring unless derived from corn. Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch unless arrowroot, corn, potato, tapioca, waxy maize, or maize is used. Vegetable Gum. Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids.

Any of the following words on food labels usually means that a grain containing gluten has been used, stabilizer, starch, flavoring, emulsifier, hydrolyzed plant protein.


That was a lot to avoid, but that was the fun of the challenge. I was determined not to buy anything with chemical sweeteners either so after a lot of glasses-on-glasses-off antics, some "DOH!"S that homer simpson would be proud of, and I lot of "I cannot believe there is sugar in this" moments... I had it!
So what was I going to make for her?

Ciaras Cheesecake

Little individual cakes - recipe per cake.

Gluten free. Contains honey so not for a diabetic diet

You'll need:

for the base

  • 3/4 Gluten free crackers (I used a brand called glutano)

  • 1 tsp honey ( i favor Tesco finest lavender honey for use in recipes!)

  • 1/4 gluten free sugar free energy bar

  • 4 sweet almonds

  • 1 tbsp rice crispies

  • 1 oz melted butter

Whizz in a food processor with the melted butter, press into a mold, or clingfilm lined ramekin.

for the topping

  • 4/5 tbsp sugar free fromage frais

  • 50 gms sugar free chocolate (I used an organic one sweetened with fruit juice from a company called Dam) - Make sure there is no wheat products in the chocolate as some do have them.

  • Handful raspberries

  • Double cream for serving.

Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and stir in the fromage frais. Mix some of the raspberries through and spoon in on to the base. Top with extra raspberries and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This makes a nice chocolate pot type dessert if you want to leave the base out which would make it suitable for a diabetic.


Kim in the Kitchen said...

Wow! That certainly does sound like a challenge. What a great friend you are to go through so much trouble. I have a friend who doesn't eat meat, wheat, nuts, or dairy (she's allergic to everything.) So when she came over for dinner I made tortilla soup and just adjusted the recipe slightly. It is sort of fun to be challenged with dietary restrictions...but I'm glad I don't have any:)

Lisa Conmara said...

me too :-)

thanks kim!

In the present. said...

Oh my . It is just the most fab looking dessert ever! Am enjoying your blog which I came across thru Ciara.