Thursday, 10 November 2016

Gluten-Free, Vegan and Nut Safe Poppy Seed and Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes.... A tribute to my Papa. Lest we Forget...

Hello my carefree friends,

First of all I need to apologise for not having posted in so many days.  My household has been a hot bed of bugs and viruses this week and I have been dealing with my kids being ill, my husband being ill and also my own stomach flu. 

There are so many things to enjoy about this time of year but man oh man my washing machine has been working overtime for the past few days just trying to keep up with the influx of contaminated bed linen and towels.  Seriously, it hasn’t been pretty!

But, I am here, I have returned and today I want to pay tribute to someone who was the most amazing person you could ever have hoped to meet.  In acknowledgement of Remembrance Day this Sunday (the 13th of November) I want to pay tribute to all those brave souls who went to fight in the war.

My Papa was a Normandy veteran and as a child I never understood what that meant.  When I grew up and waited for him to talk about his experiences during WW2, he never did.  He was just like that. He visited Normandy on several occasions after the war but these were very quiet and respectful affairs and still he didn’t discuss with us the horrors that he had witnessed.  I don’t know whether he was just trying to spare us the details or whether it was because he himself didn’t want to dwell on the pain, suffering and fear.

When he passed away in 2009 a huge part of me died too and it wasn’t until we were clearing out his personal possessions that we found papers and documents relating to his time on board one of the war ships that participated in the Normandy landings that we learned how he actually felt during that most terrifying time.

I feel almost sheepish because there is no way that I feel I can truly honour him.  I can wear a poppy, I can light a candle in his memory and I can tell his grandchildren what an amazing soul he was, but other than that I don’t really know what else to do.  I’d give anything for a cuddle sometimes, no matter how old I get.

But he was lucky.  I was lucky.  I knew my Papa, and my grandfather who also fought.  Both my maternal and paternal grandfather’s returned from the savages of war but so many didn’t. 

Please wear a poppy, light a candle.  Pay your respects. Just be thankful; lest we forget.....

It seems a bit crude writing a recipe but I haven’t done one in a while so I feel that I really should.  I thought about Poppy’s and thought about making cakes with red iced poppy’s on top but I just don’t think it’s appropriate.  No, I wanted to bake something that I know that my papa would have loved with a good cuppa.... Gluten-Free, Vegan and Nut-Safe Poppy Seed and Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes, so here we go!


For the cupcake batter

380 grams of gluten free self raising flour
21 grams of poppy seeds
Quarter of teaspoon xanthan gum
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Half a teaspoon salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
180 mls of dairy free yoghurt
110 – 120 mls dairy-free milk
Two tablespoons of golden syrup
50 grams of dairy free spread
65 grams of caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

For the drizzle

200 grams of icing sugar
Remaining juice of (the above) lemon

Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Lightly grease 10 cups of a 12-cup cupcake tin or use cupcake/muffin cases.
In a small bowl mix the yoghurt and the bicarbonate of soda together and set aside.  As you prepare the other ingredients this mixture will begin to increase in volume.
Whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, xanthan gum, salt, and lemon zest.  Mix until all these dry ingredients are well combined then set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, cream the dairy free spread with the sugar until light and fluffy.
Into the butter/sugar mixture add the milk, vanilla, lemon juice, golden syrup  and mix until smooth.
Add the yoghurt mixture into the butter mixture and fold ingredients to incorporate but don’t beat!
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently combine but do not over mix.  Do not beat this mixture as you will make the cupcakes stodgy.
Divide the batter equally between the cupcake cases.
Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes or until a knife comes out of the centre of the cupcake clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.
Once the cupcakes are cool enough to handle, remove them from the cupcake tin and place directly on the rack.
Using a toothpick, make two or three small holes in the top of each cake.
Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice; the drizzle really soaks into the sponge.
Using a teaspoon, drizzle a little of the icing on top of each cake and let it ooze into each cupcake.
Eat and enjoy!

Whatever you do this weekend guys, please take two minutes to be silent and remember those who have fought for us....



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