Sunday, 19 October 2014


 This is one of those treats that I've grown up with.
My dad used to make torrijas for us occasionally and they hardly ever lasted a day.
They are made using bread that is a day or two old, and it was a fine art to casually leave enough bread around ready for Sunday morning, when he could be gently persuaded to make them.

There are as many recipes out there as people making them, some of them use syrup instead of the final coating in sugar, but this is the way I like them and I've eaten them all my life.
Thinking about it, I'd say I've only ever had them at home.

Milk dip
I've tried making them with a gluten-free baguette and it works quite well. I would recommend the one from Sainsbury's or Marks and Spencer's, both have the right consistency.

* Gluten-Free baguette, one or two days old
* 125ml milk (I used soya) & 2 tbsp of sugar, mixed
* Gluten free flour
* 1 beaten Egg mixed with a couple of tbsp of milk
* Oil to deep fry it. I use a mix of olive and sunflower oil and a small pan
* Mix of sugar (3tbsp) and ground cinamon (1 tsp)


flour away
* Cut the bread into slices 1 inch thick
* Dip them in the milk&sugar mix, turning around and making sure they are well soaked. If your bread is really hard, you might need to keep it in there a bit longer.
* Coat them in the GF flour both sides
* Coat them in the egg mixture
* Deep fry until a golden brown colour. The oil should be on medium heat, too hot and they'll burn, too cold and they'll absorb too much oil

* Leave to rest on kitchen paper to absorb some oil for a few minutes

* Coat them in the sugar and cinamon mixture while still warm


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Elliots - Borough Market

Scallop and Mary Pippers
After an afternoon visit to Borough Market, we had dinner at Elliot's.
Their menu varies depending on what is in season, and according to their website, all their ingredients are sourced from the market.

The restaurant itself is very welcoming, the sort of place where you are happy to linger for a bit, although the service was somewhat erratic, in particular regarding gluten safety.

The booking had been made mentioning we were all coeliacs, and we mentioned it again on arrival.
We were given the menu with the gluten containing dishes marked on it, but a couple were not correctly marked (thankfully "barley" was a clue), and a non gluten-free bread basket was brought to our table.

Once we were settled on what we could eat, there were lots of interesting dishes on the menu, and choosing was difficult.
We were told two to three dishes per person would be about right for dinner, and being in a shellfish mood I ordered scallops, mussels and some of their Mary Piper roasted potatoes.
There was only one scallop in my dish, but it was very fresh and delicious, and the same can be said for the large portion of mussels (sorry no pic). They were a good size and were served with bacon and a creamy sauce that was very enjoyable. I wouldn't mind having them everyday!

I had some of the chocolate ganache for pudding, which was also nice, but not as nice as the main meal.
Most of the dishes ordered by the group looked very appetizing, like the pork in the photo, and it seemed like everyone was happy overall.

I would be happy to recommend the food, it was lovely and fresh and the venue was very welcoming. Most of the dishes are naturally gluten-free, but make sure you double check about anything you are unsure of.

Elliots Cafe
12 Stoney Street, Borough Market, SE1 9AD

Friday, 17 October 2014

Dim sum Naturally Chinese Surbiton - Gluten Free

After visiting Naturally Chinese recently, I wanted to go back to try their Dim Sum, which is available every day until 5pm at the restaurant.

Dim Sum was one of my favourite weekend lunches before I had to wave goodbye to gluten, so I was curious about how would their gluten free option compare to what I remember.

They have many gluten free choices clearly marked on their menu (available online).

I ordered:
Turnip cakes
Steamed vegetables in garlic
Prawn and chive dumplings
Spring rolls
Vegetable rolls

Unfortunately Char siu buns and glutinous rice were not available gluten-free, which I would have loved to have.
My two favourites were the prawn and chives dumplings and turnip cakes, both very tasty, while I have mixed feelings about the vegetable rolls and spring rolls. The fillings were very nice, but the roll itself could be a bit lighter.
Overall I would be happy to go back as the food was tasty and they seem to have a very good understanding of gluten and cross contamination.
Naturally Chinese
59-63 Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 5LR
Getting there: Trains from Waterloo take around 20 mins

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Borough market

I went to Borough market at the weekend with the London Gluten free meetup group.
Freefrom Bakehouse
The market is great if you like your food, as there is probably not much you might fancy that you wont find there.

We were looking out for stalls that were gluten free, and we found plenty of them.

The Free From Bakehouse
This artisan bakery has won many Free From and Great Taste awards. All their cakes and treats are gluten and wheat free, with many also sugar free and egg free.
They are at Borough Market from Wednesday to Saturday, and I'd definitely recommend going early if you want to try some of their more popular products. I was looking forward to some jalapeno and sweetcorn muffins but they had run out by then, so I had to get one of their other yummy cakes!
Find out more on their website:

Mini Magoo's
Mini Magoo's, many GF breakfast options
At this stall, just behind the Free From Bakehouse, there are many types of cereal, many of them gluten free, so if you are into granola, muesli, porridge and anything cerealy it is worth a visit.
Available in many places across London. Find out more on their website:

Cannon & Cannon
Cannon & Cannon GF charcuterie
This is a charcuterie where every product is gluten free and dairy free, and they have a huge selection of different products. I bought a few to take home and they were quite nice, although I don't remember now the varieties I got so I cannot be more specific than that!
Find out more on their website.

Rabot Estate 1745
This is a restaurant, cafe and shop that's all about chocolate, where you can find from cocoa beans to the very best of chocolate made with beans from around the world. I tried the cocoa beans when we were there, and what an unusual taste, starting close to a peanut in texture, but with that bitter chocolate taste at the end, lovely!

It was a fantastic culinary journey, we also found some gluten free sausages at Sillifield farm butchers, ostrich eggs and more fish and shelfish varieties that I've ever seen together.
Nothing better to finish the day than a great dinner at Elliot's also on the market, that I will review on a separate post.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Lu-Ma Wimbledon

I finally had a chance to visit Lu-Ma, a new cafe in Wimbledon, not far from the station (5/10 mins walk).
The cafe is on the side of the Justin James Hotel on Worple road. The cafe itself is a small venue, but it feels quite light and airy, with tables in and out and a Scandinavian feel to the decor.
We were there for an early dinner (note that they close at 6.30 pm if you plan to visit) although I'd say it's probably a venue to be enjoyed more for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.

The menu is available online, and you can see their gluten-free options (GF) and vegetarian options (VG).
I love the fantastic choice of drinks, lots of freshly made smoothies and juices, they all looked very appetising and full of vitamins.
Their focus is on healthy eating, so even the jacket potatoes are made with sweet potatoes, and if you read about their Vision on their website you can see that this ethos goes into all the food and drink they provide.

We had some juices to start us on the healthy road and they were just fantastic, definitely recommended.

It was difficult to choose our main course as there were several things I wanted to try, but in the end I went for Buckwheat noodles with chicken and my companion had one of their Super Salads with salmon.

I was trying to check the ingredients on their website as I write but this dish doesn't seem to appear, so I'll just say the sauce in the noodles was very nice and I enjoyed it very much. Noodles can be ordered on their own, or with a protein topping (chicken, salmon, tofu) and I ordered some chicken. Although the flavour was good, the chicken was served cold on top of the hot noodles, which didn't quite work for me.
A suggestion would be to heat the chicken slightly before serving so that it's all warm or to mix it with the noodles so that it's all enjoyed at the same temperature.

The salad looked very impressive indeed and I could see my companion feeling overly healthy eating it, not just your five a day, probably you get the weekly recommended amount of vegetables with such a nice salad.

There were lots of interesting ingredients in it and I was feeling slightly jealous looking at it, good thing that my noodles were fab.

My friend really enjoyed it, although felt that the dressing was not enough for such a large salad.

Overall we both enjoyed our meals and would be happy to visit again.

Lu-Ma cafe
Justin James Hotel,43 Worple Road, Wimbledon, SW19 4JZ
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9.30am – 6.30pm, Saturday & Sunday 10.30am – 6.30pm