As you know I made a conscious decision to place many flour less dishes on our menu and so far the feed back has been fantastic but here’s the capital T for Truth.
We do not serve gluten free food and to be honest anyone that says they do should display their certificate proving that their whole kitchen and establishment is gluten free.
It is impossible for any food establishment that works with Gluten in their kitchen to claim they are gluten free !
The thing is gluten is in the air, it’s on the chopping boards, it’s in the oil of the fryer (unless they have a separate one just for gluten free food), it’s on the work benches, on the plates, it’s even in the sandwich toaster, unless you have a separate one too.
Now we do stock foods that are certified gluten free , that is they are produced in kitchens that are certified gluten free but the minute they are exposed to an environment that has gluten in it then it’s up to you the ceoliac to make the decision.
I know it’s controversial and I know I’m stirring the you know what but it’s the truth!
We do have flour less options prepared on site , our deli serve over has no food products on display that contain flour, breads are kept separate and wrapped so that cross contamination doesn’t occur, flour less desserts are kept separate and we have the most amazing flour less brownies available but the gluten is in the air.
So here’s the next thing. I decided to make a “gluten free” cheesecake for Sonder, great idea simple to do and i just had to replace the digestive biscuits with gluten free biscuits , great I hear you say, so simple.
So off I head to the shops to buy the ingredients , they are listed below .
My recipe requires 400g of biscuits , normally less than .50c a packet for 400g …….well I’ll tell you we are serving the most expensive cheesecake in the northwest , €3.00 a packet for 100g of gluten free biscuits , yep that makes it €12.00 just for the biscuits, I couldn’t believe how expensive they were and I’m not tight when it comes to buying good food, ask anyone that has been at one of our events or eaten in Sonder but €12.00 is borderline robbery!
So I decided to use Gluten free chocolate chip biscuits from a named store brand , 8 biscuits per packet for €1.49 well every little helps! In fairness they are cheaper but they are not the greatest biscuit in my opinion but they are as good as its gonna get.
It must cost folk with the real coeliac condition a fortune to buy real food. I’m shocked as I remember when there was a small space on the shelves in stores for gluten free bread rolls now there are isles dedicated to the gluten free lifestyle.
I even saw a small packet of sieved tomatoes for making Bolognaise sauce. Since when did sieved tomatoes contain wheat or gluten they were always gluten free?
I once saw a bag of spuds marked gluten free too, it’s a gimmick and a lot of folk have fallen into the trap.
There are so many foods that where never classed as containing gluten now with GF labels on them to make them more popular. Bananas are another example , what to you think folk are doing peeling back the skin , dipping them in flour and then zipping them up again.
Come on folks it’s time to wise up and think before you buy. I have given the link below for the Coeliac society of Ireland check out their page , they have fantastic recipes and information for all you real coeliacs.
Anyway the recipe below if for a strawberry , mango and pumpkin smoothie cheesecake. It’s not vegan friendly but I have used certified gluten free biscuits for the base , we served this in Sonder and it really sold well and everyone loved it.
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Thank you as always – Chef Martin Anderson
Strawberry , mango & pumpkin smoothie cheesecake
You will need
1 cheese cake tin.
For the base.
400g of Gluten free biscuits , i used chocolate chip.
4oz of melted butter
For the filling.
250mls of mango & pumpkin smoothie , keep the remainder for serving or just drink it .
225g/ ½ lb of full fat cream cheese.
1 pint of fresh pouring cream lightly whipped.
2 packets of strawberry jelly.
Melt the jelly in 200mls of water and when it’s dissolved leave to cool ,
When cooled add the smoothie and warm again but do not boil , leave to cool once again.
Blend the biscuits until well crumbed and add the melted butter.
Place the biscuit mixture into the cheesecake tin and press down firmly making sure the biscuits cover the base of the tin evenly.
Place the tin into the fridge to set.
In a large bowl whisk the cream cheese until it is creamy .
Add the whipped cream and fold in until smooth once again.
Fold in the cooled jelly/ smoothie mix and make sure it is well mixed .
Pour the mix on top of the biscuit base and return to the fridge, leave to set for at least 12 hours.
When set de-mould and serve with fresh whipped cream and a spoon full of smoothie over the top of the cheesecake.