Monday, 13 October 2014

Free From Birthday Weekend

I celebrated my birthday last weekend and it pretty much revolved around a lot of Free From food.

It's an unwritten rule at my work that you take in cakes for your birthday so I made some Chocolate Orange cupcakes. Even though majority of my colleagues aren't free from I still bake free from cakes for them. They went down well as usual and didn't last very long. 

After watching Jamie Oliver's Comfort food last week I decided that I really wanted to make myself the Chocolate Celebration Cake. I like a challenge. This one was pretty simple to adapt to dairy, egg and gluten free. I used the Chocolate cake recipe from Pippa Kendrick's Free From Food for Family and Friends and split it between 3 tins. For the rice crispy layers I used Jamie's recipe with Doves Farm Choc Crispies, Pure spread, Rice Cream and Dairy Free Chocolate. The last layer should have been nougat but I changed this to my standard vanilla buttercream with a dash of Tribe Celtic Liquor. I layered it all up and topped it with some Choc orange drops. It was huge! 

For my birthday meal I decided to book the Griffins Head at Papplewick. I'd been recommended it by the coeliac's at work and also twitter friends and non free from friends. They have a huge choice of Gluten Free meals and are very acomodating to other allergies too. The waitress checked with the chef straight away if my choices could be made DF & EF as well as GF and to my delight they could. I had Scallops with Pea purée for my starter and a huge Fish & Chips for my main. Both were delicious, great portion size and good value for money. I will definetly be visiting again as all the food I saw looked fab.

I had some great free from goodies for my birthday too. Both my sister and one of my close friends made me lovely hampers filled with free from treats. I also got my favourite chocolates and some DF fudge from a work friend. It's really nice when people take time to look for things that are suitable and understand your needs. 

As part of my weekend I decided I wanted to go to Nottingham on the Sunday to visit the Gluten Free Food Fair which was organised by Sam of Gluten Free Food Nottingham. It took place at Bunkers Hill (where she does her pop up restaurant on a Friday night) and had a nice selection of local suppliers. Sam is doing great things for the Gluten Free (and other free fromers) of Nottingham. I got a nice little selection of goodies. A big slice of chocolate cake and carrot cake from Sams stall (both really nice), a lovely chocolate mint cupcake from the Cupcake Wizard, a jar of Thai Chilli & Purple Grape Jelly from Chilli Fundamentals and a jar of Apple Lavendar Jelly from the Post Office Garden. It was a great little fair to visit with very friendly stall holders. 

While in Nottingham we decided to visit the Asian supermarket just round the corner from Bunkers Hill in Hockley. I like stocking up on rice noodles from these markets as I find them better value than buying from a usual supermarket. A big bag of rice noodles is around £1.50 so you can't go wrong. I also buy the rice wrappers to make spring rolls which are great. I like finding random items too. On this occasion I found a "milky" rose tea made with non dairy creamer and some mango desserts. We also got bubble teas. I love lychee green tea with black tapioca. Yum! There are two Asian supermarkets within minutes of each other and they are both filled to the brim with delights. Great fun to browse too.

I had a fab birthday weekend (with a trip to Center Parcs Spa thrown in the mix too) and ate far to much indulgent food. Free From birthdays can still be lots of fun!


  1. Wowzers! your cakes are amaze balls, send me a slice :D

    1. Wish I could have sent you some as it was huge!

  2. So pleased you had a great birthday. Dont forget next time you are around Hockley to go to Hartleys Coffee & Sandwich Bar for GF,DF,& EF - Sandwiches/Paninis/Ciabattas/Soup/Full English Breakfast inc GF Sausages etc - loads of choice and open 7 days a week.

    1. That's great to know, thanks. When I'm next in Nottingham I will give it a try :)