Vegan Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns

This recipe is an amalgamation of different ideas, theories and online gluten-free recipes (thank you to Gluten Free On A Shoestring!).
I have had many disasters trying to make Hot Cross Buns. Sometimes the dough was too tough and just didn't rise. Other times the buns came out of the oven like snooker balls!
I have since realised that the only way to make a successful gluten-free bread-type dough is to keep the dough like the consistency of a cake batter. On the upside: NO KNEADING!!
So, after reworking and veganising a recipe for Panettone, which I had some success with at Christmas time, I managed to produce some yummy Hot Cross Buns!
Where I state "blend the batter for 5 minutes" I mean it! Seriously, this extended time spent beating the batter will ensure plenty of air and bubbles in your batter, and consequently your buns.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Hot Cross Buns

adapted from a recipe by
2½ cups Self-raising gluten-free flour
½ cup Sugar
3 tsp Instant Yeast
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Salt
Zest of 1 Lemon
225g Raisins
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ cup warm Milk
1¼ cups Vegan Yogurt
1 stick (112 grams) vegan Butter
For the cross (optional)
75g Gluten-Free White Flour
5 tbsp Water

3 tbsp Apricot Jam, warmed, to glaze

In a jug, whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cream of tartar and salt.
Pour over the whisked together yogurt mixture and warm milk and, using an electric hand whisk start beating in the vegan butter, dropping it in by tablespoonsful.
Now beat for 5 minutes. This step is crucial as it incorporates air into the batter.
Then beat in the raisins until fully mixed.
The dough will resemble cake batter.
Now, you can either drop by the 3 tablespoonfuls of the mixture, spaced 2 inches apart, onto a greased baking sheet (giving you a flatter bun) or half-fill greased muffin cups with the mixture.
Now leave to rise for at least 2 hours. The rise will not be huge but the air that we incorporated through the beating will ensure a light dough.
Preheat oven to 180c.
If you want to make the cross, whisk together the 75g flour with the water until you get a thick, smooth paste. Pour into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes until just turning golden. If you overcook, they will be dry.
Once baked, remove from the oven and brush immediately with the warm apricot jam to glaze.

Avocado Peanut Butter Mousse

This is a beautifully simplistic pudding, less a traditional mousse and more resembling those instant pudding mixes that I fell in love with when I first met my husband.
I added a couple of teaspoons of my new favourite product, powdered peanut butter, which has much less fat than regular peanut butter, and just adds a hint of peanut flavour to this chocolate mousse.

Avocado Cacao Peanut Butter Mousse
1 ripe Avocado
¼ cup Cacao Powder (or Cocoa in a pinch)
¼ cup Non-Dairy Milk
2 tsp Peanut Butter Powder (or just peanut butter)
Pinch Sea Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Soft Dried Figs (for a delicious crunchy texture)
1 tsp Agave Syrup (or to taste)

Place all the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and blitz until smooth.
That's it!!

Here's a throwback to a Tofu Chocolate Mousse that I made many moons ago on my Writing at the Kitchen Table blog. I served it in a Filo Cup which I thought was completely ingenious. 

Egg Replacers

Chicken Feed by Julie Butterworth

Here's a handy at a glance guide to using egg replacers in baking. I have only listed the replacers that I like to use, it starts getting messy and unpredictable when you start using things like oil and water or potato starch. I have great results using any of the following: