Tag Archives: gluten free dessert



Before recipes became complicated, before supermarkets stocked mascarpone and before Tiramisu came into vogue, our family enjoyed ‘Savioardi Cake.’

This is our family favourite, enjoyed most Christmas lunches and as long as you use Schar Savioardi Biscuits, gluten free.

This is also a family recipe from the days gone by when measurements weren’t precise nor written down and ‘to taste’ was a common notation.  I have a recipe from my nonna which reads – one sifter of flour. You certainly had to have a feel for baking in those days.


1 packet Savioardi Biscuits (Schar is the only brand I have found that is gluten free)schar savioardi

600 ml thickened cream


Instant coffee

Icing sugar


Line a loaf tin with baking paper making sure to have paper overhanging.

Whip cream together with icing sugar and instant coffee to taste.

Dip biscuits in marsala on both sides and place as a layer in tin. DO NOT SOAK THE BISCUITS. DIP ONLY.

Cover the layer of biscuits with cream mixture.

Repeat layers finishing with cream.

Refrigerate overnight.

To plate, gently lift the Tiramisu out of the tin and slide or using cake servers, move to serving plate.

Finely grate chocolate over the top.

 You can also prepare the Tiramisu in a bowl, like my sister’s version in the photo with walnuts sprinkled over the top.  Or you  could  present the dessert in individual glasses


Creamy Rice


Creamy Rice.JPG


I have taken to making this recipe every couple of weeks, to take to my 91 year old father.  It is easy and needs about 20 minutes of one’s time and Dad loves it, not only because he enjoys its sweetness but also because it reminds him of Mum and the recipes she would make.  The other pudding Mum used to make was Apricots and Rice : stewed apricots with lots of syrup and plain unsalted boiled rice…

tastes of my childhood

Creamy Rice and Stewed Prunes

1 packet prunes, a spinkle of sugar and a little water.  Stew prunes on gentle simmer.

600ml full cream milk, 3 tablespoons short grain rice, 3 tablespoons caster sugar (a bit too sweet for me so I use 1/5 to 2 tablespoons), a bit of butter.  Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a gentle simmer and stir regularly until 3/4 liquid has been absorbed by the rice.  Pour into a dish and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.







Cheesecake Decadence




My sister Terese is our Dessert Queen and this is one more of her  creations.  A special celebration dessert, this cheesecake will more than please the gluten free-er and gluten eater alike.  The base is a rice bubble (gluten free of course) and white chocolate mix which Terese also used to adorn the top.  Use you favourite cheesecake filling recipe and VOILA! Here is Terese’s version.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Coconut Crunch Cheesecake

Prep: 35 mins + chilling

Cook: 5 mins

Serves: 12 – 16


  • 300 g Cadbury White Chocolate Melts
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • ¾ cup coconut
  • 750 g Philadelphia Original Block Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tabs gelatine, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups cream, whipped until stiff
  • 3 x 125 g punnets raspberries


  1. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl and place over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth. Combine puffed rice cereal and coconut in a bowl, then add the melted chocolate and butter and mix well.
  2. Line the base of a 24 cm springform pan. Evenly press half the mixture into the base and chill.  Reserve remaining mixture at room temperature.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla essence with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir through the dissolved gelatine, then fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Scatter 1 punnet of raspberries over the base, then pour over half the cream cheese mixture. Top with another punnet of raspberries, then pour over the remaining cream cheese mixture.  Lightly crumble over the reserved chocolate mixture, top with the remaining raspberries and chill for 3 – 4 hours or until set.


Sweet Bases

Looking for an alternative sweet base to the usual biscuits and butter or short crust pastry?

Here are three gluten free sweet base options that you might like to try.*  They are all variations on a theme: dates and nuts and while I have only included the recipe for the bases, please visit the bakers’ websites for the rest of their recipes.  Alternatively you can try Matt Preston’s ‘Cheatscake’ Lime Pie

Happy baking!

Raspberry and Lime Cheesecake

From Courtney

1 ¼ cups almond meal

¼ cup flax meal

½ cup pitted dates

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine ingredients in a food processor until it clumps together.  Remove and press firmly into a greased pie or flan dish.  Freeze for 3 hours.  Once set, remove to fridge.

Raw Lime Pie

From Woolworths Fresh

1 cup walnuts

½ cup pitted dates

½ cup cocoa

Combine ingredients in a food processor until crushed.  Press mixture firmly into the base of pie dish or flan tin.  Freeze.

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

From Kathleen King’s Baking for Friends

1 cup pecans

1 cup almonds

1/3 cup pitted dates

In a food processor combine ingredients until it all becomes finely ground.  Transfer nut mixture into pie pan and press evenly to form a crust.  Refrigerate.

*My taste testers have very specific likes and dislikes. After all I am cooking for our 19 year old son and my 91 year old father. Therefore these bases are not to their liking. They like a crunch and so much preferred the almond meal, granulated sugar and butter style base.

Raspberry and Lime Sorbet




500 g frozen raspberries

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 limes, juiced and zested


In a food processor, process all ingredients for 5 – 6 minutes or until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a freezer container and freeze for 2 – 3 hours.  Stir occasionally for a smoother sorbet.

(Recipe from the Coles Frozen Raspberry packet)

Peanut Butter Mousse

The original recipe is for a Peanut Marshmallow Tart with a chocolate biscuit and butter base which I ripped out of a Courier Mail newspaper. With limited time, I decided to make the filling only as a mousse which set beautifully.  My sons know I need honest feedback and so one said, “you should have used smooth peanut butter” and I should have, as the recipe called for smooth but I only had crunchy in the house.  My other son quietly said, “there were no marshmallows in it” as he had been looking for the chunks of marshmallow in the mousse that he imagined because after all the name of the recipe says so.  So with this feedback I promise to use smooth peanut butter next time and have deleted marshmallow from the recipe title. But you could always stir through at the end additional cut marshmallows to add texture to the mousse. Ingredients 32 vanilla marshmallows, cut into smaller piecesPeanutButter Mousse 2 tablespoons milk 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter 300 ml thickened cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped Method Place marshmallows, milk and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring for 10 minutes or until melted and smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stand for 5- 10 minutes to cool. Using an electric mixer, beat cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cream to marshmallow mixture.  Stir to combine. Fold through remaining cream. Spoon mixture in serving dishes and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Caramel Sauce


Bonne Maman is well known in Australia for their jams but I have now found their Caramel Spread and have already  found many practical uses for it :as a topping for  ice-cream, as a dipping sauce for Ricotta Dumplings, as decoration for pavlovas and it is delicious with pieces of banana. And I am sure I will find many more uses for it.

We all have our favourite Caramel Sauce or Dulce de Leche recipes, but Bonne Maman’s Caramel Spread is a quality stand-by that while not overly sweet, it is deliciously yummy.

I have found it stocked at Woolworths and IGAs.


Baked Caramel Custard

This is one of those desserts that people often put in the “too hard basket” and so see it only as a restaurant dessert.  Some days, for me,  the hardest part of the recipe is the caramel: last time I made it I crystallized the first batch and then I burnt the second batch. I was preoccupied, so the message is to keep your mind on the task when making this dessert.  The other problem can be over baking the custard.  It needs to be cooked until just set when a knife is inserted in the centre as it will continue to cook and set  as the custard cools down.Creme Caramel

I thank my mother for this recipe and for making it a dessert not to be scared of.  It was always a family dessert, nothing special except for the toffee shards which we scraped out of the bottom of the bowl.  Best made the day before.

Serve with fresh strawberries or balsamic strawberries.

Mum’s Baked Caramel Custard


1 cup caster sugar

4 tablespoons boiling water

Combine in saucepan and stir.  Boil without stirring until golden in colour.  Do not stir as the sugar will crystallize.

Pour into 4 cup ovenproof bowl and swirl toffee around the sides of the dish.  Allow to cool.


3 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoon full cream milk powder

2 cups full cream milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until combined.  Pour custard  through a sieve into toffee coated bowl.

Line a baking dish with a tea towel.  Place bowl  into dish and pour boiling hot water into baking dish until 1/2 way up bowl.  Place in 180 C oven for 1 – 1 1/4 hours or until custard is just set when knife is inserted in the middle. Remove from water bath and allow to cool.  Once cooled down, refrigerate overnight.

Another option is Donna Hay’s Recipe for individual creme caramels.

A Banoffee or Three

Bananas. Cream. Caramel. Toffee.

All variations on a theme, these Banoffee recipes are  delicious and gluten free.

1. Banoffee Pavlovas

The latte coloured brown sugar pavlova is worth the effort.  I do find using a combination of custard and cream a more balanced option.

Banoffee 1

2. Banoffee Meringue Mess

Easy to assemble and while it looks a mess, the taste makes up for the lack of prettiness.


1/2 cup toffee or caramel dessert sauce (check for gluten free)

2 large bananas, thinly slices

8 pavlova nests, roughly broken

300 ml tub thickened cream, whipped (I prefer dollops of double cream and dollops of custard)


1. Microwaved sauce on high for 10 seconds or until just heated through. Toss banana in sauce to coat.

2. Fold meringue and cream together until just combined.

3. Spoon half the banana mixture between 4 serving glasses/parfait glasses.  Top with half the cream mixture. Repeat layers.

(from The Courier Mail Monday June 17, 2013 Recipe by Kim Coverdale)

3. Banoffee Easy Pav

Buy store bought pavlova nests and add your combination of banana, cream, custard, caramel, toffee. 

Made with …

There are many expressions of love, friendship and kindness: a gift on birthdays, a catch up chat and coffee, a quick text to touch base, a hug…

As a mother with an Italian and Catalan heritage, it is firmly embedded in my psyche  that cooking is integral to family life.  Food doesn’t just nourish the body.  Food when combined with love also nourishes the soul.

We show our love to our children by preparing and plating three different meals at the one sitting because of individual likes and dislikes. We cook for unwell friends and relatives.  We deliver meals to families who are grieving. We show our love by patiently baking cupcakes when our grandchildren/children are/were young, mess and all.

And when a member of your family has coeliac disease, then we go that step further primarily because we have to, but also because cooking, baking and food shopping is an extension of our commitment and love.

So here are a couple of reflections on gluten free food and the special ingredients it is MADE WITH…


I loved reading Dana’s blog about her Gluten Free Rainbow Birthday Cake.  A mother’s love is measured in so many different ways and her colourful rainbow cake is such a special expression of love.


I invited a close friend Dianne to dinner recently and was truly touched by her gesture of bringing dessert.  This was not a special dinner, just a catch up so there was no need to bring something.  But Dianne arrived with delicious gluten free mini blueberry cheesecakes .  She had gone the extra mile not only in bringing dessert but also in thinking about my son and his gluten free needs.

blueberry cheesecake2


And then there was a teacher at my son’s school who, as an end of school gesture, arranged pizzas for her students.  I started to panic as my son began to tell me about the pizza he had eaten that day.  His teacher had made him a gluten free pizza. She didn’t just buy in a base and assemble the toppings, she made the dough from scratch.

It goes without saying that I will continue to bake gluten free for my son even after he leaves home and I will never arrive at his door without a plate of gluten free food.  And I continue to be comforted by the fact that people in my son’s life, besides his mother and father, understand his gluten free needs and go the extra distance for him.

Food made with love and thought and understanding is definitely much sweeter. 

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