Classic with a twist…

Denise’s Delicious Apple Tart with no added sugar

Ciara TV3 250717

Denise’s Delicious Sweet Pastry

200g (8oz) Denise’s Delicious flour blend

Pinch of salt

¾ teaspoon xanthan gum

100g (4oz) butter/margarine

50g (2oz) sweetener – xylitol

1 small egg

2 tablespoons water


400g peeled & sliced apple

75g sweetener – xylitol. Sweeten to taste

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200 degree celcius

For pastry:

Sieve the flour, salt and gum into a medium-sized bowl.

Cut the butter/margarine into cubes and add to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer, on speed two, work it into the flour until fully mixed in and it resembles breadcrumbs.

Mix the sweetener into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon.

In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly with a fork.

Add the egg to the mixture and using the mixer, beat well to bring to a ball. One egg is sufficient for this and the mix will form into a ball. However, if the egg is not very large, then add the water one tablespoon at a time. Do not add the water if the mix does not need it, you do not want a sticky pastry.

Wrap in a piece of greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. When ready to roll out, divide into two parts & roll onto a floured board (use potato flour). If you are nervous about handling gluten-free pastry, then place it between two pieces of cling film to roll out.


For filling:

Place the peeled & sliced apple in a pot with a little cold water & put on a gentle heat. Poach gently until the apple has softened but still holds its shape. Pour off the excess water and when cooled, add the sweetener, a little at a time until you are happy with the sweetness level.


Grease a dish for the apple tart and place one of the pieces of pastry on the base. Place the apple filling in the tart and cover with the second piece of pastry. Crimp the edges of the tart & score with a fork.  Place on a tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for approx. 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.



Denise’s Delicious flour blend

Makes approximately 850g (2lb) flour blend

250g (10oz) rice flour

25g (1oz) tapioca flour

275g (11oz) potato flour

275g (11oz) corn flour

13g (½oz) teff flour

1 teaspoon gluten-free (GF) baking powder

1 teaspoon guar gum

Sieve all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.


Recipes by Denise O’ Callaghan from her book ‘Recipes from my Gluten-Free Kitchen’ (Mercier Press). Denise is the founder of Denise’s Delicious Gluten-Free Bakery whose product range is available across Ireland from the major supermarkets, artisan food stores and the online store at

Denise appeared in our own Neven Maguire’s RTÉ series ‘Healthy Home Chef’ demonstrating gluten-free baking and appears regularly on TV3’s Ireland AM.


Mother’s Day Recipe!

Mother’s Day strawberry & mascarpone cream Victoria sponge



I always feel spring is coming when Mother’s Day has arrived. Even if the weather doesn’t oblige, I like to bake a cake that invokes springtime. This is a lovely cake for a family Sunday lunch. If you do not like to use mascarpone cheese, then use all freshly whipped cream.

150g (6oz) butter/margarine, at room temperature

125g (5oz) caster sugar

3 large eggs

50g (2oz) potato flour

50g (2oz) corn flour

50g (2oz) tapioca flour

1 teaspoon GF baking powder

½ teaspoon guar gum

To decorate

150ml (5floz) whipping cream

225g (9oz) mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons icing sugar

1 punnet of strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped

Extra icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F.

Grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly.

Add the eggs, a little at a time, to the butter/margarine mixture. Beat between each addition.

In another bowl, sieve the flours, baking powder and guar gum and mix until blended.

Using a spoon, rather than a mixer, fold the flour into the egg mixture in three or four batches. Make sure one batch is folded in before adding the next one.

If the mixture seems a little tight – i.e. too stiff and does not drop easily off a spoon – then add 1–2 teaspoons of warm water. Add one at a time and mix it in. This will loosen the mixture.

Divide evenly between the two tins and smooth the surface with the back of a palette knife.

Bake in the preheated oven on the centre shelf for 25 minutes or so – the sponges should be golden brown and springy.

Remove from the oven and leave to sit in the tins for 1–2 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling tray. It is easier to do this if you first loosen around the edges with a flat knife.

Peel off the baking parchment and allow to cool.68 68‍


To decorate

When the sponge is cool, whip the cream lightly. In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese and sieve in the icing sugar, beating until fully blended.

Add the whipped cream and mix in.

Place one sponge with its bottom facing upwards on a serving plate. Spread the mascarpone filling generously onto this and sprinkle with halved strawberries. Hold some strawberries back for the top of the cake.

Sandwich the second sponge snugly on top of the first.

Dust the top with icing sugar and arrange a pile of strawberry segments in the centre.

St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Chocolate peppermint cookies

These cookies are a fun way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. If you have a shamrock-shaped cutter, even better! Store the cookies in an airtight container until you are ready and add the frosting just before serving.

Shamrock cookies

Makes 12–14

200g (8oz) Denise’s Delicious flour blend
¼ teaspoon GF baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
100g (4oz) butter/margarine, at room temperature
100g (4oz) caster sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
200g (8oz) icing sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2–3 teaspoons water
Natural green food colouring

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F. Grease a baking tray lightly and place a sheet of baking parchment on top.

In a medium bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Sieve these three times to make sure the cocoa is blended.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until light in colour and fluffy in texture. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined, but do not overbeat. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.

Transfer the dough to a large sheet of baking parchment and shape into a log 4–5cm/1½–2in in diameter. Roll up in the parchment, wrapping well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.

Slice the chilled cookie dough log into rounds no more than ½cm/¼in thick. Alternatively, if you want to use a cookie cutter roll out the dough using some potato flour to stop it sticking and cut with the cookie cutter. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet leaving plenty of space between each cookie.

Bake for 11–13 minutes, until the cookies are set around the edges and firm.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2–3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.