Gluten Free Hot Spot- La Panameña, Bristol

Simply described as “Latin America meets Italy. Panamá meets Mediterraneo. Bringing real Latin American food to Bristol” , La Panemeña aims to bring some authentic fever to the Bristol food circuit.

I was so glad i could come to their first Bristol pop up event. All Gluten Free apart from one dessert option, i was truly in allergen heaven.

La Panemena, event, bristol

On booking the event Carla from Can Be Bribed With Food (La Panameña’s creator), put my mind at ease by telling me that everything but one thing was to be Gluten Free. I did a tiny dance in my seat. I love trying different foods, and the words ‘Homemade’ and ‘Comfort Food’ make me sink at the knees.

The first event, entitled Dia de la Bandera (Day of the Flag) invited us for a mere £20 per person for a 3 course meal and bring your own. “Come join us celebrate Panamá’s independence from Colombia at 40 Alfred Place for a Sunday lunch filled with Latin American warmth! One sitting, communal tables, lots of food, colour and music.” I decided to bring along my camera and take some photos. I knew this was going to be fun.

La Panemena, event, bristol

That’s exactly what it was, a food celebration. Unlike going to a restaurant, this felt like an occasion; i love things like this and it gets me excited even when writing about them. The atmosphere on the Sunday was fantastic, everyone wanted to be there to celebrate tasting this new food, it was warm, cosy and vibrant. Just what i wanted on a freezing cold November day.

La Panemena, event, bristol, gluten free, sarah kreczmer, photography

Food was plentiful and communal. Handing round bowls and having conversations mostly about how to get the recipe off the chef, is exactly what you want from an event like this. No one should be discussing anything else but the food.

La Panemena, event, bristol, gluten free

Highlights for me were an amazing Tazita de Guacho (rice, beans and pork soup). Wholesome, peppery and packed full of flavour, i could have eaten a whole bowl.

La Panemena, event, bristol, gluten free, food, photography, sarah, kreczmer

Ceviche de Pescado Blanco and Patacones (fried green plantain), which made my husband want to go home and re-create this straight away; we already started planning on how we can work it into our weekly food list. Beautiful Sea Bream mixed with coriander and sweet fresh tomato, cured in a tangy, sharp marinade; fragrant, fresh and addictive, contrasted excellently with chopped cashew nuts to add another element of texture.

La Panemena, event, bristol, gluten free

My favourite dish however, was the Homemade Beef Tasajo in Tomato and Coconut Sauce with Arroz con Guandu (Rice and Peas from the Caribbean side). So tender and rich, with a bit of sweetness. Our table did a conclusive ‘oh my god this is good’ in our heads. We didn’t have time to say anything because eating this was more important.

La Panemena, event, bristol, gluten free

What i love about all of this food is that is doesn’t scare you to try to recreate it at home. It so packed full of comfort and love that it’s almost enticing you to make it your own and try some more. It also proves that using naturally gluten free ingredients can make some of the best food you have ever tasted.

La Panameña have set them up for a long subscription of event attendance from me, and i do hope other Bristolians or any out of towners venture to attend to one of the events (*whispers* i hear the next one is in January). You can start by liking the Facebook page.

Honeybunned life.

Gluten Free, Lemon Drizzle Cake, honeybuns

A lemon drizzle -ma nizzle. For rizzle.

It’s got to be Snoop Doggs favourite cake? Surely.

One of life’s fantabulous pleasures. I do love a good drizzle cake i do. PS: I couldn’t find my small loaf tin- so this is why my cake above looks like a slice. Forgive me.

It was the ultimate test really. After getting the Honeybuns Gluten Free Baking Cookbook (Pavillion) by Emma Goss-Custard  (how many people are jealous of that surname. I totally am); it’s the traditional recipes i love the most- so i headed for it pronto!

Honeybuns, Gluten Free, Baking Book, review

Faultless. I know that when my husband likes the cake then it is a winner. Rob doesn’t like sweet things that much, but he asked for seconds!

I just felt it necessary to mention this cookbook on my blog, as i know there are many bakers struggling with the experimental ways of gluten free, so i feel it’s a very good book for them to take note from. Plus there are pretty pictures to look at wonderfully produced by Cristian Barnett. It’s one of those cookbooks you can read page by page and never tire, a bit like Nigella’s How to be a Domestic goddess book, and that is high praise.

Honeybuns, Gluten Free, Baking Book, review, cakes

The cookbook features different sections, beginning with a mini guide to gluten free baking- which is helpful if your first thought of ‘sorghum flour’ is that it must be produced in space. Lots of details on how to experiment/alter recipes with different flours, which i love dearly, as this book WILL make you go out to buy a mass of different flours; sometimes you might not have an ingredient in the house.

Honeybuns, Gluten Free, Baking Book, review, healthcliff, wuthering heights

Of course i can’t leave this write up without mentioning one of my favoured recipes from the book: Heathcliff Brownies. “Like the romantic hero of ‘Wuthering Heights’, these brownies are dark and brooding!’

This book was given to me to review but by no means did it effect my decision of it. It was in my amazon basket before the review opportunity...

From Paris with … Chocolat Chaud

I’m back. ‘Finally’ – I hear you cry. Oh you guys!! *blushes* and I’m married –double yay! So no longer do I have to spell out my surname ‘Kreczmer’ numerous times to people I can now simply go ‘Carter’ and pretend I’m an American news reporter. Badass.

We went to Paris for our honeymoon and I have to be brutally honest and say, although it was lovely- we did have a few issues and in retrospect we wished we just went for a lazy beach scenario. Our first hotel although it was good for a base hotel, didn’t quite have the romantic charm or attentive service that we needed for our honeymoon so we did a swift move to another which was better located in the 1st arrondissment and near to Pierre Herme’, the latter pretty much sealed the deal for me.

It was an expensive holiday, and the most affordable (and most enjoyable) for me was going to the supermarket. Yes. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc d’Triomphe -forget it, the supermarkets is where it’s at. Particularly in the Galleries Lafayette Gourmet. It was foodie heaven. I could have spent hours trying all the delicious produce but alas we was on a tight schedule and I had a feeling the husband was getting nervous with the amount of money I was spending on chocolate. I seem to however go into this ‘money-no-object’ state when I’m in foreign supermarkets; I think it’s because you never really know what things cost unless you have an amazing ability to convert instantly.

My best purchase wasn’t found in the supermarket (although they also sold it there) but in one of the most famous tea rooms in Paris – Angelina. Their hot chocolate is arguably (but debated consistently on trip advisor) as one of the best in Paris. I bought a box then…naturally.

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My return home to England was depressing to say the least, we only had a 5 day honeymoon which went a bit fast (we hope to go somewhere longer next year) and I STILL didn’t think I bought enough food back with me. Disaster! On the upside though I’m now back to share with you this recipe, which I put together in my mind on the flight back. A bit weary of cooking cake with chocolat chaud but let me tell you…this did not disappoint.

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There’s something very child-like about messing around with hot chocolate in the kitchen, I remember mixing all kinds of cream/milk/caramel syrup concoctions when I was young. This went all through university as well. You just can’t grow out of that indulgent simplicity.

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This Hot chocolate maderia cake though is not recommended for children however, it involves Crème d’Abricot (Apricot Liqueur) and I did get drunk in the process of testing. You can use any Liqueur really but I found this one a bit different and it also gives it an almondy taste that is lovely with sweet chocolate.

Either put the icing on top or use it as a side cream- this cake is particularly nice when heated up! Either way Ash loved it.

wine, carafe, angelina, hot, chocolate, chaud, best, the, amazing, yummy, delicious, recipe, cake, gluten free, easy, apricot, liquor, liqueur, afternoon, tea, jubilee, paris,

Hot Chocolate Maderia Cake with Creme d’Abricot Mascapone Icing

225g butter, softened

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g gluten free plain flour

25g Ground Almonds

2tsp of Xanthan Gum

2 tsp baking powder

50ml milk

100g hot chocolate powder (at least 50% cocoa)

2 Tablespoons of Apricot Liqueur (and a drizzle extra)

Mascapone  100g

Cream Cheese  200g

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Butter the sides of a loaf tin and grease well with butter.

Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light.

Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract to the butter mixture, beating all the time.

Sift in the flour, almond flour, Xyanthm gum, Baking powder, milk and mix slowly.

Fold in the sifted cocoa powder.

Place the mixture into the loaf tin

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turn the cake out and leave to cool.

(Optional) Once cool, use a pastry brush and brush the top with liqueur evenly.

Top cake with icing :)


Mix the Mascapone with the Cream Cheese and beat together.

Add the icing sugar.

Add the liqueur bit by bit till its to your taste.

Next blog post I’ll do something healthy :P Promise.

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The cat that got the buttercream

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Although I hate to go on about my adorable kitten all the time, I was always taught to write about insights into your life in blog posts; so here I am doing just that. My relatives have been saying ‘You got Ash so your blog would get hits!’ so not true, but hey it hasn’t not helped ;p

I may have mentioned this on Twitter but as you know, I have a slight (okay huuugge) obsession for Tea. Any kind, Matcha, Fruit, English Breakfast… I could go on but I’ve found out that Ash’s favourite is Peppermint. I think, thrice now I’ve made a Peppermint tea and found it half gone after popping to the loo. How peculiar indeed!

And again, he was there eating my Jasmine Tea buttercream off my freshly, pretty baked cake. I’m sure the butter had something to do with it.

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Brought some coconut last week and hadn’t found time to use it and I mostly got inspiration from these Chinese, fresh cream swirl cakes that I used to buy at the Chinese supermarket when I could tolerate gluten; I really wanted one today.

I love tea, there I said it again. I love the variety I suppose, and even better now I’ve decided to write a load of recipes experimenting with different kinds of infusions. It really gives the cake a very slight fragrant taste, not as powerful as adding say lavender of which I dislike. I prefer all the flavours to blend together and then you just get this last hint of jasmine. Of course, do experiment yourself with the amount of tea you put in.

It really is about how you like your tea.

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Flower of the mountain Jasmine tea and coconut cake

 Cake Ingredients

200g soft unsalted butter, plus a bit extra for greasing pans

200g caster sugar

2 tablespoons of strong strained Jasmine tea

1 teaspoon of dried Jasmine tea crushed in a pestle and mortar

4 medium eggs

100g self-raising gluten free flour, plus extra for dusting

50g of dried coconut

50g almond flour

½ teaspoon of xanthan gum

Frosting Ingredients

200g icing sugar, sifted

50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Tablespoon of dried Jasmine tea crushed in a pestle and mortar

Dried Coconut for topping (that’s been steeped in water for 10 mins, then strained)



Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Place the butter, sugar and crushed,strained tea into a bowl and beat well to a creamy consistency.

Beat in the eggs gently then fold in the flour and coconut. Mix until all combined.

Divide the mix evenly between the cake tins, place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins until just turning brown.

Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool on a wire rack after taking them out of their tins.

Make your frosting. Add 50g of butter to 200g of icing sugar and the tablespoon of finely crushed Jasmine tea, mix until well combined and of a good icing consistency.

When your cake layers are cool enough for icing, put a 1/3 of the icing in the center for the filling and spread evenly, coat with a light layer of coconut.

Pop your other layer on top and ice once again, dusting with coconut and any other decorations you wish to put on! Flowers are nice :p

Serve with a cup of Jasmine, just after it’s rained and the sun comes through. Or indeed, to your cat.

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Let’s get ready to crummbbble.

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Apples and Sultanas

Sometimes you just don’t have a good cooking week. Mine happened this week. I got all the ingredients prepared for a lovely lentil pasty recipe which I was going to write up for a mid week blog after testing and I was sure that it would turn out perfectly. I made the mistake of putting too much quinoa flour into my pastry dough and it turned out to not come together as I’d hoped, more of a crumbly mess. So there I was, about to fold dough around my wonderful pasty filling I’d prepared earlier and it just collapsed and to quote Eddie Izzard ‘Like a flan in a cupboard’.
Ash looked at me demanding attention (an hours prep time is just too long to last without cuddles) so I sat down, made a cup of tea and felt perplexed at my failed attempt. As with most things, kittens can usually make you feel better.

My fiancé Rob text me and asked me what I’d made for him that was yummy today, and my heart sank-; this is how much I care about my cooking. I was so determined to get something done before he got home (and for own self belief). I immediately put together a crumble, without a recipe at hand, but a note pad incase I came up with something interesting for the blog. I also managed to get some last minute jam tarts in the oven too ☺

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Sometimes you have to say to yourself, why make so much effort for something that tastes just as good as a crumble on a cold day?
Voila. Here is my –If everything else goes wrong, store cupboard Apple and Sultana crumble. Perhaps not an inspiring recipe but undeniably, a savior and essential to most of the British.

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Apple and sultana crumble


50g of plain gluten free flour

40g of gluten free rolled oats

50g of unsalted butter (and a knob extra for topping)

Pinch of nutmeg


400g of cooking apples, cored-peeled and quartered.

2 tablespoons of Manuka honey

2 tablespoons of water.

Couple of handfuls of sultanas

4 Cloves

Tablespoon of caster sugar (optional)

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Chop up your cold butter into cubes and rub this into the flour, oats and nutmeg until it forms a crumble. (I must add, that i am terribly lazy and that I’ve found a better crumble is actually made in a mixer or food processor as the butter is distributed evenly; but hey I like to stick to traditional methods, when I haven’t had a disaster previous.)

Pop the prepared apples into a saucepan with the honey, water, cloves and sultanas. Leave to stew for around 15 minutes on a medium to high heat. If you wish this to be slightly sweeter, and more of a caramel, add a tablespoon of caster sugar now.

Place the stewed apples into a pie or appropriate dish and top evenly with the crumble mixture.

Put dots of butter over the top of the crumble mixture to produce a golden finish.

Cook for 30-40 minutes dependent on how golden you like it.

Serve with cream, and more cream.


All of the day and all of the night… pie.

manuka, honey, meringue, pie, dessert, lemon, hot, cold, sugar, yummy, classic, rustic, tart

Food writers have always featured in their writings about the memories food brings throughout our lives and I really couldn’t agree more. It’s pure bliss to be able to think about recipes that my mother used to make (unfortunately she passed a few years ago). Remembering the exact moment I tasted it for the first time and the moment all those happy siblings around the table suddenly turn to ultimate combat when you’re all fighting over the last piece of cake, pie, tart, cookie…endless delights.

Of course this recipe has been done through and through, and of course, being my creative and adventurous self, I wanted to adapt the recipe or at least make it a bit different. So I spent most of the day and most of the night toying with meringue.

However there is a reason that these recipes just don’t change at all. There is not much change in recipe methods or styles of lemon meringue pie, and the occasional lemon and lime version always crops up but in my opinion it just never really hits the mark. Classic is best but today I felt like adding some Manuka honey- I’ve had a lot of it lingering in the cupboard begging to be used (other than just on some toast). I was looking at Dan Lepard’s  chocolate and honey meringue recipe a couple of weeks ago and as you can imagine my mind suddenly clicked.

So, here we are. A rather rustic, traditional dessert with a tiny twist- one that doesn’t really break that classic taste all too much…

Still there’s still the debate whether it’s better hot or cold. I like it warm personally, with cream. What about you?

lemon, meringue, pie, slice, lemony, tart, dessert, rustic, classic, traditional, manuka, honey

A rather (Warm and Soothing) Lemon and manuka honey meringue pie

[Substitution notes: I find that the all purpose Doves Farm brand of gluten free flour works particularly well for this recipe- i also added half a teaspoon more of Xanthan gum but this isn’t really necessary if the purpose blend has it in already. ]

200g Gluten Free Plain White Flour

100g Cold Butter

5 tbsps Cold water

Pinch of salt.

Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons

175g caster sugar (110g for the filling and 75 for the meringue)

5 tbsp cornflour

3 medium Eggs separated.

2 teaspoons of 6+ Manuka honey

Put your oven on to 190 degrees C.


Make the pastry case by mixing the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add in cold butter in small pieces and mix together with your hands or a mixer until it crumbles. Then add the cold water bit-by-bit till doughy. The mixture can be a bit sticky but after 30 minutes in the fridge it should be more pliable.

Roll out your pastry and pop into a pie dish leaving a good amount of crust edge. Prick the base over with a fork and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes (You can now make the filling while it’s in the oven for convenience) until it just turns golden and take out to rest.

Lower the oven temperature to 160 degrees for later.



Separate your eggs into whites and yolks and put aside. (I did do an extra yolk and egg white so I could brush it over my pastry cases and use my left over pastry for an extra tartlet)

Place the lemon zest and juice, 100g of the sugar and 300ml cold water in a pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Mix the cornflour with 6 tablespoons of cold water, then stir this into the lemon mixture and mix very well! Increase the heat, bring to the boil and cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously, until smooth and thickened.

Allow to cool slightly then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Pour the very warm filling into the cooked pastry case and level the surface.

In a large bowl or mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until thick. Fold in 1 teapoon of the honey very gently- (its very thick honey!). Spoon the meringue over the filling and spread out evenly in the center. If you make patterns in the meringue it will make it look pretty! Drizzle the rest of the manuka honey over the peaks.

Bake for 40 minutes and serve warm or cold :) Classic.

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Tea, a kitten and a bit o’ lens flare never did anyone any harm.


So cold and so sunny today.

I was there, sitting on the sofa, trying to conjure up another answer to another job application question. I was out of fuel.

Fuel being tea. What else.

Ash made it so incredibly hard to do anything but put my laptop down (after he was additionally gnawing at my laptop screen and hand for the past 30 minutes); he was just too cute, licking the remains of the tea from my favourite mug.

cute, kitten, cat, bengal, tea, drinking, naughty,

‘Drink more tea, make more love’ indeed.

So i made more tea, finished applying for the jobs and got more love from Ash. Win Win.

Today this is a recipe for contentment. Enjoy.

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In a sea of honey.


It’s Sunday again and no matter how much I have going on I can always manage to squeeze in a bit of baking during the day. Having Ash has meant that we’ve had an abundance of visitors scheduling in to see him and today was a busy one. I had an hour to make something and as usual, music (Kate Bush) and reading about food had inspired yet again.

Kate Bush is a massive inspiration to me, and not just because I like to listen to her music but in the way that when I listen to her gorgeous words, they appear as photographs in my mind. They play out stories that are so immensely creative and interesting, that at first you have no idea what she’s going on about- then you just, ‘get it’. Her music always comes together better with time. A bit like pastry really…

So that was my train of thought this morning. Kate bush and pastry, a winning combination I feel.

Her song ‘Sunset’ from Aerial begins with these beautiful lyrics.

‘Could be honeycomb
In a sea of honey
A sky of honey
Whose shadow, long and low
Is slipping out of wet clothes?
And changes into
The most beautiful
Iridescent blue’

Imagine a sea of honey? Mmm. Obviously that would be a mean feat of a task, so I opted for honey, apples and pastry.

‘In a sea of honey’ and apple tartlets

(with a dark, olive oil and buckwheat tart crust)

tart, almonds,apples,honey,buckwheat,olive oil

[Subtitution notes: For the pastry I would most likely subtitute the buckwheat for more of the gluten free flour blend, or brown rice flour. If you want to cut out some of the sugar in the filling, do replace with agave nectar or maple syrup.]

Dark Olive oil and buckwheat tart crust
Makes 4 tartlets

60g 1/2 + 2 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour blend (with x gum in)

60g 1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour

Teaspoon of cinnamon

80g butter
(15ml) 1 tbsp olive oil
(45ml ) 3 tbsp water
14g  brown fine sugar
1/4 tsp salt


Honey and Apple filling

 3 Green Apples

50g of brown sugar

Tablespoon of water

Teaspoon of cinnamon

4 dollops of honey

Vanilla extract


Crumble top

 Some gluten free oats, sliced almonds and a bit of flour mixed into some caster sugar


In a medium saucepan, combine all tart ingredients except flour over low heat.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, allowing the mixture to simmer and cook, until butter mixture begins to brown slightly.

Pop in the dry ingredients all together at once and stir very quickly until all of the dough comes together while removing from the heat.

Take the dough out and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.

Press into the tart tin/tartlet tins you wish to use and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to cool.

Preheat oven to 200c

Prick the bottom of the tartlets/tart all over with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes and press down if the tart base puffs up.

Take the tarts out of the oven and set aside.

Make your apple filling. Core peel and cut the apples and place over a medium heat with the rest of the filling mixture.

Simmer until the mixture is glossy and the apples are soft.

Put the apple filling into the tart cases.

Top with the crumble and bake for 15 minutes more until brown.

Serve warm with mascarpone or double cream.



Hello wordpress!

Well i suppose i should say hello! However it’s not just myself who will be featuring on this blog -(a rather obsessed gluten free baker and Kate Bush fanatic) but also my fiance Rob who is a huge food fan and an excellent cook in his own right.

Over the past four years of being gluten intolerant (i’m not actually diagnosed but i suffer from severe IBS) i’ve been so thankful of all these lovely food blogs that i’ve grown to love over the years; essentially i have now gathered enough knowledge to attempt my own, and to share my recipes to you all. That’s not saying that this blog will be strictly gluten free- but it will definitely strictly give you recipes that you can always alter to be.

I can’t stress how much a food blog can help you over come the shock of having to come to terms with cutting out every single item with gluten in, no more ready meals, no more convenience shop brought sandwiches…but wait, do these things even sound that appetizing anyway? It makes you realise how much healthier you could be without all the chemicals and hooblah that you can’t even read on the packet. I do believe in having an option, and this doesn’t mean it has to be ‘gluten based’ (but sometimes it’s just nice:P).

Before i blaggle on much more,- i look forward to discussing with you creation, yummy photography and substitution ideas from all areas of the world,

But for now..a cuppatea is a callin’

Sarah x