You already know how much I like to bake – well I’m going to try to put this to good use! I’m tentatively doing a cake stand at our local Sunday morning market – Yay and Arrggghhh all in one….
Now I’m not officially coeliac. But I have a feeling that’s only because when I was tested I was avoiding eating gluten. The test for gluten intolerance counts the number of anti-gluten antibodies in your blood – it’s pretty simple. The hitch comes that many doctors do not know that in order to get an accurate reading, you must be eating gluten EVERY DAY for six weeks prior to taking the test. This totally makes sense (years later in hindsight and after reading up on it) as you wont have antibodies for something unless it’s present in your system. Unfortunately at the time my doctor didn’t say (and I suspect, didn’t know) anything about this, so I just took the test and thought nothing more of it.
But the inescapable truth is, whenever I eat wheat, I look like I’m 6 months pregnant within 2 hours (before you ask, no, I’m not going to post photos)! So I just continue to avoid wheat – I really don’t need a test to confirm what my body is screaming at me anyway…..Which leads me back to baking.
There are a lot of bakeries here in Thailand. I guess lots of people love baking – and why not do something you love, right? So I am. I am going to bake, but gluten free, and (mostly) vegan to boot. (Oh, yeah, I also have not-so-great reactions to dairy. Plus it’s melty-hot here so I figure dairy is actually a disadvantage). It’s actually pretty easy to exclude eggs. Apart from meringues – I’m still working on macarons…..
The aim is to make great cakes that are better than other offerings, but they are gluten free and vegan friendly. My taste test is pretty harsh. As a more savoury than sweet person, and one who will actually spit out most shop bought GF cake, Mr is a pretty good standard. The words I’m looking for are ‘mmmmmmmm’. That’s it. If he frowns (ie. he is thinking about the cake) then a tweak is needed. The worst is when he declares it ‘cludgy’. This would be a dry or sticks-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth texture that requires a drink to swallow it. So far 8 core recipes have passed the test. Including biscuits which I’ve never been bothered to bake before. Mock hob nobs are his favourite and cost a bomb out here. Need to work on the name though so I don’t get sued by Mcvities.
The bakery phenomenon has exploded over the last 5 years in Thailand, just like the coffee shop explosion some years before it. Some UK cafes have starting to recognise and offer allergy free treats, but here it’s unknown so far. I’m hopeful that my 8 years of gluten free baking experience may now be actually be put to good use!
So this is good news for all allergy peeps in Thailand!! Well, in Chiang Mai at least. Er, at a relatively small Sunday Market….. You have to start somewhere right?!?!?