Almut's recipes

My Gluten-Free Shortcrust Pastry

It would not be possible to cook some of Linda’s recipes without a good shortcrust pastry. I found it very tricky to create a good gluten-free shortcrust pastry- in some cases the pastry was too soft and would literally melt into the pie filling. In other cases it was too flaky and could not be removed from the pie dish. Blind-baking proved difficult, too, as some pastry would stick to the greaseproof paper, making it impossible to remove the paper without destroying the pastry.
So I have been experimenting for a while and have come up with a recipe that seems to be working well for both sweet and savoury shortcrust pastry. I think it is most important to get the flour mix right and to add some ingredients that will bind the dough and make it supple and easy to work with.
Using one egg as a binder works great, but if you want a vegan shortcrust pastry, omit the egg and use more plant-based yoghurt or one tbsp. ground flaxseeds and 2 tbsp. cold water.

Ingredients (for one pie dish; double the amount for a two-crust pie):
100g hard margarine or vegetable suet
(I used organic margarine from Allsan),
100g soya flour (try roasted soya flour for a savoury pie to add more flavour),
100g gluten-free flour (I used Plain White Flour from Doves Farm),
1tsp. xanthan gum,
2tsp. psyllium husks,
a good pinch of salt (for sweet pastry, use a small pinch of salt and 1 tbsp. sugar),
1 egg, beaten,
1 tbsp. plant-based yoghurt (amount varies as the flour tends to absorb different quantities of liquid, depending on quality, ingredients and humidity).

Cut the margarine into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Add the flours, xanthan, psyllium husks, and salt (and sugar for sweet pastry) and rub together using your fingertips. It should resemble fine breadcrumbs. Now add the beaten egg and quickly work together to form a supple dough. Add as much yoghurt as needed to make the dough soft enough to be rolled out but not sticky. Roll the dough into a fat saussage shape and store for at least half an hour in an airtight container in the fridge.

To line the pie dish, I find it easiest to use the saussage-shaped dough. Slice the dough into 1.5 cm thick rounds and line the greased pie dish with the slices, overlapping slightly at the sides. Using your fingers, press down the slices so they will spread out to cover the whole pie dish. If you have the time, refrigerate the lined pie dish for another half hour or put into the freezer for 15 minutes. This will help the dough to not sink down at the sides when baking.

Line the inside of the pastry shell with greaseproof paper, gently press to the sides, and fill with dried beans or rice. Blind-bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 15 minutes until the pastry starts to colour a little. Remove from the oven and take out the beans or rice and the paper (if you are really good with your hands, you can take the edges of the paper and carefully lift out the paper filled with the beans/rice. It might be safer to spoon out the beans/rice and then remove the paper, though…).
Add your filling and continue baking according to the recipe.

Almut's recipes

Divine Chocolate Cake

This is a gluten-free variation of Linda McCartney’s Cocoa Cake (Home Cooking, p. 158).
25g margarine
120g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
150g rice flour
50g potato flour
25g tapioca flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3tsp potato fiber
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
230ml milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method: pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease and flour one round 23cm cake tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl, then add the cocoa and mix well (but carefully!). Add the egg and stir well.
In a separate bowl, mix the flours, xanthan gum, potato fiber, salt, and baking powder. Add this mix gradually to the batter, alternately with the milk. Then stir in the vanilla.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

When at room temperature, mix
25g soft butter or margarine,
90g icing sugar,
2 tbsp cocoa powder,
3 drops of vanilla essence
and add enough milk to make a smooth icing.
Spread the icing over the cake and chill before serving.

For a more luxurious cake, double the amount of icing and slice the cake horizontally in two. Spread some icing on the bottom half of the cake and replace the top half. Ice the outside of the cake and chill before serving.
Truly addictive!

The cake is perfect when fresh but will keep for 1-2 days, given there is any left…

Almut's recipes

Vegan yoghurt and chocolate cake

This recipe is based on Linda McCartney’s “Sour Cream Cake” (on p. 165 in “Home Cooking”)

Ingredients: 115g margarine, 150g sugar, 150g silken tofu, 1 tsp. vanilla essence, 1 pinch of salt, 170g gluten-free flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2tsp. potato fiber, 1tsp. psyllium husk, 130g plant-based yoghurt, 100g dark vegan chocolate.

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm round baking tin.
Puree the silken tofu in a blender. Beat the butter and sugar together and add the silken tofu, salt, vanilla essence, and yoghurt. When fluffy, add the flour, baking powder, potato fiber and psyllium husk and stir until well combined. Chop the chocolate and stir into the mix.
Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

The cake keeps well in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Almut's recipes

Corn Bread

This vegan corn bread is inspired by Linda McCartney’s Corn Bread from her book “Home Cooking”. Corn bread can be served hot or cold and is great with soups, salads or Chilli Non Carne.

Bowl with French Carrot Soup
Corn Bread. Photo by Almut Späth CC AT-NC license

55g gluten-free flour (e.g. Doves Farm)
125g corn meal
100g fine polenta
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
150g silken tofu
360ml soya milk
55ml olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm square baking tin or a round 20 cm baking tin. Mix the flour, corn meal, polenta, salt, sugar, baking powder, nutritional yeast and the chilli in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Blend the silken tofu, milk and oil using a stick blender or blender, and add to the dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly.
Pour into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, take out of the tin and serve or leave to cool on a rack.

This bread freezes well. Slice and separate the slices with pieces of greaseproof paper before putting in a freezer safe container. Now you can defrost as many slices as needed – just put them in the microwave for a few seconds and serve immediately.

Almut's recipes Photos

Tofu Nuggets

My children enjoy these crispy nuggests (they call it tofu chicken), and they are a great snack with some home-made barbecue sauce or tomato ketchup.

Plate with Tofu nuggets
Tofu nuggets. Photo by Almut Späth CC AT-NC license


1 egg, 1tbsp. tamari or soy sauce, 1tsp. paprika powder, 60g cornflakes, 25g rice flour or any other flour, a 200g block of firm tofu.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Beat the egg with the tamari sauce and paprika powder and put it on a small plate. Measure out the flour on another plate. Crush the cornflakes (I use a pestle and mortar, but crushing them with your hands in a bowl will be just as good) and pour onto a third plate. Cut the tofu in 1cm thick slices.
Now dip the tofu slices first into the flour and turn until all sides are covered. Repeat the same with the egg mixture and finish with a coating of crushed cornflakes.
Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 20 minutes cooking time.

Sometimes, I cut smaller pieces of tofu and put them on small wooden skewers. Makes a great party food and children enjoy eating them with their hands and dipping them into the tomato ketchup.

Gluten-free: Use gluten-free cornflakes and any gluten-free flour you like.
Vegan: Mix 30g of flour with the tamari sauce and paprika powder and add as much plant-based milk as necessary to form a creamy dough. Cover the tofu pieces in this dough, then turn in the crushed cornflakes and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C.

Almut's recipes

Vegan “Parmesan”

This tasty vegan alternative to parmesan is very quick to make and keeps in an airtight jar for a few days. It can be used in the same way as dairy parmesan.


  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 20 g breadcrumbs
  • 30g nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste.

Chop the almonds and toast them lightly in a dry pan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Put the almonds and all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until it is as fine as you prefer.

TIP: It goes well with Cauliflower Mexican Style or Cheese and Tomato Casserole.