Gluten freedom

Karen Martini
There's no need to miss out on the things you love: Karen Martini's gluten-free recipes.
There's no need to miss out on the things you love: Karen Martini's gluten-free recipes. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Gluten-free Napoletana pizza

It's hard to completely emulate the classic pizza base without traditional flour, but this comes pretty close. This recipe produces a crisp base with a satisfyingly chewy texture. It's what we use at my restaurant, Mr Wolf, and it has a loyal following.


1kg self-raising gluten-free flour

4 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp xanthan gum, available from specialist food stores

100ml extra virgin olive oil

1.5 litres water



Quality tomato passata, reduced slightly to thicken (shop-bought is fine)

Mozzarella, a dry style, for grating

Buffalo mozzarella

Quality anchovies

Ligurian-style olives or small wild olives

Fresh oregano leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced (200C conventional).

2. Place all the ingredients for the base in the bowl of a stand mixer and, with the paddle attachment, mix at a medium speed for about five minutes to make a batter. It will have a wet consistency, rather than a typical pizza dough.

3. Spoon the batter on to a tray lined with baking paper and smooth into a disc of even thickness - about the size of a dinner plate (you can make these any size you like, of course).

4. Bake for 15 minutes (the base will cook but not brown).

5. Once cooked, cool the base and invert on to a clean tray. You can keep the bases in the fridge for a week, or even freeze them individually in ziplock bags with as much air removed as possible. But be careful, as they will be brittle when frozen.

6. Increase the oven temperature to 220C (conventional).

7. For a Napoletana pizza, top lightly with reduced passata, a sprinkling of grated mozzarella, some torn buffalo mozzarella, a few anchovies, a scattering of olives and oregano leaves, a few grinds of pepper and a drizzle of oil. Bake for five to 10 minutes or until crisp.

Makes about 12 bases

Tip: Place a pizza stone (or baking tray) in the oven to heat through, then bake the topped pizza on the stone or tray for five to 10 minutes.

Drink: Sangiovese


Coconut and raspberry cake with chocolate ganache

This is a rich, dense and thoroughly delicious cake. The avocado makes a perfectly textured ganache, while the avocado flavour is masked by the cocoa, which helps you to forget about all the good oil, vitamins and minerals that are in it. The cake is dairy and gluten-free. The ganache is vegan.


170g almond meal

220g raw caster sugar

90g desiccated coconut

4 large eggs (60g-70g each)

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g dairy-free spread, or margarine (or butter, if you prefer), melted and cooled

60g fresh or frozen raspberries (or any berries)

Chocolate ganache

2 ripe avocados

70g cold-pressed virgin coconut oil

100g dark cocoa powder

120ml agave syrup (from health food shops)

1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa (cacao) nibs (optional, from health food and specialist shops)

2 handfuls shaved coconut (optional)

Fresh raspberries (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 24-centimetre springform or loose-bottomed cake tin and line with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, sugar and coconut together.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly whisk in the melted spread or butter.

4. Add the egg mixture to the almond mixture, stirring until smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then dot the top with the raspberries.

6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the top springs back when you press it lightly. Allow to cool completely in the tin before icing.

For the ganache, blitz all ingredients until smooth and glossy.

Smother the cooled cake with the ganache, top with toasted cocoa nibs (if using) and coconut shavings (if using). Serve with fresh raspberries if you like.

Drink: Iced or hot chocolate

Serves 8-10


Zucchini, coconut and macadamia muffins

This is more or less a zucchini version of carrot cake. The sweetness of the zucchini is offset by the icing and lime.


100g sultanas

About 100ml coconut water

300g zucchini

150g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra

2 large eggs (60g-70g each)

125ml olive oil

100g rice flour

100g gluten-free self-raising flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

100g desiccated coconut

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (from specialist food stores)

100g macadamia nuts, halved


250g cream cheese, at room temperature

1 lime, juiced

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp icing sugar

Shaved coconut, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a small saucepan, add the sultanas with enough coconut water to just cover. Bring to a simmer for a minute or two, then leave to stand and plump up.

3. Finely julienne the zucchini, toss through a tablespoon of caster sugar and set aside - this will help the zucchini shed some water.

4. Place the eggs, oil and the remaining sugar in a large bowl and beat until pale and creamy.

5. Add the flours, baking soda, baking powder, coconut and xanthan gum. Beat until well combined.

6. Drain the zucchini well, squeezing lightly to extract moisture. Fold through the batter with the sultanas, taking a teaspoon or so of the liquid with them.

7. Fill your muffin tin, topping with the macadamias.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in the tray.

9. For the icing, beat all the ingredients together. Ice the top of the cooled muffins and sprinkle with shaved coconut.

Drink Earl Grey tea

Makes about 8-10

Photos by Marina Oliphant. Styling by Andrea Geisler.