Howard Middleton – who appeared on the fourth series of the TV contest in 2013 – has produced a recipe for a gluten-free, vegan-friendly festive treat that contains CBD oil, derived from cannabis plants.
Howard’s frangipane-topped creation calls for hemp flour and hemp oil as well as a frosting which includes an optional 10mg of CBD oil, which is sold legally in the UK.
He has previous form for dreaming up such recipes. On the Bake Off, he introduced hemp flour into his baking to the surprise of judge Mary Berry.
Howard, a former Sheffield Council officer, wrote a book called Delicious Gluten Free Baking and is now an online teacher with the company Bake with a Legend.
He said: “I love to experiment with my baking to cater for those with intolerances and people who like to try alternative ingredients and new flavours.
“With so much time spent inside this year, home-baking has been on the rise and I hope people will give my tasty twist on a mince pie recipe a trial in their kitchens. The recipe calls for hemp flour, coconut flour plus hemp oil and water from a can of chickpeas so your gluten-free and vegan friends can enjoy it, too.
“I like to show that it’s possible for ingredients to be inclusive and delicious. For adults who want to include CBD oil, there is an optional measure of 10mg for each pie.”
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Howard has partnered with the retailer ActivelyCBD.com, which sells edible CBD products such as oils, drinks and chocolates, to offer the recipe.
The firm says six million adults in the UK are reported to have tried CBD, or cannabidiol, which by law can only contain a trace amount of THC – the chemical in cannabis that makes users ‘high’ – in order to be sold in shops as a health food supplement.
CBD oil has been promoted as having benefits ranging from relieving inflammation and pain to reducing anxiety.
Jonathan Thorpe, Actively CBD’s wholesale manager who used to be a chef, said: “Howard is a hero of ours thanks to his attitude in the kitchen, working with a variety of different ingredients to suit individuals’ dietary requirements and tastes.
“The mince pie recipe he has created is simply showstopping – and your gluten-free and vegan friends can enjoy them too.”
The company’s products are for sale in the UK to customers aged over 18. People should consult their doctor before consuming CBD, the firm advises.
Howard Middleton’s CBD Mince Pies
75g plain gluten-free flour, plus extra for rolling
15g coconut flour (or replace with more plain gluten-free flour)
⅛ tsp gluten-free baking powder
65g cold vegan butter substitute, cubed (or you can use a mix of this and hard coconut oil)
½ tsp grated orange or lemon zest
¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
3 – 4 tbsp orange or lemon juice
12 tsp mincemeat (suitable for vegans and gluten-free)
For the frangipane topping
3 – 4 tbsp aquafaba (drained water from a can of chickpeas)
A handful of flaked almonds
A little green food colouring
10mg full spectrum CBD oil from ActivelyCBD.com (optional)
To make the pastry, put the flours, icing sugar, ground almonds, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in the cubes of vegan fat (or you can pulse in a food processor).
Stir in the zest and cinnamon, then stir in the juice and bring the dough together until it forms a smooth ball.
Roll out on a floured surface (it’s easiest to do this in batches), then stamp out circles using a 7cm cutter and ease these carefully into a 12-hole shallow tart tin. Chill in the fridge or freezer, whilst you make the frangipane topping.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan.
To make the frangipane topping, beat the oil with the sugar and aquafaba, then stir in the ground almonds and almond extract and mix well.
Put a spoonful of mincemeat in each pastry case, then top with frangipane and level off. Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the topping is golden and firm and the pastry has browned.
Leave to cool for five minutes in the tin, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Make a water icing with icing sugar, a little green colouring and water until you have a smooth consistency that’s not too runny. If you’re aged over 18 and you’ve spoken to a doctor, add in a serving of full-spectrum CBD oil if you like.
Dust the mince pies with icing sugar, then pipe or drizzle over the green icing artistically.