Archive of ‘Cakes’ category

Gluten-free chocolate olive oil cake

Unexpectedly I found a gluten-free dairy-free chocolate cake recipe by Nigella Lawson, and if it is by Nigella then one can only expect great things! This cake contains olive oil as an ingredient which was slightly intriguing and worth a bake. So… before I share the rather large amount of fabulous gluten free books that I have just returned with from Australia that are my inspiration for 2015, I thought I would highlight a few things that I baked over the holidays. Let’s start with this gluten-free chocolate olive oil cake. Find the original recipe here.

Gluten-free chocolate olive oil cake

Ingredients
• 150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
• 50 grams good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
• 125 ml boiling water
• 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
• 150 grams ground almonds
• ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 1 pinch of salt
• 200 grams caster sugar
• 3 large eggs

Directions
Preheat your oven to 170°C. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch spring form tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.
I dusted with icing sugar and served the cake with raspberries and blackberries – they look so pretty and inviting against the dark chocolate hue of the cake (and fruit is good for you!).

Gluten-free coconut flour banana bread

So for those who cannot have dairy at the moment I have been hunting for some gluten-free recipes that are dairy free but still are worthwhile and worthy of baking… and here I may have found just the thing – gluten-free coconut flour banana bread. Yes I did add some icing on, mainly to use my new palette knife (!), but that is not part of the original recipe and is not a requirement. This is the first time I have baked with coconut oil and the creamed coconut oil and honey was really really good (I confess I may have licked the spoon). In fact, this is one of the nicest non-chocolate cakes/breads I have ever made! Original recipe found here at Ditch the Wheat.
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Ingredients
• 6 eggs, separated
• 2 tsp cream of tartar
• ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
• ¼ cup raw honey
• ½ cup mashed ripe banana (for me that was 1 banana)
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• ½ cup coconut flour, sifted (it weighed 47 grams)
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350f/175c.
In a bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl cream together coconut oil and raw honey. Do that for a few minutes until it looks like icing. (Lick the spoon).
Add the egg yolks one at a time to the creamed coconut oil and raw honey. Mix until smooth. Add mashed banana, vanilla and cinnamon until mixed.
Add the sifted coconut flour, baking soda and salt to the egg yolk mixture. Mix until smooth. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the whipped egg whites. Mixing it until it is combined.
Line a 7 1/2 inch x 3 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and a toothpick can be inserted and comes out dry.

For the icing I creamed 250 grams cream cheese with 1/3 of a cup of icing sugar and a table spoon of lemon juice.

I froze some slices of this as well and they defrosted perfectly – an all round gluten-free and dairy-free winner!

Fudgy gluten-free brownies

I found this brownie recipe here at the gfreefoodie (recipe courtesy: Ghirardelli Chocolate). I am always on the lookout for recipes that are flourless or use almond/coconut flours, so time to bake!

gluten-free brownies

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole almonds or 2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% Chocolate Chips (use what you can find locally)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup walnut or pecan pieces, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (that’s about 162 Celsius) with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan across the bottom and up two opposite sides with parchment paper. If using whole almonds, add them to a food process with the rice flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix it with the rice flour.  Set aside.

Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly about 40 strokes. Stir in the walnuts or pecans if using.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out moist but clean. Cool the pan on a rack. Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the brownies. Lift the edges of the parchment paper to remove the brownies. Cut into squares. Eat!

Girl wants cake – first taste of a Lamington

For those in Johannesburg – seems every 4th week or so I feel the need to venture forth and find myself some sweet treat. So as per previous excursions I ended up at Fresh Earth in Emmerentia, and this time I bought a gluten-free Lamington.

Now this is something that I have never actually eaten, or even tried a nibble of in the dark while no-one was looking. So time for some research… a Lamington is an Australian dessert with sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce (or icing depending on where you read) and then in desiccated coconut.

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Being a fan of both chocolate and coconut I decided to try the unknown. Very nice, satisfies the sweet tooth and as with everything I have tried at Fresh Earth a great tasting gluten-free cake – nothing worse than a gluten-free cake or bread that tastes like dried cardboard! Visit the Fresh Earth website here.

Whilst on the topic of nibbly things, someone recently gave me some Schar gluten-free “Maria” biscuits (thank you Morne) which are basically Marie biscuits, and I wondered why an Italian company was producing a South African biscuit. Seems I rather erroneously believed that a Marie biscuit was a South African invention. Imagine my horror (and embarrassment, yes maybe I blushed a little) to find out that the Marie Biscuit was created in London in 1874. I grew up in the UK and have no recollection of a Marie Biscuit – not that I would have been eating them of course,  but I am well aware of chocolate digestives , Bakewell Tarts and Jaffa Cakes and I was not eating those either!

I did ask someone at work to try one and then do a comparison with a local Marie biscuit and apparently it is rather close – they taste just like the real thing.  So if it’s time for tea and you are looking for a biscuit to dunk, now you know what to eat! Schar products are imported by Master Health Products – visit their website for a full list of stockists.

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Gluten-free chocolate truffle torte

I have experimented with quite a few gluten-free chocolate tortes/cakes and I am going to share all of them as they are genuinely all fab! Some are completely grain and nut free, some use almond flour and for others I substitute gluten-free biscuits to make a base. This weekend I made a gluten-free torte to take to the Vaal (and yes a little chilly in winter, this is when Ugg boots do come in rather handy) so no baking required in this instance, just a little whizzing and melting really.

This is decadent (as most of my desserts seem to be) and not for the faint-chocolate hearted but I only create these desserts for special occasions or dinner parties. I believe in everything in moderation. I do eat a very strict healthy diet 99.9% of the time so every now and then it’s time to kick off the shoes and have some chocolate!

I found this recipe in and old issue of Food and Home magazine (September 2007 to be exact).

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Ingredients

Base

350g biscotti (replace with gluten free option)

150g butter, melted

5ml ground allspice

Filling

250ml fresh cream

500g 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped

Strawberries

250g strawberries

30ml castor sugar

(25ml vermouth per slice – I did not do this step)

To make the base, grind the biscotti/biscuits to coarse crumbs and mix in the butter and allspice. Pat the mixture into a loose bottom tart tin (or cake tin works just as well) and set aside.

For the filling, heat the cream until it comes to a simmer then remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate pieces.

Stir until the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before tipping into the tart tin and letting it set in the fridge overnight.

For the strawberries, wash, trim and quarter them. Sprinkle the castor sugar over the mixture and set aside in order for the fruit juices to be released, at least 20 minutes.

To serve, cut the tart into slices and serve with the strawberries. (Serve with a shot of vermouth to be poured over by the quests).

I found it best to take the torte out of the fridge 20 minutes or so before serving to make it easier to slice. One can easily skip the castor sugar and just serve with plain strawberries. In this instance for the biscuit base I used gullón gluten-free cookies with chocolate chips. Manufactured in Spain, these biscuits are also egg and nut free, contain no sugar and use only high oleic sunflower oil. Each biscuit contains 104kj/25kcal.

Girl wants cake!

So it’s Friday afternoon and I feel the need for a cup of tea and a piece of cake or maybe a brownie. This does not happen often but when it does I need to act! Not the easiest thing to track down after lunch, a gluten-free brownie, and due to some current food issues it also needs to be corn and seed free. I like to give myself a challenge.  But never fear the brownie was found and life carried on. I made a quick trip to the Fresh Earth food store in Emmarentia where I quickly had in my sticky hands a chocolate brownie (and maybe an almond square as well) meeting all the food exclusion requirements.  Happy days.

So yes you can have your cake and eat it too!  And I may have grabbed a little bar of vanilla chickpea fudge on the way out – never had this before and bizarrely it tasted like peanut butter (which cannot be a bad thing really).  Made with chickpeas, fresh vanilla and raw organic sugar I nibbled on this for the rest of the weekend – a rather nice smooth and creamy sweet treat!

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I was actually not alone on the Friday mission – a work colleague (let’s hear it for Natalie)was on the hunt for Life Bake Grain Free Toast  – not for those who cannot eat seeds as the ingredients read linseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, water, psyllium husk and sea salt. But for those seeking paleo options she judged this to be delicious – that said always read the small type as “not suitable for celiacs”.

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If you have never been to Fresh Earth they have all kinds of dried and fresh food ( gluten-free, vegetarian, preservative free etc), supplements and vitamins as well as a vegetarian café serving gluten-free and  vegan menu choices   – burgers, wraps, gluten-free pizzas, sandwiches and more… plus a nice range of freshly baked cakes, biscuits and the ever important brownie.  Visit the store at 103 Komatie Road, Emmarantia, Johannesburg.

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