Posts Tagged ‘cream’

Basic gluten-free torte

I think I am about to begin a quest for the best gluten-free torte, inspired by The Great British Bake Off. For unknown reasons DSTV is showing series 3 and the masterclass of series 5 at the same time… oh well one can never have too much of Paul Hollywood! Series 3 episode 5 had a challenge on tortes and I thought aha! My interest was peaked by the med student James Morton who made a gluten-free chocolate and passion fruit torte. Trying to find this recipe was a slightly arduous task, and I ended up buying Morton’s book “How Baking Works”on google books as this was the only way to get my hands on it ( but I did not buy his first book “Brilliant Bread” for obvious reasons). This is actually a great book as he explains in detail what to do and why. Before I even got to the chocolate and passion fruit there was a basic gluten-free torte recipe which seemed to be a good place to start. Hence begins the quest for the gluten-free torte!



  • 3 medium eggs
  • 140 grams castor sugar
  • 180 grams ground almonds (or any ground nuts of your choice)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Flaked nuts
  • 250 ml cream and mixed berrries for decorating


Line the bottom of a 23 cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. Grease the sides heavily with butter.

(Greasing and lining is important as tortes can easily stick).

Separate the eggs.

Whisk the eggs whites until stiff. Then add two tablespoons of sugar and whisk for another few minutes until glossy and smooth.

Whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until at least doubled in size and significanly lighter in colour (add the sugar gradually and not all at once).

Add the almonds and salt to the egg yolks and fold together slowly. Make sure the mixture is combined completely.

Add about a third of the whites to the yolk mixture and mix to combine. Then add the rest and fold them in very gently with a metal spoon. Transfer to your lined tin and scatter with flaked or whole nuts.

Preheat overn to 170 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. Bake until a light golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

I added whipped cream, some mixed berries and grated white chocolate just to give some oomph. The edges take on a rather delicious almost meringue texture, and I must say despite the lack of my essential dark chocolate I would definitely make this again. It looks extremely pretty and reminds me of a British Summer – anyone for Pimms?

And for the record what exactly is a torte? There are various definitions all roughly covering the same points – a rich cake, especially one containing little or no flour, usually made with eggs and ground nuts or bread crumbs. It is not automatically gluten-free, so never presume in a restaurant, and always ask!



Wild strawberries and vanilla cream

Looking for something simple and light with minimal preparation? then look no further than Mr Jamie Oliver’s strawberries and vanilla cream – (original recipe here).

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4 handfuls wild strawberries

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds scraped out

1 splash sherry vinegar

1 pot crème fraîche

a few small fresh mint leaves

zest of 1 orange


Pick out the nicest strawberries and set aside. Put the rest in a bowl and add the sugar, half the vanilla seeds and the vinegar. Squash together with the back of a fork and leave to macerate for 10–15 minutes.

Stir the rest of the vanilla seeds into the crème fraîche. To serve, spoon a little vanilla cream in the centre of each bowl, make a well in the middle and spoon in some mushed strawberries. Halve some of the reserved strawberries and sprinkle the lot over the vanilla cream. Scatter over the mint leaves (and orange zest if using) then serve.

I love not only the subtle taste the vanilla gives the crème fraîche but also the beautiful speckling of black that runs through the cream. So simple yet so elegant.

The first dessert I ever made – chocolate pots

The first time I was searching for an idea to serve for dessert I was a little panicked, not 100% sure what I could do that would suit my gluten-free restrictions but also be a knock out! I found Jamie Oliver’s chocolate pots and even now I have friends who specifically request that I make them!


So than you to Mr. Oliver for providing a winning option with no need to try to amend the recipe or switch out ingredients.

Recipe serves 4 – find the original here on

285 ml single cream

200 grams chocolate – 70% cocoa

2 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons brandy (I am more of a Frangelico girl myself)

20 grams butter


In a thick-bottomed pan heat the cream until nearly boiling.

Remove and set aside for one minute. Snap in the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

Beat in your egg yolks and brandy and stir until smooth.

Allow to cool slightly before stirring in the butter until the mixture is smooth (I add the butter in small pieces to make it easier for it to melt).

Pour into individual serving pots.

PS Although I have never had this problem, sometimes if you add the butter when the chocolate is not cool enough it will make the chocolate look as if it has been split. To rectify this, allow the mixture to cool a little longer before whisking in a little cold milk until you have a smooth consistency again.

To make into a lighter mousse, add 2 stiffly beaten egg whites before pouring into the cups.

Make these the day before and leave in the fridge to chill.

I serve this in espresso cups, and although this is a rich dessert I have been known to double up the quantities and serve in larger cups/glasses – the chocolate lovers will be thrilled!

This really is a wonderful dessert to serve, the only thing to look out for is the chocolate you use and make sure that under the ingredients it does not state “may contain gluten” as that is not a chocolate you can trust! Also if you want to switch out the brandy, of course no whiskey and be aware of any flavoured vodka or other flavoured liquor as gluten can be present.