Gluten Free Sachertorte

Oh my word…this is one seriously rich dessert.

Not one for the faint hearted and certainly one for a weekend special or dinner party. Not one really to indulge in for 2. Unless you have stomachs of concrete!

This has been on my list of things to do for some time, but finding time to slot it in has been the tricky part.  It’s not a complicated recipe, it’s just made up of different stages, so leave yourself plenty of time to make, bake and decorate and then enjoy it’

gluten-free-sachertorte

  • melt the chocolate and butter
  • whip up the meringue
  • whip up the yolks and sugar
  • mix in the gluten free flour and chocolate mix
  • the add in the meringue in 4 waves
  • bake
  • slice into 3
  • fill with jam
  • melt chocolate and pour on top
  • decorate

I have adapted this recipe from the ‘Bake it Better – Classic Cakes’ book, that came from ‘The Great British Bake Off series of books. There isn’t much adapting but I have also added my own little touch, suspecting that if I didn’t it could be dryer – as is usually the case with gluten free baking. More on that in a bit.

Ingredients for the cake;

  • 180g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces – I use Callebaut 70.5% cocoa solids
  • 100g butter – unsalted
  • 5 eggs separated – 4 yolks and 5 whites – at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g caster sugar (split 85g and 30g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 85g gluten free plain flour

For the filling;

  • 200g Apricot jam – Hartley’s do a wonderful squeezy bottle one
  • 80ml Amaretto

For the chocolate glaze;

  • 190g Dark Chocolate – as before
  • 40g butter
  • 60ml double cream

to finish off

  • 30g dark chocolate – as before

And so to begin;

  • Preheat the oven Gas 3/140c
  • Line the 8″ deep, loose bottomed cake tin, base and sides with greaseproof
  • Begin by melting the chocolate and butter for the cake – melt gently in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Once nearly melted remove from the heat and set to one side whilst the chocolate and butter finish melting and it cools down.
  • Whisk the 5 egg whites until soft peaks – about 5 minutes and then with the 85g of sugar – add in whilst whisking a spoon at a time. You are making a meringue and you need to keep whisking until the meringue goes ‘stiff’.
  • Once whisked – and if you only have one large bowl like I, take out the meringue and place on a large plate.
  • Into the bowl put the 30g sugar, 4 egg yolks and vanilla paste and then whisk some more until double in volume. Until if you remove the whisk it leaves a ribbon. Ribbon Stage.
  • Then stir in the cooled chocolate mixture, sifted flour and one-quarter of the meringue.  Stir it gently and ensure there are no white streaks from the meringue or flour.
  • Fold in the remaining meringue in three batches, ensuring no streaks.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool before lifting out and removing the greaseproof.
  • Once cooled you can begin to fill 🙂
  • Slice the cake so that you have 3 layers – or just 2 layers.  If you have one of those cake layer cutter, you can ensure the slices are cut evenly.
  • Using the top layer of the cake as your base – drizzle with 40ml of Amaretto and spread with 80g of apricot jam. Put on the next layer of cake, drizzle with the remaining Amaretto and spread with 80g of apricot jam. Top off the cake with the last slice of cake and use the remaining 40g of apricot jam and brush the sides of the cake.
  • Then to make the chocolate glaze;
  • As before melt the 190g of dark chocolate with the 40g of butter, remove from the heat once melted.
  • Heat the double cream in a saucepan until just before it boils – keep your eye on, or it could catch the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour the hot cream onto the melted chocolate, stirring as you do, then mix well until you have a glossy chocolate glaze – pour over the cake ensuring the chocolate mix covers the sides.
  • Leave on the work surface to cool and set – don’t put it in the fridge – please.
  • Melt the remaining chocolate, as before and place into a piping bag with the end snipped off, to pipe the decoration – ‘Sacher’.
  • Cool and slice

gluten-free-sachertorte

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Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

This is one of those recipes I have had on my ‘to do’ list for a while.

There is always cake in the house – believe it or not – and its so easy to bake those easy ones, the quick wins that puts a cake in the box. But just occasionally I have to force myself to create a bake that challenges me. As we have challenges that we must face in life, they do not go away. In fact, left, a challenge can get worse the longer it’s left. A little like that problem you have sitting on your shoulder. Left too long it becomes insurmountable.

This would in fact make a great pudding! And if there is anything left the following day, it’s better warmed up.  Finding a small enough dish is key, as the dish needs to support the size of the cut rolls once cut after the first prove. I found that not having the gluten, the structure isn’t there and the dish supports the rolls whilst baking. Something ceramic around 20x15cm and 3cm deep.

gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls

Start to finish this should take around 4 hours which includes the proving and baking. Ensuring you have a warm place in the room to ensure an even prove and pre heat the oven set to gas 4/350F/180c

The Cinnamon Roll –

300g gluten free plain flour

50g caster sugar

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of dried fast action yeast (I used allinson easy bake yeast and use 1 of these sachets)

level teaspoon of xanthum gum

50g soft butter

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

100ml warm milk (30 seconds in the microwave, body hot, too hot and the yeast will die and too cold and nothing will happen and it’ll have to be proved for too long)

1 egg

Teaspoon of vanilla extract

Filling –

140g soft brown sugar

6g cinnamon

50g very soft butter

Small amount of milk for brushing.

The topping –

180g Full fat cream cheese

100g icing sugar

30g diced soft butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon.

Into a mixing bowl pop in the gluten free flour, sugar, salt, xanthum gum, easy-bake years and the soft butter. Mix until you have a fine mix of breadcrumbs. Tip in the egg, milk, oil and vanilla, beat to mix and then beat for about 3 minutes. Stopping half way to scrap the bowl.

Cover the bowl with film and leave to prove for at least 2 hours, in the warmest place you can find. I found the top of the oven did best for me.

Whilst waiting for the prove – it doesn’t rise much but it does get air in, which is th important thing – you can make the filling. All you need to do is mix the sugar and the cinnamon. The butter we’ll use to spread. Put the kettle on and enjoy it until the time is up.

Once the 2 hours are up, place a sheet of greaseproof on to your surface – it needs to be about 16″ long and as wide as the sheet. Take the dough and gently roll it out to about to about 10″ wide and about 16″ long. Spread the dough with the soft butter and then sprinkle with the sugar mix. Then using the greaseproof as a guide roll the dough up into a long cigar/ Swiss roll. Not too tight as the dough will rise a fraction.

Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 satisfying pieces and place into your ceramic dish with the cinnamon facing up. Cover and leave to prove again for about an hour more. Brush with some milk and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Whilst the rolls are in the oven make the topping.

Literally put all the topping ingredients into a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes until soft and smooth. And then quite simply smoother the cinnamon rolls in the cream cheese topping the minute the rolls come out of the oven. Leave it to cool a little before serving and allow the topping to seep into the rolls just a little…Serves about 6, but that depends on your serving size..

 

Love is in the air x

Love is in the air.

Such a lovely time of year, when you are able to really connect to the ones you love, albeit in some cases, secretly. The trick here though, is how do you tell someone you love (like) them so much, you have baked them a cake! To then somehow get the cake to them without them realising it’s from you? Tricky. Get into the office, before everyone and leave it on the desk? Have it couriered over to them (knowing their address helps)? Or leave it on their doorstep (then hoping they don’t figure out who its from and label you a stalker!! 🙂 You could just send a card and post if from somewhere other, than the postcode area in which you live.  But I rather like the idea of cake, of course.

gluten-free-valentines-cake

Caution is required x

Valentines Day, is of course for everyone. No matter your dietary needs or limitations. Your only limitation is your own creativity.  Pinterest is fantastic for a whole manner of ideas, but it’s then down to you ability.  Here I have tried to keep it relatively simple.  Bake the cake, cut it in half, fill with jam, cover with a smooth layer of buttercream, cover with fondant icing and then cut out some heart shapes with a cutter. Nothing too fancy. It’s the thought that means so much more 💋

You will need to line, the base and sides of your cake tin – I used a heart-shaped cake tin. Pre heat the oven to Gas 3/150c.

180g soft butter

170g caster sugar

3 large eggs at room temperature

180g gluten free self-raising flour

6 drops of strawberry flavouring (I used Foodie Flavours Strawberry)

3g Red Food Colouring (I used Rainbow Dust red gel – very bake stable)

1 Packet of White Fondant icing

150g more of soft butter for the buttercream

300g icing sugar

4 drops more of strawberry flavouring

4 tablespoons of Strawberry Jam

Pink Food colouring (‘Rainbow Dust’ again)

You can make this as an all-in-one. Place the soft butter, sugar, eggs, gluten free flour, colouring and flavouring into your mixer and beat well, until light and fluffy and fully combined – about 6/7 minutes on medium. I used a table top mixer.

Pour into the prepared cake tine and bake ‘low and slow’. It may take around 45 minutes. There is a lot of mixture in tin, so it needs time to cook and rise without over cooking and burning.  Check with a skewer to ensure its cooked – it needs to come out clean – before removing from the oven and cooling then cooling in the tin.

Once cooled remove from the tin, by turning it upside down onto a wire rake and then flipping back around again. Cool completely before icing.

Meanwhile you can make the buttercream

Beat the 150g of soft butter, until its white, light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar by hand – so you don’t get a dust cloud – add the flavouring and beat again until its light, fluffy and easily spreadable.

Once the Cake has cooled, cut in half, and spread with jam, then put the top back on.  Cover the sides and edges with buttercream and smooth down with a palette knife. A smooth edges here will help to ensure a smooth finish once the fondant goes on top.

gluten-free-valentine-cake

Roll out the fondant icing – using icing sugar on the board and rolling pin, so that it doesn’t stick to the surface – to the desired thickness and cover the cake. Using your hands, gently smooth down the fondant over the top, then down the sides of the cake. Again using your hands, smooth down the sides to the base of the cake. Smooth down around the cake, to ensure you have the outline of the cake you have and there are no crimps and unnecessary edges.

Using a sharp knife, trim away any excess fondant and keep.

Place the cake on a board to finish off.

Take half of the fondant left and drop in some red colouring, knead until the desired colour has been achieved.  Do the same with the other half, but with pink colour.

Rollout the coloured pieces of fondant and using your cutters, decorate your cake. I used a small brush and ‘painted’ the area with a little water to get the decoration to stick to the main cake.

Give yourself time to deliver the cake and for it to be enjoyed – but it certainly wont last longer than a couple of days – sadly the nature of gluten free baking 😦

Happy Loving x

 

Gluten Free Brioche Butter Pudding

In my somewhat haste to use up some of the (what appears like anyway) mountain of baking ingredients I seem to acquire, I made a lovely bread and butter pudding with brioche rolls and forgot to take a picture. Or more that I took a picture but was too hungry to pay it much attention before we devoured the pudding!  Not giving myself a chance to upload the photos, we just scoffed the lot up! It wasn’t until I had uploaded the photos that I saw my error – too many shadows, poor light and blurry photos.  So my great initiative to use up the food on the shelves failed at the first hurdle – as I had to buy some more gluten free Schar Brioche Rolls.. Sad but true.

gluten-free-brioche-puddingSo  a second round of bread and butter pudding had to be made (it’s a shame)and everyone had to wait until I have taken the right shot. It was a Sunday pudding, but I was getting ‘that’ photo no matter what, it only left  ‘Custard or Cream, Madam?’

Preheat the oven to Gas 3/140c and lightly grease a small pie tin – roughly 23x17x5cm

Ingredients

  • 1 x 4 packet of Schar Gluten Free Brioche Rolls
  • butter to spread on the brioche slices
  • 4 eggs
  • 350ml milk (I used semi skimmed)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 100g dried fruit
  • 50g grated chocolate (dark or milk)

Method

  • Cut the gluten free rolls into about 6 slices and lightly butter, set aside
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla until fully mixed
  • Cover the base of the tin with around half of the butter brioche slices and then scatter with 2/3rd of the dried fruit and 2/3rd of the grated chocolate
  • Cover this with the remaining butter brioche and sprinkle the top with the remaining thirds of dried fruit and grated chocolate.
  • Pour in the whisked egg and milk mix slowly.  You’ll find that there will be some left – just let the milk mix soak into the brioche and pour in the rest once it has been soaked in.
  • I then left mine to the soak for a further 10 minutes before putting in the oven on the middle shelf for about 35 minutes – just check for a lovely wobble, firm, but still a little shimmy!
  • Serve (no need to leave for another 20 minutes whilst you take the right photo!) with custard, cream or just as it comes.

If there is some left over – you could eat it cold, or gently warmed in the microwave.

Fancy buying the gluten free brioche rolls from Amazon?

http://amzn.to/2lrQI06

schar-gluten-free-brioche-rolls

 

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

I shall take this moment of ‘cakespiration’.

Perhaps I should be saving it all up and spreading the cake love as the year progresses? Perhaps not, there are recipes to share and cake to eat, I firmly believe that food should be accessible to everyone. Isn’t that what the internet is for?

The last time I baked a baked donut, I forgot to put the the sugar in! They were a bit different….

I love a challenge and the current regular challenge on the social media circuit is being headed by my Twitter a friends Jackie and Rob.  It’s a brilliant idea with a challenge being set over a week rather than a weekend, giving just about everyone a fair crack at the topic. The week I baked these donuts was indeed ‘donut week’ – baked or otherwise and the main criteria being you must include the hashtag ‘#TwitterBakeAlong’ plus any other small requirements. No matter your skill, it’s the taking part that is the fun and the challenge is for you to challenge yourself to bake something you haven’t done before. Give it a go!

Gluten Free Baked Chocolate Donuts

And so the Donuts. Gluten free Chocolate Donuts flavoured with Speculaas Spice. A lovely cinnamon based spice blend orginating in the Netherlands. I think it lends itself nicely to Chocolate.

Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200c and grease your 12 hole donut tray.

Place all the following ingredients into a mixing bowl –

180g Gluten free plain flour

50g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts)

2 teaspoons of baking powder

180g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Speculaas spice ( Van Dotsch Spices )

3 large eggs

80ml vegetable oil

160ml milk ( I used semi skimmed)

Then using a hand held electric whisk, whisk for 4/5 minutes to whisk everything together to a lovely velvety, pourable mix. Then carefully pour the mixture into the 12 hole tray (or 2 x 6 trays).

Pop in the oven for about 12 – 15, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool, before prising out of the Donuts. Place them on a cooling rack, and melt the chocolate.

In a bowl, set over some simmering water in a saucepan – don’t let the bowl touch the water, melt 160g dark chocolate. Once melted, dip each of the Donuts into the melted chocolate and allow to cool on the rack. Take care when dipping the donuts in the bowl as it will be hot.

Decorate the donuts with (or not, the choice is yours) your choice of sprinkles and allow the Chocolate to set.

Best eaten with 24 hours, however they do refresh particularly well if you reheat them in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Allow the donut to stand for a few seconds before eating.  But again, do take care as there will be hot spots on the donut, if you eat them straight from the microwave.

 

GF and DF Caramel Cupcakes

I have written in the past about our journey with Noah and Coeliac Disease. I have also written about my professional journey and my thoughts about how the wider industry I work in also deals with that.  Some can cater for the free from market and do it particularly well.  Others offer a half-hearted approach and do not appear to offer the continued guidance to their teams on how to deal with, empathise with or understand the health issues associated with coming into contact with foods that their customers/guests/visitors simply cannot in any way, consume/touch or be in the vicinity of.  We won’t mention those that don’t appear do anything.

Will there be a light bulb moment for those outlets than continue to get it wrong? What will it in fact take, to make a menu choice easy for every one? Where a pudding is not fruit, that complex menu making becomes not about quantity, but about quality and ease of delivery.

To see the face of my colleague when he realized I had made these for everyone to enjoy was a moment to behold. I wish we had taken a photo.  It really isn’t difficult to include everyone. It just takes a little thinking time and when you get it right, its a wonder to behold.

gluten-free-and-dairy-free-caramel-cupcakes

Now I have that off my chest 🙂 I can bring you these wonderful little cupcakes created for some work colleagues.  They are not difficult to make, in fact they are very quick and easy and are also incredibly light to eat.

You will need a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tray – lined with muffin cases.  Pre heat the oven to Gas 3/160c – using the middle shelf.

This is an all-in-one recipe, so pop the mixing bowl on the scales to weigh out the ingredients. I used a stand mixer (Kitchen Aid) and the paddle attachment.

  • 150g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g Light Brown sugar
  • 50g dark Brown Sugar
  • 10 drops of Butterscotch flavouring (I used  Foodies Flavour Butterscotch)

Once you have weighed all the ingredients, turn on the paddle on low and slow to initially mix the ingredients, then turn it up a little to 4 and beat for about 8 minutes until the ingredients have all combined and you have a smooth caramel colour mixture – it will be quite runny. You need to ensure all the sugar has been incorporated and there are no lumps.

Pour the mixture into the 12 cases and bake for about 20 minutes – or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tray before removing and completely cooling on a cooling rack.

Then to make the frosting. Again pop all the ingredients into the mixers, stir to mix together, so you don’t get a icing sugar dust cloud, then beat for about 5 minutes to combine. The mix will get light and fluffy as it mixes the sugar into the Stork

  • 100g Stork – for Biscuits & Cookies – softened
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 10 drops of Butterscotch Flavour
  • Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs to decorate

Pipe onto the cupcakes with your desired nozzle and finish with a sprinkling of Cacao Nibs.

I would suggest you eat them within a couple of days, whilst at there best.

Gluten Free Blackcurrant and Almond Cake

This is a busy home at the best of times. As most working parents know, trying to fit everything in around, school, work, out of school activities etc. plus trying to get cakespiration can be a bit of a squeeze.  Where possible I do try and use some store cupboard, ready-made solutions in some of what I do.  I do not see it as a cheap, lazy alternative, rather a time-saving alternative. Here is a packet of something, but how can I turn it into something that everyone may want to eat.  You should see what’s next with a packet of Schar Gluten Free Brioche …..

So that is my general theme, use what is available and see what good can come out of it.  Can I make a blackcurrant filling? Yes, but time in this here household is limited and keeping the blog going, also keeps me going.  The sanity in the everyday chaos 🙂

gluten-free-blackcurrant-and-almond-cake

Since a wee nipper I have enjoyed blackcurrants. Mum used to make the simplest of pies – blackcurrant, from a tin.  It never lasted long and whenever I’m back there, it’ll rear its head. At least once a year 🙂 I have just used this in cake, because it’s all about cake!!

Firstly line 2 x 7″ sandwich tins and preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180c

If using frozen blackcurrants, ensure they are defrosted first.

For the Cake –

200g soft butter

200g caster sugar

4 eggs – lightly beaten together

150g gluten free self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon almond essence

200g blackcurrants (washed and dried if using fresh)

1 Tin Blackcurrant Pie Filling

For the icing –

180g soft butter

360g Icing sugar

Drop of boiling water

Purple Colouring

Make the sponge by beating the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, this can take about 5/6 minutes.  Slowly pour in the lightly beaten eggs a small amount at a time, so that the eggs are mixed in and the mixture doesn’t curdle.  If this starts to happen add a spoon of the flour to bring it back.  Beat in the almond essence, the mix in carefully the gluten free flour, ground almonds and baking powder.

Divide the mix in half and colour one half with a splash of purple colour (if using). Then stir in 100g of blackcurrants into each of the colours. Pour the batters into the prepared tins and swirl to mix the colours. But only a quick swirl!

Bake for 30 – 35 mins, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tins. Then cool completely before sandwiching together with the buttercream.

To make the buttercream beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gently stir in the icing sugar (to avoid the dust cloud) then beat again until light and fluffy. If you find the mix still a little stiff the spreading, add a spoon or two of boiling water. Add too, a teaspoon of almond essence,at this stage. Remove a third of the buttercream and colour with a squirt of purple colour.

Gluten Free Blackcurrant Cake Filling

Once the cake has cooled – assemble. Spread a small amount of the plain coloured buttercream around the middle of one of the cakes and fill with about a third of the tin of blackcurrant.

Place on the other cake and spread a thin layer of the plain buttercream all over (top and sides) to form the base layer from which to decorate. Let this set for an hour so in a fridge.

Once set, spread the remaining plain and purple buttercream around the cake and using a turntable and a straight-edged spatula, smooth the buttercream (and at the same time creating the merge of colours) down to form a flat and multicoloured surface.

To serve use the rest of the tin of blackcurrants and spoon them around the edge of the cake, so that they drip down the sides of the cake.

Best eaten within a couple of days or as I did share with the neighbours 😀😀🍰

gluten-free-blackcurrant-cake