Now, I haven’t done a review of last year, it’s not something I’ve done before so not really sure of the benefits. My aim remains the same, to ensure those on a gluten free diet, by choice or by design can access a variety of bakes relatively easily. That they can see that having coeliac disease means not having to be different and baking and then the eating, can be enjoyed by everyone. Bakes don’t have to be widely different and that adapting recipes is possible.
We have found that Noah will eat well as long as everyone else around him is eating the same. The difficulty comes when he stands out, when he becomes different and the choices he has are limited. Companies can learn a lot by this. Children don’t usually want to be different in their early years, they don’t want to stand out, they want to be equal. Generally, children’s menus when eating out with coeliac disease, are not putting children on the same level. Small changes to ingredients and some thinking around menu design can and will, make all the difference. My experience as a chef currently means that eating out, and trusting establishments, is something we don’t do. There are exceptions, yes, but they are still few and far between.
That said then with baking, it is also about me trying something different. But does different mean being obscure?
This gluten free cake is wonderfully moist with the flavours all pulling together with each bite.
Preheat the oven to gas 4, 170c, 150c fan and line the base of a deep 8″ sandwich tin with greaseproof.
- 150g gluten free self raising flour
- 100g whole macadamia nuts
- 280g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 100g melted butter
- 2 teaspoons almond essence
- 50ml sour cream
- 200g Raspberry Jam
- 100g white chocolate – melted
- additional 140g very soft butter
- 140g icing sugar
Firstly weigh 40g of the nuts and crush them slightly and 100g of the caster sugar. Put this into a saucepan to create a macadamia praline. Stir in 4 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil and then heat until you have caramelised the nuts. This should take around 5 – 6 minutes. Pour the praline onto a piece of greaseproof to cool and to use later as a garnish to the finished cake. If you leave the nuts whole, when blended the oil from the nuts will make the praline soggy. Tasty, but soggy.
For the cake then take the 150g gluten free flour and the 60g of nuts and blend these together to form more of a ground ‘nut flour’. Blended, or grounding, the macadamia nuts on their own will just create a soggy unworkable ‘mush’. By adding the flour, it helps to soak up the oil from the nuts. If the nuts are not ground enough, blitz for another minute or more.
Once you have your ground flour mix, place this the eggs, sugar, oil, melted butter, essence and sour cream all into the mixing bowl (I used a table top, stand mixer) and beat well for, again, 5 – 6 minutes until you have a light fluffy batter.
Pour into the cakes tin and bake for around 45 – 50 minutes. Check with an inserted skewer to see if its done, if it comes out clean it is. If not, pop back in for another 5 minutes or so.
Once baked remove from the oven, allow to cool, before then removing from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing.
Once cooled down, carefully slice the cake into 3 slices, spread with jam and place the cake slices back to form the cake.
To make the praline crumbs, just place all the set, caramelised nuts into a blender and blend to a crumb.
To make the icing beat the butter until its light and fluffy, stir in the icing sugar and beat again, pour in the melted white chocolate and beat again until well combined.
You can then either spread the icing onto the cake or pipe and sprinkle on the praline crumbs