Back to baking….at last! 😀

At last!

Its been a while but finally there is some end in sight and the kitchen is very nearly finished.  We have at last filled the new cupboards, emptied the boxes and have stopped going up and down stairs to do the washing up and to fill the kettle for a cuppa.

You get to miss the simple things in life and the things you take for granted. Like cooking (and indeed baking), one can only live off pasta and stir fry for so long.  The Andrew James multi-cooker certainly came in hand and did what we asked it to do..

Now its time to put the new cooker into action. We went for a Neff oven in the end. The option of the double oven and the seemingly easy to use knobs were a couple of the deciding factors. Now of course I have to get used to a new oven and new temperature range! Which I think should be too difficult. (famous last words)

Gluten Free Blackcurrant and Almond Crumble Cake

The first bake was a little bit of fun. Quick and easy and I had all the ingredients to hand. So little planning was required…

Now I baked this at 160c for about 50 mins, so pre-heat the oven and line a deep 8″ round cake tin with a loose base.

For the crumble – and this actually worked for me;

80g Rice Flour

50g Butter

50g Caster Sugar

For the Sponge;

180g soft butter

150g caster sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons almond essence

30g ground almonds

120g gluten free self raising flour

1 tin of blackcurrant pie mix (c410g)

First up make the crumble, either rub the flour and butter together to fine breadcrumbs then add and stir in the sugar. Or blend it all together in a food processor. Leave to one side – ideally in the fridge – until it’s needed.

Next up the sponge base. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour if required to stop it curdling. Add in the almond essence, then stir in the gluten free flour and ground almonds. Mix well and pour into the prepared cake tin. Spoon the Blackcurrant pie mix onto the sponge batter, this can be gently stirred into the surface of the sponge, but not too much. Let it sit  on the top and some will gently sink into the top of the sponge whilst cooking. Sprinkle over the Crumble mix and spread evenly.

Bake! For approximately 45 – 50 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Allow to completely cool before removing from the tin and serving, perhaps with a dollop of cream.

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

 

 

Gluten Free no bake Blackcurrant Curd Cheesecake Recipe

I do love a cheesecake! Baked or non baked. It’s all in the ‘buttery biscuit base’. Now I know a song about that! 😊  Anyway.

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Not sure where the idea for this came from, but certainly around the time I popped in to see the girls at ‘Darlington’s & Daughters’. Home of award-winning jams, curds  & pickles. Available to buy retail or even wholesale. AND during office hours (ish) you can pop into the factory and buy some there! Not a factory shop, but the range is available to buy for hard cash only. I will have to admit that, after I had used some curds previously and tweeted about them, I was given a couple of jars, of the as-yet-unavailable ‘Blackcurrant Curd’. Not even a fancy label yet. But believe me, it tastes fantastic. And until a release date of around August 2015 (ish), I shall just have to savour the 2nd jar for myself.

But back to the Gluten Free Cheesecake.

1 Jar of Mrs Darlington’s Blackcurrant Curd

360g Full Fat Cream Cheese

170ml Double Cream

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

50g Icing Sugar

180g Gluten Free Custard Creams (I used DS GF Custard Creams) – crushed into tiny little pieces….

80g Butter – Melted

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Firstly, mix the tiny weeny, gluten free breadcrumb, biscuit mix with the melted butter and press firmly into the base of the tin. I used a 7″ quick release cake tin with a removable base. Leave this to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight if you are planning ahead.

Once this gluten free biscuit base has set – You’ll need 2 mixing bowls. In 1, whisk the cream cheese and the icing sugar until combined. In the other, whip the cream. But. Not completely. You only need to whisk this until it has started to thicken. You are going to whisk again and if you over whisk the cream, you’ll get what’s also called, butter. And the cheesecake won’t taste very nice. Bitter in fact 😞. Whisk then, the cream and the cream cheese mix together until combined.

To create the two-tone effect split the new cream cheese mix in half. Whisk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract into one half. And in the other half,whisk in about half the jar of the Mrs Darlington’s Blackcurrant Curd. Again don’t over whisk. Just enough to bring th ingredients together to have an uniformed colour.

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To assemble. Firstly take 1 tablespoon of the curd and place into a piping bag ready to decorate as in the picture. Then spread the remaining Blackcurrant Curd on the gluten free biscuit base. This curd is quite firm and spreads very well. Then onto this, spread the vanilla flavoured cream cheese mix and then finally the Blackcurrant flavoured mix. Tap on the work surface to remove any air holes and so the mix settles flat. Spread the mix on top, to ensure a flat surface to pipe on. Leave this then to firm up, covered, in the fridge for a couple of hours. Pipe on the remaining Curd mix as you desire. Then serve….and enjoy. Depending on how you cut this, you can get around 6 – 8 servings. It is quite rich.