Gluten free Sticky Pumpkin Spiced Cake

My secret love affair with pumpkin spice continues.  Who knew there was an actual spice that is based around a pumpkin!?  It really does add an extra element to a cake or bake. It’s not just for coffee.

This is a variation on a theme. Gingerbread cake meets sticky toffee pudding. Sticky Pumpkin Pie Spiced Cake. I guess you could even have this as a pudding if you thought about it enough…….

This one requires a little planning and forethought.

Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170c, 150c fan and line 2 x 7” cake tins.

250g stoned and chopped dates

250ml water

90g butter

90g soft brown sugar

90g Black treacle

90g golden Syrup

1 egg

100ml milk – I used semi skimmed

225g gluten free self raising flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

Stage 1 – place the chopped dates and water into a pan, bring to a gentle boil, heat for a minute, then switch off and leave to cool. This could take around 15 minutes.

Stage 2 – in another pan – heat gently the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Leave this too cool, again for around 15 minutes.  If these last two stages are too hot, the egg mix will scramble before it’s had a chance to even cook in the oven.

Stage 3 – whisk the egg and milk and set to one side.

Stage 4 – sift together the gluten free flour and the spice.

Stage 5 – once everything is in place and done and cool enough, add the egg mix to the date mix. Add this then to the sugar and butter mix and stir well.  Finally fold in the flour mix. Stir until everything is completely mixed in.

Pour the mix into the 2 tins and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted  skewer comes out relatively clean, with some crumb attached. The remaining heat will finish the cooking off. Leave to cool in the tins, before removing to fill.

For the filling;

130g soft butter

260g icing sugar

30ml milk (optional)

100ml caramel sauce

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, stir in the icing sugar, milk and 80ml of the caramel sauce. Beat further (I used a hand electric whisk) until you have a piping consistency.

Fill and decorate as you desire and drizzle the final 20ml of sauce over the cake to finish.

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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.

Welcome to the start of something new…

And so the story continues and turns a new corner.

Cakes by Noah was started to fill a gap. That ‘gap’ was wide and all-encompassing.

Our son – Noah – was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2012, after months of frustrating return visits to the doctors, and one continued poorly boy. The mis-diagnosis of this and that, finally led us to a Osteopath and an eventful afternoon in his surgery!

And then the fun really began! As a chef I have always been (and here in lies the honesty) a little sceptical of allergies and intolerances. But until it actually happens to you or those around you, you love and cherish, you tend to carry on. But oh how that view changes very, very quickly!

After diagnosis and being given the go ahead from the dietician, we began to adapt the diet of us all – it would be far easier for us all the eat with Noah than to provide separate meals. Although as it turned out, cooking separate meals was easier sometimes!

We are lucky enough, it appears, to receive a prescription which allows us to have the staples – bread, pasta. But not of course cakes and biscuits! We did get a ‘white mix’, a flour based mixture which allowed us to bake some things, but this was a little restrictive. So this led us to start buying from the supermarkets…and the story takes its turn. For the better 😀😀

What we were buying wasn’t great. Sorry Mr & Mrs Supermarkets, but dry, crumbly, broken, bland and tasteless are words that sprung to mind.  I could do a lot better.

So I got on with it and baked a better cake! And lots of them!

So now I can also start to share these cakes with you, the reader. And the blog begins. And perhaps it should have started sometime ago..