Just one more rhubarb cake

I was going to follow the recent trend of Lemon and Elderflower cake baking and bake a gluten free version. It would make complete sense of course, what with a Royal Wedding and all, instead this one contains rhubarb. I am all for a Royal Wedding but could you get enough Lemon and Elderflower Cake from available cake outlet? Rhubarb is available  for what appears to be a very short while, I decided to make the best of this super versatile fruit/veg. With additional thanks to our lovely neighbour and her abundant allotment 😀😀 If you really wanted to, you could swop out the rhubarb for lemon curd instead. I kinda like the extra addition 😀😀 Plus I got the chance to make my own curd! Two versions in fact…… one was a bit runny, the second just about right.

Now it depends on how you like you curd. A bit tart, or a bit sweet? This one sits a bit on the sweet side, as I have stewed it with the addition of sugar and Elderflower cordial. When eaten with the cream cheese frosting we found it gave a very smooth eat. All the flavours in one mouthful 😀. This cream cheese frosting though……..😋😋😋😋

 

Firstly to make the curd (slightly adapted from a recipe from an Asda recipe) with some for additional baking or tasting.

Chop 500g of rhubarb and place into a suitably sized saucepan, with 100g caster sugar and 60ml Elderflower cordial and cook over a medium for approx 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft.

This next bit is easier with a hand blender, so blend away for a couple of minutes until you have a nice fruit purée. With no hand blender, push the stewed rhubarb through a fine sieve to break down the stringy bits of the rhubarb.

The purée should be cool enough or the next step;

3 eggs

40g cornflour

50g diced butter

Whisk the eggs and the cornflour together and whisk into the rhubarb purée and place into a clean saucepan and put in the butter.  Now for some patience. Warm gently over a low heat until lovely and thick. Using a suitable spoon stir continuously, you will notice the mixture thickens as the eggs cook out and the cornflour thickens. I also used a thermometer to ensure the temperature reached at least 75c. As the mix begins to thicken you may need to use a whisk so that you can blend out any lumps that may form. This could take about 10-15 minutes. Take care not to heat too quickly otherwise you will scramble the eggs. Once thickened, push once more through a sieve into a suitable bowl, to remove any lumps and leave to cool completely.

For the cake, pre heat the oven to Gas 3, 140c fan, 160c and line a 8” deep round cake tin. This is a one tin cake to slice into 3 once cooked and cooled.

5 large eggs

240g gluten free plain flour

zest of 2 lemons

220g caster sugar

240ml vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl (I use a stand mixer) and whisk on medium speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture is fully combined and is light and fluffy. Pour the whole batter into the prepared tin and bake long and slow for 60 – 70 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.

Once cool, slice the cake into 3 pieces – horizontally.

Then time to make the frosting.

200g cream cheese

300g icing sugar

120g soft butter

160ml Elderflower cordial

Beat the butter into the cream cheese for about 2 minutes, stir in the icing sugar and 40ml of cordial before beating until fully combined and you have a lovely velvety frosting.

To assemble – with the additional cordial

Place the 1st slice of cake on you stand and drizzle over the surface about 40ml of cordial and pipe some of the frosting around the rim of the cake and spread some of the curd into the middle of the cake slice. Place on the second slice and repeat. Place on the third slice of cake, drizzle over 40ml more of cordial and cover the top with the frosting.

If you can,  leave for about an hour or so, to let the cordial soak into the sponge before serving.

Store in the fridge for best results

 

Rhubarb Rhubarb

Now this wasn’t the blog I originally wrote for this post.  That one was a little on the heavy-handed side with lots of finger-pointing and generally having a moan.  Life is too short to for that, so we’ll keep this as positive as we can….

Something new of recent years, is being asked about dietary requirements when (Noah is) attending a children’s birthday party. Naturally we respond accordingly and then also take our own food.  It’s just a lot easier to know Noah will be able to eat something and not ask questions – ‘have you got the packaging so I can check the ingredients?’. Invariably the packaging has been thrown out, meaning we have to miss out, as we have no idea what the ingredients are.  The trouble is for a 7-year-old, he just wants to fit in, he wants to be the same.  He doesn’t want to eat something wildly different, so when something different turns up – pizza delivery for example – he won’t eat his packed lunch. Understandable really.

And when it goes well? Its amazing. Our hearts do a little jump for joy, in fact it practically brings on tears.  Of course Noah will have absolutely no idea what is going on, he’s just joining in and being a 7-year-old. This has only happened twice (twice that we can remember with such an emotion).  The first time was actually a little contrived, as I had to swop out the items from a pre-made/put together lunch box and supplant with the packed lunch we had bought. To this day Noah still thinks it was specially made for him – and until he reads this, I’m not telling him. The second was at one of these soft play centres. They just made the decision to cook everything gluten free – at their expense – it was just so much easier than producing one gluten free meal and a dozen or so ‘ordinary’ meals. I don’t think the centre understood how much this meant to us as parents.  The relief that Noah could eat the same as everyone was almost too much. Noah (and us) were able to just enjoy the party.

To those of you that read this and have children or cater for children parties take heed – ask and think. It does really make a difference and in the long-term we have no idea what kind of physiological issues are at play.

So now for something of comfort, in what seems to be the verge of spring, just one step away from warmer climes…and this is an actual gluten free ‘crumble’ top 😀😀

Pre-heat the oven to gas 5, 190c, 175c fan

Chop the following into bite size chunks;

  • 250g rhubarb
  • 200g strawberries

and place into your round serving dish (I used a Pyrex dish)- roughly 20cm wide and 6cm deep then sprinkle with;

  • 50g caster sugar

Into your food mixer/blender (or you could use the tips of your fingers to get the breadcrumb effect);

  • 30g Gluten free plain flour
  • 150g Rice flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 20g ground almonds
  • 20g gluten free oats
  • 150g butter – cut into small squares
  • 90g light brown sugar
  • 30g Demerara sugar

Blend all this together until you have fine breadcrumbs and tip onto the fruit.  Even out and place into the oven.  Bake for about 30 minutes until the surface is lovely and golden and the fruit is cooked. Cool a little before serving.

Eat with custard, cream or leave and enjoy cold.

It won’t keep very long – as it’ll all get eaten 😀

 

No Gluten Chocolate Caramel Cake

Wow! Who knew you could make a cake from a jar of chocolate spread! Mr Cadbury has done it again with not just a jar of fancy spread for your toast, but a spread to replace (ish) the normal addition of sugar..

This won’t take long to make and it’s incredibly moist.

Line 8″ (20cm) deep, round loose bottomed cake tin with greaseproof and pre heat the oven to Gas 4/180c/160 fan.

  • 1 x 400g jar of Cadbury Caramel Spread
  • 80g soft butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 60g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 level teaspoon gf baking powder
  • 20g cocoa
  • 80g melted milk chocolate

Beat the butter, 200g of the chocolate spread until well mixed. Then beat in the eggs one at a time and then mix in the gluten free flour, ground almonds, cocoa and baking powder.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes and leave to cool before removing from the tin.

To cover, pour the melted chocolate into the remaining 200g of spread and mix well, leave too cool and set a little before spreading over the cake and allow too cool.

Decorate as you feel.

This will also make a fantastic traybake, using a small brownie tin (roughly 28cm x 20cm). It’ll take about 20mins to cook.

Gluten Free Easter Simnel Cake

Its Easter time! And I love Easter.

New beginnings, fresh mornings and newly flowering bulbs.  The fresh smell of spring, the lighter evenings and the promise of brighter times ahead. And of course chocolate…..

Our Easter Sunday should begin with an Easter Egg Hunt in the garden, all being well and weather permitting. I will hide the eggs around the garden, drawing myself a little map as to where I have hidden the eggs! (I’ve such a bad memory – that and Noah found a loose egg the other month, having been in the garden for nearly a year!!) Then let the children free…

Failing that I’ll be doing the hunt in the house! Which I’m sure will be just as fun. For the sake of clarity, they’ll be Cadbury Easter Eggs – of varying sizes…I’m sure we’ll have to make sure that each of the children find the same amount of eggs though. All in the name of fairness and equality.

This year Easter Sunday will be spent as usual with the family and this year some extras of the slightly more extended family. A house full of family, and with any luck I’ll be doing what I love best – the cooking.

But oddly enough I have only recently found something new for Easter, the gluten free Simnel Cake. Which is a bit of a surprise really, considering my/our love of all things marzipan!

Last year I baked a lovely Nordic Ware Bundt Easter Simnel Cake, this year I have decided to make smaller, more individual ones, using my Lakeland Mini Cake tray.

Gluten Free Easter Simnel Cake

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 1 or 140c and lightly grease the inside of the cake tins.  You’ll need the following;

180g soft butter

150g light brown sugar

3 eggs

160g Dove Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour

1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice

400g dried fruit – I used 200g sultana, 150g raisins and 50g chopped glace cherries

zest only of 1 orange (optional)

300g ready to use marzipan

apricot jam for brushing the marzipan onto the finished, cooled cakes.

Firstly cream the soft butter and sugar until soft and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time until fully mixed. You may need to add a bit of the gluten free flour, to stop the mix from splitting. Then mix in the rest of the flour, the spice (zest if using) and the fruit until fully combined.

Split the mix in half and then divide this into the 12 hole mini cake tin.

Take roughly a third of the marzipan, and roll out, then cut using a 6cm pastry cutter. re-rolling if required to get 12 small discs. Place one of these discs onto each of the raw mix in the cake tin, then top off,  using the other half of the gluten free simnel cake mix.

Bake slowly in the oven for 40 – 50 mins.

 

Leave to cool in the tin, before removing and then cool completely before finishing the cakes.

To finish the cakes, roll half of the remaining marzipan and using the same pastry cutter – this time with a frilly edge – cut out 12 circles. And with the remaining piece of marzipan roll 12 small balls of marzipan to place on top of the finished gluten free cakes. Warm the apricot jam gently in a microwave for about 20 seconds. This will make brushing easier. Brush each gluten free simnel cake with a small amount of apricot jam and place on, a disc of marzipan, repeat for the other 11 small cakes and finish with a ball of marzipan.

To get the glazed effect I used a small hand-held blow torch, but you can get a similar effect by glazing the tops of the marzipan with beaten egg and placing under a very hot grill for a couple of minutes. Take not to burn the marzipan, so keep your eye of the cakes.

Happy Easter to each and every one of you 🙂

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