Gluten free Spiced Chocolate Cake

Here is one I made earlier.

After another fantastic Foodies Festival appearance, its about time the recipe for the cake got written. So without further ado and much waffle…..

For the dehydrated orange –

2 oranges sliced approximately to 4mm thick

For the Truffle balls –

200g dark chocolate broken into small pieces

180ml double or whipping cream

20ml mulled wine

40g cocoa

For the cake –

5 eggs

240g vegetable oil

240g caster sugar

280g gluten free self raising flour

40g Food Thoughts Cocoa

2 teaspoons orange essence

1 teaspoon baking powder

30ml water

For the buttercream –

150g soft butter

35g Food Thoughts cocoa

approx 30ml mulled wine

for the chocolate filling –

140g dark chocolate broken into small pieces

100ml double of whipping cream

Planning is key here as the oranges will take at least 3 hours to dry out in a typical oven. Pre heat the oven to cool, so around 90c in a fan assisted oven.

Once you have sliced the oranges into slices, place them onto a greaseproof lined baking sheets, large enough to accommodate all of the orange slices, placed together, but not on top of each other. Allowing for the heat to get around them. Place into the pre heated oven for 1 and a half hours, before turning the slices over and returning to the oven for a further 90 minutes, or until completely dry. Remove from the oven to cool and finish drying out. Leave to one side.

To make the truffle mix, place the cream (double cream will give you a thicker, richer texture; whilst whipping cream will be lighter) into a large enough saucepan and place the chocolate pieces into a glass bowl. Gently bring the cream to a simmer, stirring occasionally so as stop the cream catching and burning. Once the cream is simmering, pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Leave this for about 30 seconds to allow the chocolate to start to melt. Then stir so as to melt the chocolate and create a thick chocolate sauce. Add the mulled wine and stir to combine all the ingredients. Once cool enough place into the fridge to set.

Once set, remove the truffle from the fridge and roll into balls, using a teaspoon as a guide for size. Once made, roll the balls in the cocoa and place back in the fridge to set further.

For the cake.

Preheat the oven to gas 4/180c/160c fan and line 3 x 7” cake tins.

Place all the cake ingredients into a large enough bowl (I used a stand mixer) and whisk it altogether for about 3 to 4 minutes until you have an amazing cake batter, ready to pour into the 3 cake tins. Place into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, before removing from the tins and placing on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Whilst cooling, you can make the filling. As for the truffle mix, heat the cream to a simmer and pour over the broken chocolate pieces, leave for 30 seconds again before stirring to combine the cream and chocolate and then add in the mulled wine.

 

You can also begin to make the buttercream. By adding the cocoa and icing sugar and mulled wine to the butter in a large enough mixing bowl and beating to a smooth paste. Scrap the sides of the bowl once and beat again for a couple of minutes.

To assemble, place one of the cakes on the cake board/cake stand and pour over half of the sauce, top with a 2nd cake, pour the remaining sauce over and then top with the 3rd cake.

Cover the cake sides and top with the buttercream and using a fork create the look as per the photo. As you would when making a Yule Log.

Decorate as you please using the truffle balls and dehydrated oranges (and an indoor sparkler if you want)

 

 

‘Tis the season to be…….

I might not be able to take really good photos, but ‘by eck, do I make rather tasty bakes!

Gluten Free Chocolate Swiss Roll

The festive season is usually one for over indulgence, adding sweetness upon sweetness. You can take the humble mince pie and drown it in brownie, the humble Swiss roll and drown it in buttercream or ganache, a humble mince pie and drown it in alcohol. The list goes on, it seems Christmas is an excuse to over indulge?  But that’s ok, it’s just for a couple of days 😀😀

And this recipe goes only half way to indulgence 😀 Still indulgent and can still be made for a simple centrepiece for a gluten free Christmas table. And if you make this, no one – no one – will be able to tell the difference between this and a ‘normal’ cake. It’s so light and fluffy. Let’s not talk about the other Swiss roll I made, that cracked and fell apart….. 🙄 but did have green Christmas trees and red baubles on!

Preheat the oven to 180c fan, 200c, Gas 4 and line a Swiss roll tin (35cm x 25cm) with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.

To make the swirls;

35g soft butter

35g icing sugar

1 egg white

30g gluten free plain flour

A simple cake mix, beat the butter and the icing sugar together until you have a soft paste, beat in the egg white; again until you have a soft paste, then mix in the gluten free flour until you have a combined mix, that will be easy to pipe.

Now I did this bit by free hand (I know, you can tell) place the cake paste into a piping bag with a writing nozzle and draw onto the greaseproof paper your pattern/s. There are plenty of templates on-line. You don’t need to cover the whole piece of paper as some of the pattern will sit underneath the Swiss roll when it has been rolled up.

Also, if you are going to write actual words, write them back to front. Otherwise when you  turn the Swiss roll over to roll once filled, the writing will be backwards.

Once you have piped your design, place in the freezer, for at least 10 minutes, whilst you make your Swiss roll.

3 large eggs

80 caster sugar

70g gluten free plain flour

20g cocoa (I use Food Thoughts Cocoa)

Using a stand mixer (I have a kitchen aid) whisk the eggs and the sugar for at least 5 minutes until you have trebled the volume of he mix and once you left out the whisk, it leaves a trail or ribbon.

Sift the cocoa with the gluten free flour together and then sift again onto the egg and sugar mix. Then using either a large metal spoon or plastic spatula gently fold in the flour mix.  Gently, so as to keep as much air in th mix as possible.

Once fully folded, take your tray out of the freezer (the pattern should have set) and carefully pour the Swiss roll mix over your pattern. Making sure the mix gets into each hole and crevice. Tap the tray gently and place into the oven on the bottom shelf, and bake for about 8 minutes.

Whilst baking – and this is going to get fiddly i’m afraid – get a sheet of greaseproof paper slightly larger than your Swiss roll, and place onto your kitchen table/surface and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar.

Now, once the Swiss roll is cooked, allow the tray to cool for about a minute to take some of the heat out of the tray, and the turn the tray upside down onto the sugared greaseproof to turn the cake out.  Gently peel off the greaseproof from the cooked cake, place another clean sheet of greaseproof back on top and turn over again! This way the pattern should be on the side of the kitchen surface? Using a sharp knife make a cut along the long length of the cake, only about half way down into the cake. This will help rolling up. Then roll up the Swiss roll with the greaseproof inside and allow to th cake to fully cool.

By cooling the Swiss roll rolled up, it will be easier to roll once filled. It will be stretched enough and shouldn’t crack!

For the filling;

200g of jam/preserve – I used Single Variety Company – Maravilla Raspberry Preserve. Because they were lovely and sent me a jar or 2 to play with 😀😀

200g Nutella (or similar chocolate and hazelnut spread) – gently warmed to make it easy to spread.

Unroll the Swiss roll. It will have cooled enough for you to use by the time you have weighed out the filling ingredients. Then spread on the jam/preserve and then cover with the warmed chocolate spread. Then roll back up, the Swiss roll. Trying to get in tightly rolled to get that all important ‘swirl’, and taking care to keep the filling in!

Place onto your cake dish and serve.

It should keep well (and covered) for at least 2 days.  If it lasts that long!

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the Season….

It is indeed the season to be joyful.

Gluten free Mince Pies

And there is no excuse required in this house, to eat and enjoy a gluten free mince pie. All the more when the pastry is a little thicker than normal and a little extra rich! For me, this newer gluten free recipe for pastry has a little extra melt-in-the-mouth experience and, and if you have some added festive spirit to hand, add this to your sweet Mincemeat for that added touch of indulgence. It’s Christmas after all, although I don’t need an excuse to eat mince pies any time of the year 😀😀😀

Yes, you can buy gluten free mince pies in the shops, yes the gluten free range is increasing, there is though, nothing like baking your own. It takes no more time to make or bake gluten free versus ‘normal’ and I’ll be honest, these taste great! So, go on, give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen??? 😀😀

Preheat your oven to gas 5, 200c fan, 215c

Have to hand you pastry topper cutter to hand (I used a Tala Christmas Tree one), an 8cm round cutter for the base and a deep 12 hole tray (used twice). This recipe makes about 18 mince pies.

70g ground almonds

310g gluten free plain flour

1 level teaspoon of xanthum gum

100g caster sugar

280g diced butter

2 eggs

540g gluten free Mincemeat

Alcoholic beverage of choice. Optional of course, but I’ve used Calvados, brandy and amaretto to make these mince pies.

Using a food processor, blend the ground almonds, gluten free plain flour, xanthum gum and sugar together for about 30 seconds until fully combined. Alternatively sieve the ingredients together over a bowl to mix them all together.

Then add the diced butter to the processor and blend on pulse until you have a mix that resembles fine breadcrumbs. No more than a minute. Alternatively rub the butter into the dry mix with your fingertips to reach the same state.

Crack the 2 eggs into a cup and lightly whisk with a fork.

Pour roughly 1.5 (save the other half as egg wash for the finished pie) of the egg mix into the flour and butter mix and blend together in the processor for about 20 seconds and then tip out on to the table top and bring together to form a dough. Or likewise, pour the egg mix into your bowl, if making by hand and again bring together to form a dough.

Let this dough rest a little in the fridge, wrapped in cling film, to firm the butter up, if nothing else. Otherwise the dough can get a little greasy.

Once the dough has rested for about 15 minutes, take it out of the fridge and unwrap it from the film. Place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough to about 4mm in thickness.

You may need to gather and reform the dough and roll out again to get the right amount of bases and tops.

Cut out 18 rounds for the base and 18 toppers. Brush the inside of each pastry round with some of the remaining beaten egg.

Place the bases in the cake tray, pop in about 30g of Mincemeat into each base and splash on about a tablespoon or 2 of optional alcoholic spirits….. top with your pastry topper of choice, brush this with egg wash and place into the oven to bake for around 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly bronzed.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool, before removing from the tray and sprinkling with icing sugar and serving. If you need to bake the remaining batch of mince pies, repeat – and line, brush, fill, splash, top, brush and bake…..

Once fully cooled, these can be placed in a tub, placed into the freezer and kept for no more than a month. So if you need to bake ahead, now is the time.

Can be served warm with your favourite – brandy butter, brandy custard, or just warm and on their own.

 

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Thought I’d put a gluten free recipe together for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. As I’ve seen a few doing the rounds recently, so not one to hop on the band wagon, but I do like to make sure everyone can have the option of having their own slice 😀

Gluten free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I am also going to scale down the posts and recipe creating in the New Year as I’d like to start work on a new project. The project might take a little more time than I imagine and something so will have to give. Not that I will forget to keep you updated and I will of course put the word out, so to speak, on the comings and going at Cake Towers, plus if I discover a juicy new recipe I’ll naturally let you know. For now though, thank you for all of your support, likes and the odd comment, it’s been a ride. The next page needs writing though and I have no idea where the journey will go. If you do need a recipe though in the meantime, please contact me via the details on the ‘About…’ page.

Enough already, there’s some sand in my eye. Here’s a rather moist and smoooth recipe to keep you going and one you’ll definitely need custard with 😀😀

Preheat the oven to Gas 3, 150c fan, 165c and line the base of a deep, loose bottomed, 8” cake tin with a slip of greaseproof paper.

8 slices of tinned pineapple

Cocktail/glacé Cherries

200g caster sugar

240g soft butter

160g gluten free self raising flour

50g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 medium eggs

100ml milk

30ml cocktail cherry juice (if using)

1 teaspoon almond essence

Open the tin(s) of sliced pineapple, drain off the juice and dab-dry the Pineapple slices on some kitchen paper. Line the base of the baking tin with the pineapple slices (you may get to eat one slice…….) and place the cocktail/glacé cherries in the middle of the pineapple slices and fill any remaining gaps with them also. Put to one side whilst you prepare the cake batter.

In a separate bowl sift the gluten free flour, ground almonds and baking powder.

Beat the sugar and the soft butter in another bowl with an electric whisk or table top mixer, until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of gluten free flour mix. Once the eggs are all mixed in, beat in the milk and cherry juice (if using) and almond essence. It will look a little split, but will come together once cooked.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and pop in the oven and bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Once cooked,  remove from the oven to cool a little. If using straight away you’ll definitely need to leave it to cool before, placing a large enough plate/serving dish over the cake tin and turning it over – for you Upside Down Cake!

Serve with custard (because there really is no other option 😀😀😀 )

If you are serving this much later, or the next day, cover until required. To warm through, just place back into a warm over for about 15 minutes, you may also want to cover the cake with some additional greaseproof to stop it catching and drying out. And still serve it with custard!

 

 

Gluten Free New Year

Here is hoping you have had a good Christmas so far, and that you have plans for a pleasant New Year surrounded by those whom you love.

And perhaps now is a good time to think about using up some ingredients you may have in the cupboard or the fridge?

There will I’m sure be something leftover after all the festivities.  If not, a small purchase will suffice.  This is a lovely rich and moist bake and can be eaten warm or cold.  You’ll need to taste the orange once you have cooked it, unless you already know if the orange is going to be sweet or sour.  This one certainly needed some additional sugar!

For the pastry;

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
    170g butter – taken out the fridge an hour or so before hand
  • 60g Caster sugar
    1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (or similar binding agent)
  • Level teaspoon of cinnamon
    milk to bring together to form a dough

To bake the pastry blind, preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

I used a food processor to blitz the flour, butter, sugar and gum into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one, work quickly with your fingers to rub the mixture together to the same point. From the processor, tip the ingredients into a bowl and pour in 30ml of cold milk at first, then a tablespoon at a time, in order to bring the dough together. Adding a  little at a time will ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky, but the dough will take a bit of sticky as the gluten free flour will absorb the liquid, if you do happen to add a little too much milk.
Once you have that dough, roll out to roughly the 4/5mm thick and fill the tart tin. Retain any surplus pastry dough and wrap in cling film, this will be for the decoration. Prick the surface, cover with a sheet of greaseproof, fill the tart with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove and cool the pastry. Only half stage blind baking is required as it’ll go back into the oven to finish with the filling.

For boiling the orange;

Take an ordinary large orange and gently pierce the skin with a cocktail stick, just half a dozen times should suffice.  Place into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.  Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the orange for about 20 – 30 minutes until the skin is soft and the orange feels squishy.  Allow the orange to cool before removing from the water.  Cut into quarters to cool more rapidly, but you do need the orange to go cold before ‘blitzing’ in a blender, before making the tart filling.

For the filling and preheat your oven to gas 4, 180c, 165c fan;

  • 1 blended orange (c200g in weight)
  • 100g soft brown sugar – depending on how sweet or sour you orange. The sweeter the orange the less sugar required.
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g gluten fee self raising flour
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90ml sunflower oil
  • 50ml milk
  • 120g dried or fresh cranberries (I used dried)

Once the orange is cold, add to it all but the cranberries and beat with a hand-held whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.  Toss the cranberries in a little extra flour and fold into the mix.

Pour into the pastry case and level off.

With the remaining pastry cut out some seasonal shapes and place onto the sponge mix, then brush with some additional milk.

Then bake in oven for 35 – 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool before trying to remove from the tin.

May 2018 bring you peace and happiness.

Thanks for reading 😀

 

 

Gluten free Chocolate Chriwhisky Tart

And that’s  Cree-Whisky!! 😀😀😀 Or Christmas in-a-bite-Tart.

Adding a slosh of decadence to your festive season with a dash of chocolate, mincemeat and a slosh of whisky. What’s not to like?

Using my lovely new, shiny 13” long tart tin again, I have created what could be something of a centre-piece for your table anytime of year, but the use of sweet mincemeat (a favourite of ours) means it’ll fit wonderfully for this coming Christmas.

Resting the pastry a topic for discussion? For this recipe I found there was no need. So don’t bother 😀. There is quite a bit of pastry here, I found that to cover the surface area and keep the pastry sturdy, the thicker the merrier. Plus you can then use the excess for the decoration.

For the pastry;

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
  • 170g butter – taken out the fridge an hour or so before hand
  • 60g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (or similar binding agent)
  • milk to bring together to form a dough

Stage 1 would be to bake the pastry blind. So Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

I used a food processor to blitz the flour, butter, sugar and gum into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one, work quickly with your fingers to rub the mixture together to the same point. From the processor, tip the ingredients into a bowl and pour in 30ml of cold milk at first, then a tablespoon at a time, in order to bring the dough together. Adding s little at a time will ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky, but the dough will take a bit of sticky as the gluten free flour will absorb the liquid.

Once you have that dough, roll out to roughly the 4/5mm thick and fill the tart tin. Retain any surplus pastry dough and wrap in cling film. Prick the surface, cover with a sheet of greaseproof, fill the tart with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove and cool the pastry. Only half stage blind baking is required as it’ll go back into the oven to finish with the filling.

The filling (oven on gas 4, 180c, 160c fan);

  • 140g Soft butter
  • 140g Caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 30g cocoa – I use Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 30g gluten free self raising flour
  • 180g mincemeat
  • generous splashes of whisky (we had some Bowmore in the cupboard…..)

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time until fully combined. Tip in the dry ingredients, the mincemeat and the splash(es) of whisky and mix in well.

Spread the mix into the pastry case evenly. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out some little shapes to decorate the surface. Brush with a little milk before baking for 35 – 40 minutes. Check with an inserted skewer, but some moisture is required to the finished bake.  The retaining heat will finish the bake-off nicely.

Remove from the oven and cool before serving or cool completely before serving cold. (Best served warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and either cream or custard)

Merry Christmas one and all 🎅🏻😀🎄⛄️

 

 

Gluten Free Mulled Wine Cheesecake

I had a bit of fun with this one.

Least of all because I’ve had to make 2 cheesecakes, but also getting to munch of some mulled wine jelly! Don’t get me wrong, the first cheesecake was indeed very nice – a baked cheesecake, but sadly lacking for me on overall depth of taste with the mulled wine. The no-bake cheesecake has for me, made the grade. A hint-and-a-hit of mulled wine. Just in time for the festive season. Or indeed to use up any spare at the end of the festive season. Waste not want not 😀

As this is to be made in 3 stages, some planning is required.

You’ll need 1 x 7” cake tin or similar tin in order for the jelly to set and with a little depth and fully lined with cling film to encase the jelly and ensure it sets. Then another 7″ deep, springform cake tin (lined) for the cheesecake.

Ingredients;

  • 200g gluten free shortbread biscuits (I used Sainsbury’s Free From) crushed into breadcrumbs
  • 70g melted butter
  • 360g full fat cream cheese
  • 170g double cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Speculaas Spice
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 380ml mulled wine
  • 3 sheets gelatine

To make the mulled wine jelly; put the sheets of gelatine into a small bowl and pour over with just enough water to cover. Leave for about 5 minutes to absorb the water and become floppy. Measure out 300ml of the mulled wine. Once floppy, gently squeeze the water out of the gelatine and place into a small saucepan. Over a gentle heat warm the gelatine to melt it to a liquid. This will only take a couple of minutes and don’t use a fierce heat – gently does it.  Then with a whisk, pour the mulled wine onto the melted gelatine and give a gentle whisk to ensure everything is mixed together. Pour into the prepared, lined tin and place in the fridge to set.

For the base of the cheesecake, mix the melted butter with the crushed up biscuits and press into the base of the springform cake tin and leave to set in the fridge whilst you make the filling.

Gently whisk the double cream with 30g of the icing sugar, 40ml of mulled wine and the speculaas spice. Don’t over whisk though or it’ll turn to butter.

Whisk the cream cheese with the remaining 40g of the icing sugar and the remaining 40ml of mulled wine. Then combine the 2 creams for a final whisk and blend, then scoop onto the set biscuit base. Cover with film and pop back in the fridge for a couple of hours for the cream mix to set.

Once you are ready to assemble remove the mulled wine from the fridge and using a suitable cutter, cut out your required shapes. For something a little different, I dredged the shape of the Christmas tree using a mix of a tablespoon of cocoa and 1/2 a teaspoon of speculaas spice.

To serve, and as you will have plenty of mulled wine jelly left, roughly chop this up and serve as a worthy accompaniment.