Gluten Free Chocolate and Black Cherry Cupcakes

A little joyous seasonal goodwill to all

Well I never!! Could this nearly be the stuff of dreams??? Those good people over at Sugar and Crumbs do seem to put some great flavoured icing sugars together!  This Black Cherry flavoured icing sugar brings a whole new life to any cupcakes. And no they didn’t give me the ingredients, I actually bought this flavour at the recent Cake and Bake Show at Event City near Manchester.

The range is fantastic and can be used to swop out traditional caster sugar in cupcakes and sponges, but also to swop out icing sugar in macrons and buttercream for example – see their website for further details – http://www.sugarandcrumbs.co.uk

I also used Food Thoughts cocoa – because I find it tastes better.  This is available in Sainsbury’s and is making a show in some Waitrose stores.

Preheat the oven the gas 4, 180c, 160c fan and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases.

The keen-eyed may notice that I have reduced the amounts of ingredients used for 12 cupcakes. Well done and very observant, mainly to have a more balanced eat, but also to potentially reduce costs.  There is also no need to look at a filling for these either, there is enough taste per bite 🙂

  • 110g soft butter
  • 50g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Icing Sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90g gluten free self raising flour
  • splash of milk

Beat the butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time until fully beaten in. Then tip in the dry ingredients, stir in well to create and lovely mixture.  You may need to add a splash of milk at this stage if the mixture feels a little ‘heavy’.

Evenly fill the cupcake cases, then bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing the cupcakes from the tin and transferring to a wire rack before piping.

For the buttercream;

  • 110g soft butter
  • 40g Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 80g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry Icing
  • 80g Icing Sugar
  • splash of milk

Beat the butter (I used a hand-held electric whisk – for both the batter mix and the buttercream) until light and fluffy.  Stir in the sugars to combine with the butter before finishing with the electric whisk. |Overall, roughly 5 minutes of beating should give you a light and fluffy buttercream. You may need to add the splash of milk to get a lovely smooth, pipeable mixture.

The thing with the Sugar and Crumbs Icing is that you could use the full amount of icing to butter ration, in a buttercream mix.  It al depends on how flavoured you like you mix.  I prefer a light, subtle flavour, rather than the full on hit.  You are free to flavour as you so wish.  With less flavoured icing in the recipe you are able to make it go further.

Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes and decorate as you see fit.  I used these without gluten Christmas Sprinkles.

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Christmas Yule Log

Ho Ho Ho

We are well and truly in the Festive swing of things here in Cakes Towers. With little time left until the big day, Noah’s mum has all but completed the Christmas shopping and we can almost relax and hear the sleigh bells jingling in the distance.  Just a lttle hurdle of the day job to get through between now and then.

And what better way to start than putting together another centre piece cake for the Christmas table than a Gluten Free Chocolate Yule Log. Full of seasonal richness and our favourite – chocolate.  Although I’ll admit, it looks more like a Yule Stump! 😀😀

gluten-free-christmas-yule-log

There is a little bit of work with this one, but having all the ingredients together makes life very easy.

There are 5 stages to this Yule Log and it is certainly best if you can do the lot on the same day. Least of all because as we know gluten free baking has a tendency to dry out quicker than conventional baking. You will be making the swiss roll, then covering it with Nutella, cover this with a cream frosting, rolling it up and then covering the lot in chocolate buttercream!

To start, line a swiss roll tray with greaseproof paper and pre heat the oven to Gas 6/200c. You are going to use the top shelf for this one, none of the middle shelf nonsense!

Also take another piece of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the swiss roll tray and sprinkle with caster sugar – about a tablespoons worth. You will need this for when the swiss roll has been baked.

To make the Gluten Free Yule Log

75g Caster Sugar

3 Large eggs

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

20g Cocoa – I used Food Thoughts

55g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

200g Nutella

120g Double Cream

20g Icing sugar

60g Full fat cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

200g soft butter

380g Icing Sugar

220g Melted dark chocolate

Decorations of your choosing ( I just used sifted icing sugar)

Whisk the Sugar and Egg together until at least tripled in size.  I used a Kitchen Aid standing mixer with a whisk attachment and left it going for about 8 – 10 minutes. You need to get the air in, you’ll know its ready when you left our the whisk and it leaves its ‘impression’ in the mix, the mix will hold its shape too. Whisk the extract in briefly.

Put the dry ingredients into a sieve and sieve them over the egg and sugar mix. FOLD in gently with a metal spoon, using swift scooping motions too slow incorporate the flour mix, taking care to not knock out all the air you have just put in.

Pour this mix into the prepared tin and bake for about 8 minutes.

Once baked, and cooled for no more than a minute, turn this out immediately onto the sugar lined greaseproof paper. Keep hold of the oven gloves and take care not to burn yourself, a quick flip is required.

Remove the greaseproof paper form the base of the cooked swiss roll and then roll the swiss roll up into the greaseproof paper. Roll from the short end. This should help the cooked swiss roll to stretch into shape and be easier to roll up again with filling. It stops it cracking and breaking up as well. Although if it does, no matter as it’ll get covered!

To make the cream frosting, put the double cream, 20g icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract all into one bowl and using a hand held whisk, whisk until its stiff and spreadable – about 2-3minutes. Then set to one side.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until soft, then mix in the icing sugar and beat again until light a fluffy. Then pour in the melted chocolate and beat again. You’ll need to ensure you scrape the sides of the bowl.

gf-christmas-yule-log1

To assemble;

Unroll the swiss roll, spread with the Nutella – you’ll need to warm this slightly, so 10 seconds bursts in the microwave on full, should do this. Then dot the cream mix over the top of this and spread carefully until the roll is covered. Then carefully roll it all up to create the Swiss Roll.

Now if you want to just use it as one roll or ‘Log’ simply place the Swiss Roll on to your desired serving platter. However if you want to create more of a ‘branch’ then cut the roll a quarter of the way down – either at an angle or straight down and place this small piece alongside of the larger piece. Placing and decorating this on your desired serving plate, is by far easier than transferring the finished product.

For ease of spreading the buttercream, I piped mine on using a star nozzle, it also helps with creating the ‘bark’ lines too.  Start along the top and work your way around the cake from there.  Using a knife you can then smooth the ‘bare trunk’ sides in order to create the tree rings.

christmas-yule-log-gluten-free

Sprinkle with dusted icing sugar or your decoration of choice and then you just have to decide where to cut it and who gets the rich buttercream ends or the slice of cake!

 

 

Gluten Free Christmas Cake Slices

‘Ding dong merrily on high……’

As I sit here and eat a piece of this here cake, Christmas is but short distance away. Luckily for me it would appear the bulk of the present buying has been done and organised to its various hiding placed around the house (how we recover them though presents (pardon the pun..) another issue….

Time is ever precious at this time of year and as our lives seem to be squeezed on a daily basis, it comes as a welcome tonic (mines with vodka)  to find a gluten free Christmas fruit cake that is both easy to make and bake and similarly easy to decorate.

I was lucky enough to have been given a packet of this gluten free Christmas Fruit Cake Mix from the lovely people at Delicious Alchemy. And it really is easy to make 🙂

gluten-free-christmas-cake

Forgive me DA but I lifted this straight from your website – I have though linked it straight back to your lovely, helpful website.  I couldn’t see the point in reinventing the wheel. A couple of things to note, I didn’t use the orange and I used a tad more brandy in the cake – oops my hand slipped…

For clarity I used a square 7″ cake tin which isn’t overly clear in the original method/recipe.

You’ll need:

Before you get mixing, preheat the oven to 160C/140C for fan-assisted ovens.  Line the base and sides of a 7 inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Make sure the paper sticks out 2.5cm (about an inch) above the rim of the tin.

In a large bowl, mix the butter (or dairy free alternative) and zest (if using) then add in 45ml of the brandy or orange juice. Whisk the eggs separately and then add to the bowl along with the dry cake mix.

Mix together for 2½ minutes. You can pop it all in a mixer if that’s easier.

Once it has all come together, put the mix into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes. I would suggest that you smooth the surface of the cake mix down to get an even finish once cooked. It also helps when ready for icing.

Once baked to perfection, allow to cool for 20 minutes, then pierce the cake several times with a skewer and pour on the remaining 30ml of brandy or orange juice until it is all absorbed.

Wrap up well in greaseproof, tin foil and cling film and store.

gf-christmas-cake

Should you have the time left.. unwrap carefully, turn over, pierce the base of the cake again and ‘feed the cake’ a little more brandy.  Although if you have some calvados lying around this is just as tasty…

When you are ready to cover the choice is indeed yours.  For better use of time I used Dr Oetker Marzipan and Dr Oetker Regal Icing . Remove both from their packets, knead the marzipan until it’s a little more pliable and roll out until your decide thickness, brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and cover with the marzipan. Use the base of the square cake tin as a guide for size and shape. Brush the marzipan with a little more of the apricot jam, and repeat the process with the Regal Icing.

Now you can eat this (once decorated to your liking) as one whole cake, use as a Christmas Day centre piece and slice as required, but for something a little different I cut the iced cake into 8 ‘slices’ and decorated each slice as I desired. Just because.

And because I was able to plan a little ahead I was able to feed the cake twice – once a week over the two since I baked it.  You still have time…

delicious-alchemy-christmas-cake-mix

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Gluten Free Mulled Wine Chocolate Brownies

Mulled Wine Chocolate Brownies…yes Mulled Wine! Not for the feint hearted…..time to get into the festive spirit..literally 😀

The smell of Christmas is abound whilst making and baking this one!  But if you can leave it overnight – the flavour from the mulled wine really starts to infuse….. and there’ll be plenty of Mulled Wine left over to try whilst baking

gluten-free-mulled-wine-choc-brownie

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 3/150c and line a baking tray roughly 27x14x43cm with greaseproof, ensuring there is a couple of centimetres above the height of the tin.

200g Butter – diced

200g Dark chocolate – chopped into small pieces

3 Eggs

230g Soft brown sugar

100g Gluten free plain flour

50g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts Cocoa)

1/2 Teaspoon Mixed Spice

140ml Mulled Wine (I used this one from Waitrose)

gluten-free-mulled-wine-chocoalte-brownie

Begin by melting the dark chocolate and butter. I melted mine in a bowl set over a pan of water on the stove. Not letting the bowl touch the water and let the water come to a gentle simmer. Leave the butter and chocolate to melt gently and stir often to get an even melt. Remove the bowl from the heat once melted and leave to cool.

Sift the flour and the cocoa together and set aside.

Using a hand held electric whisk, whisk the eggs and sugar until twice the volume. This should take about 4/5 minutes.

Gently pour in the sifted gluten free flour and cocoa and add the 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice and fold in using a large metal spoon until the flour is all mixed in with no lumps of flour.

Pour in the mulled wine and mix in gently with the spoon. Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin and the dust with icing sugar before cutting and serving.

Happy holidays

I am also linking this post with

http://tinandthyme.uk

In December 2016 #WeShouldCocoa

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Gluten Free Festive Frangipane

Wrapped little Frangipane parcels of wonder….

I seem to be embracing the festive season somewhat…and as we are entering the festive season there is the odd time when you need a little extra time to bake a few dishes, this is one of those. This is a two stage bake which requires cooling in between. It can easily be done in a couple of hours if you have all the ingredients together.

gf-festive-frangipane

Line a shallow (20x10x3cm) baking pan with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to Gas 2/130c

For the shortbread –

120g Caster sugar

240g Soft butter

200g Rice flour

120g Cornflour

60g Ground Almonds

level teaspoon of Xanthum Gum

For the Frangipane –

150g Soft butter

130g Caster sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon of almond essence

150g Ground almonds

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon mixed spice

120g Dried mixed fruit

200g Jam (I used Mrs Darlington Christmas Preserve. Made with plums and port!)

To make the shortbread-

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. Then cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy – 3/4 minutes. Then (I used a table top mixing machine) tip in the dry ingredients and mix gently until fully combined and a smooth dough. This can be done hand – just get your hands in 😀😀.

Spread the dough evenly in the lined tin and smooth out into the corners using the back of a spoon.

Bake gently in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes. The shortbread should have a light brown finish. You are in fact ‘baking this blind’

Allow to cool completely before spreading the surface with the jam. And turn the oven up the Gas 3/140c.

Whilst the shortbread is baking you can make the Frangipane.

Weigh the dry almonds and spices together and set aside.

Cream the soft butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add the almond essence. If the mix doesn’t come together add in a spoon of the ground almonds mix to bind it together. Once this is done pour in the dry mix and the mixed dry fruit and mix in gently.

Once the shortbread is cooled and the jam has been spread spoon on the Frangipane and level off.

gluten-free-festive-frangipane

Bake in the middle of the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until the frangipane is cooked. Insert a skewer and in needs to come out clean. If you find the edges burning (the jam) just turn the oven down a fraction.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into pieces. Either into 9 or 18 depending on how hungry you are feeling 🙂

 

 

 

Gluten Free Butterscotch Butterkist Cupcakes

Well this is just all about the recipe.

This rather quick and easy cupcake gluten free recipe is best eaten with friends and will certainly go well before any night out!  Cupcakes and Champagne anyone? With party season fastly approaching you can now plan ahead with an indulgent cupcake to match the glamour of the occasion. And yes, there is Christmas cracker in the photo.

gluten-free-butterscotch-butterkist-cupcakes

This will make 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and line a 12 hole muffin/cupcake tray.

150g Soft butter

130g Soft brown sugar

2 eggs

145g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I use Dove Farm)

5 drops of Butterscotch Flavouring (I use Foodie Flavours)

50g more soft butter for the buttercream

100g icing sugar

5 more drops of Butterscotch flavouring

50g Butterkist Popcorn

30g Dark Chocolate – melted

Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy – this may take 3-4 minutes in order to break the brown sugar down enough. Beat in each egg one at a time, adding a little flour so that the mix does not curdle. then add in the flavouring. Mix in the remaining flour. Divide the mixture the 12 cases and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the tray and cooling on a rack.

Cool completely before piping on the buttercream

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until light and fluffy – I used a hand-held electric whisk for this volume of buttercream. Mix in the icing sugar by hand, prior to whisking, otherwise you’ll get a dust cloud of sugar! Continue to whisk until fully combined and fluffy and white. If the mix is too stiff add in a couple of tablespoons (one at a time) of boiling water. This will make it easier to pipe.

gluten-free-buterscotch-cupcakes

Pipe on to the cooled cupcakes with your desired nozzle (I used a Wilton 2A), pop on the popcorn, drizzle over with the melted dark chocolate (with a spoon) and then sprinkle over any other decorations you see fit. Or not 🙂

Enjoy – with a glass of Champagne..

 

Gluten Free Chocolate and Blackberry Bundt

Its been a while since I baked a good Bundt and I’m also getting into the spirit of things

And I’m thinking ahead now for the coming weeks. There is a rather long holiday time coming up what with Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the next few weeks.  Now I’m getting the hang of this blog thing, I can try a little harder to plan for fourth coming events.  But there’ll be always the opportunity for some very ad hoc baking.  Oh and did someone mention National Bundt Day?

This Bundt (and remember to be a Bundt with a ‘t’ it has to be baked in a NordicWare Bundt pan) would make a great centre-piece for any table – festive or otherwise.

Those that bake with a Bundt, all have a favourite. But I hadn’t baked in this pan for a while – the Fleur De Lis.

gluten-free-chocolate-and-blackberry-bundt

Now my key for a successful Bundt is all in the preparation. As I have mentioned before a little extra time before making the mix, will help at the end of baking when you need to turn the finished bake out. So begin by brushing the entire inside of the pan with semi melted butter (get into EVERY nook and cranny) and the finish with a light dusting of gluten free flour. tap the pan to remove any large clumps of flour and let the excess fall out by turning the pan upside down.

Preheat the oven to Gas 3 / 140c

200g soft butter

180g soft brown sugar

60g dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon dark treacle

4 eggs

300g gluten free plain flour

60g cocoa

300ml sour cream

200g blackberry’s (save at least 4 for decoration)

180g double cream

180g dark chocolate – broken up into small pieces to aid easy melting

30g Gourmet Jelly Bean – English Blackberry flavour

Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa and set to one side.

Start by beating the soft butter, sugars and treacle until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes in order to fully break down the sugars and remove any lumps.

Beat in the eggs – 1 at a time – using a little flour to stop the mix curdling. Then add a third of the flour mix, mix in, then add in a third of the sour cream and repeat until all is thoroughly combined.

Start to fill the Bundt pan with about half of the mixture and then scatter over the blackberry’s, and finish with the remaining batter. Tap the pan on the work top gently so that you get the mixture into all the nooks and folds of the pan.

Place into the oven and bake in the middle of the oven for about 50 – 60 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Once cooked leave to cool in the pan for NO MORE THAN 10 MINUTES. Place a wire rack over the pan and turn upside down as soon as the 10 minutes is up. This for me works wonders, never failed yet. Leave it in too long and you’ll run the risk of it sweating and the cake won’t come out in one piece.

GF Chocolate BudtNext I made a ganache to cover the entire Bundt.

Heat the cream in a saucepan, to just before boiling. Keep your eye on the cream and stir it, so that it does not stick to the saucepan.  Then pour over the broken dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl and leave for a couple of minutes before whisking the ganache to fully melt the chocolate and create a lovely creamy truffle like mixture. Continue to beat until all the chocolate has fully melted. This should be good to go, but if it’s too runny leave to cool a little. The ganache needs to be runny enough to pour but thick enough to coat the cake and not completely run off.

Keeping the Bundt on the wire rack, place the rack onto a tray (to catch the falling ganache) and the pour the ganache all over the Bundt, letting it fall naturally and cover the cake.

Leave to set a little before decorating otherwise everything will just fall off. I decorated with the remaining blackberry’s, some Jelly Bean Company flavoured jelly beans – which are gluten free, some Cake Décor gold dust (it is a centre piece after all) and some gold pearl sugar decorations.

Gently lift off the rack when it’s all set and place on to the cake stand – cut and indulge.