No time like the present..

You may need to take a seat. 😀

And, yes, there is a recipe attached to this post!

I thought it about time to both update and and write a new recipe.  As you will have noticed from some of my social media posts recently, it’s been a difficult couple of months and you begin to see things through a different lens. You pull together, close in and heal each other. Share the pain, the grief and the sorrow. You also turn the corners and build each other up; you become a little stronger.  But it does give you time to reflect.

The Book? Yes, well. Who knew these tings could take so long!? Probably a lot of people. It’s been an interesting journey and I can safely say that I have written the recipes and taken the photos. The manuscript is in some semblance of order and I think I’m fairly happy with the end result. The next steps are to find a graphic designer (that doesn’t cost the earth!) to create a new document that can be turned into something that can be published. A little exciting ? Yes, I guess it is 😀

Back to the recipe. A lovely cake (if I do say so) and made in 3 stages. Look to make the jam first, so it cools and so that you have time to enjoy the sweet smell of the raspberries cooking. Then the simplicity of the lemon sponge, followed by the making of the rather light and refreshing Cheesecake frosting.  All in, and quite mornings’ project. Ideal for anytime or even for Mother’s Day or even Easter.

Plus I’m now writing this in a pair of glasses being held together with Gorilla Glue. Because time is of the essence, 😂

Begin by making the jam;  place 250g of raspberries into a large enough solid base saucepan, with 200g granulated sugar. Place over a low heat to slowly dissolve the sugar and use a potato masher or fork, to crush the raspberries into a pulp.  Stirring as you go with a spatula, bring to a slow boil, turn up the heat and fast boil for about 4 minutes – keep stirring so the jam doesn’t stick to the base and burn. After 4 minutes turn off the heat and allow to cool in the pan. Put this to one side for now.

Preheat the oven to 160c fan/180c/Gas Mark 4 and line 3 x 7” cake tins with greaseproof paper.

5 eggs

230g sunflower oil

250g caster sugar

zest of 3 lemons

300g gluten free self raising flour

Place all the ingredients into a large enough mixing bowl and whisk (using an electric whisk or stand mixer with a whisk attachment) until light and fluffy and well combined – about 2/3 minutes. Remember to scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl half way though whisking.

Stop the machine and divide the cake batter between the 3 cake tins, place into the preheated oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool before removing from the tin tins and lacing on a wire rack until required.

For the cheesecake frosting:

360g full fat cream cheese

210ml double cream

juice of 1 of the lemons

150g lemon curd

Additional raspberries for decoration

Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until firm and pipable. You won’t be piping but it’s a good indicator  of firmness in texture.

To assemble the cake, place one sponge on your cake plate, smoother with half of the raspberry jam, place a second cake on top and cover this with the  remaining jam. Taking your cheesecake frosting, cover the tops and sides of the cake, as in the photo. For the lemon curd drizzle, place the lemon curd into a small microwaveable container and  just warm it through, on full power, in 2 short power bursts of 10 seconds.  Then either using a disposable piping bag or spoon, drizzle the top and sides and slightly the cover the top of the cake as shown.

Finish with the additional raspberries, place in the fridge for at least an hour or so before serving. Serve within a couple of days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Neapolitan Cake

This is a wonderful cake to surprise anyone, especially someone special for Mothers Day. Let us also celebrate those mothers who for what ever reason, are no longer with us, I’m sure they would want us to celebrate their lives and what they meant to us. This wonderfully moist cake can of course be used as a celebration cake any time of the year.

Otherwise known as a Neapolitan Cake, I have added into this my own gluten free twists and you can of course decorate this in what ever way takes your fancy. I used some of the freeze-dried strawberries (I got mine from Sainsbury’s) I used in the cake and some rather lush Godiva Dark Chocolate Hearts from their ‘Masterpiece’ range…. yum. Despite saying ‘may contain’, use your own dietary requirements to include or not. Noah won’t eat them – so his mum will love them, I’m sure.

You’ll need 3 x 7″ cake tins with loose bases, lined and preheat the oven to Gas 4, 170c, 160c fan. If you only have 2 cake tins (as I have) make and bake the vanilla and strawberry cakes first, then once one of these at least, has cooled. Remove it from the tin, place the cake on a wire rack, then make and bake the chocolate cake.

I found that if you make them in vanilla, strawberry and then chocolate order, you can get away with using only one mixing bowl without having to wash it up between batters.

The batter recipes and method are all relatively the same;

For the vanilla cake batter;

  • 2 eggs, broken into the mixing bowl
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 50g vegetable oil
  • 50g melted butter
  • 110g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the strawberry cake batter;

  • 2 eggs
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 50g vegetable oil
  • 50g meted butter
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1 drop of strawberry flavouring
  • 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried strawberry pieces

For the chocolate/mocha cake batter;

  • 2 eggs
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 50g vegetable oil
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1 tsp dried instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water (cool)
  • 20g cocoa
  • 90g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 30g sour cream

For each individual batter, put all of the ingredients into a bowl and using a hand-held whisk, beat until light and fluffy – 5/6 minutes. Then pour each flavour batter into its own cake tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave them to cool.

For the filling and the buttercream;

  • 1 jar of strawberry jam – the filling
  • 40ml vodka (optional – I used Black Cow Vodka)
  • 200g very sift butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • splash of milk

Once the cakes have cooled, slice each cake horizontally in half.

Mix the jam with the vodka (optional)

In order to then build the cake place one half of the chocolate cake on you cake plate, spread with jam, then place the other half of the chocolate cake on top.  Spread jam on top of this, add a slice of the strawberry cake and jam mix, then top with the other strawberry cake, then jam and then repeat with the vanilla cake. Don’t put jam on the top vanilla cake.

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until light and fluffy using your hand-held whisk, or table top mixer. Pour in the icing sugar, essence, and milk stir in, using a spoon to avoid the dust cloud, then finish off by beating the mix for another 4/5 minutes until the mix is smooth and well combined.

Spread a small amount (roughly a third) of the buttercream all over the cake to seal in the cake crumb and place in the fridge to firm up – at least an hour – then finish off smoothing with the rest of the buttercream to create the all over smooth finish.

To finish off, decorate with your own choice of confectionary.

 

 

 

Happy Mothers Day new and old

To all the lovely mums out there. You do an amazing job. ❤️

You are always there when you are needed and always there when we think better. You are always there because  if you weren’t there would have been hell to pay for.  You feel unappreciated and undervalued. Without you we wouldn’t get to school on time, without you ‘stuff’ wouldn’t get done.

You are everything and you are more.  To all the mums, you are loved and needed. It might take us until our adulthood to realise that or even when we have children of our own, but we very much appreciate you. Thank you ❤️

I do love a bit of developing recipes, and this seemed a great time to look at something different.

gluten-free-fig-and-pistachio-cake

Based around a carrot cake in method and baking this moist cake will make a great centre piece for Mothers Day and even for Easter. If you can make it a day or 2 in advance before topping – it will keep in a sealed container for 2 days – the flavour improves as the spice flavour comes out a little more.

Preheat the oven to gas 3/150c and line (base and sides) an 8″ round cake tin with a loose base.

For the cake –

  • 170g light brown sugar
  • 180ml sunflower oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 120g grated carrots
  • 80g chopped dried figs
  • 180g gluten free self raising flour
  • 75g shelled, broken pistachios
  • 2/3rds level teaspoon speculaas spice

For the topping –

  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 120g passion fruit curd (I use Mrs Darlington’s)
  • 4 fresh figs – each sliced into 6 pieces
  • 25g additional pistachios, crushed or broken up

To make the cake, whisk the oil, sugar and eggs until fully beaten and blended together. Stir in the chopped figs and carrot. Toss the broken nuts into the gluten free flour and spice and then stir into the cake mix.  It’ll be a bit runny, so take care when poring into the cake tin.  Bake in the middle of the oven for about  45 – 50 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool in the tin before removing from the tin and remove the greaseproof paper from the cake.  Cool completely on a wire rack. If storing at this stage, pop in the sealed container. Otherwise carry on to top.

To make the topping, whisk the curd into the mascarpone and spread over the top of the cake, decorate with the fresh figs and scatter with the broken nuts.  Slice.

And before anyone asks – I am sadly not on commission from Mrs Darlington’s.  It is a local producer to me and they make a fantastic range of products – some of which are award-winning, they taste fantastic – it’s why I use them.  Just in case you were thinking 🙂

Ad – but if you need some new baking supplies try clicking this link to Amazon for you baking needs, like a new cake tin

http://amzn.to/2ltAMOb

cake-tins

 

Gluten Free Carrot Cakes for Mother’s Day

This ‘work’ malarkey doesn’t half get in the way of the all important baking. Still, there is always time to catch up between jobs and of course everyone wins. At home there is nearly always something to eat and invariably the work colleagues get the odd treat now and then, for which I think they are very appreciative. Although sometimes its difficult to tell 🙂 A message though for one of my colleagues – carrot cake, is far from being healthy 😉

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

So the weekend of Mother’s Day approaches with some haste this year – March 6th 2016, just in case you had forgotten. It’s all very well having recipes on the day, but there are some folk that do like to plan ahead. So I have this very simple recipe for Gluten Free Carrot Cake. This was actually requested by Noah’s mum, its her favourite. ‘Nothing fancy’ was the request, ‘don’t mess with recipe’ and ‘just make sure its moist’. Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad! Always wanting to make sure I can do something different each time and look at, what I think, is improving the recipe, I did make a slight tweak from a previous recipe…..

This Gluten Free Carrot Cake makes 18 mini cakes all told, but I baked 12 in my new Lakeland 12 Mini Cake mould (lightly greased) and then another 6 in muffin cases. The oven was set at Gas 4, 180c.

100g Light Brown Sugar (I use Billingtons)

70g Dark Brown Sugar

4 Eggs

180ml Sunflower oil

130g Grated carrots

120g Sultanas

180g Dove Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

1 tsp Bicarb

1 tsp Mixed Spice

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Sieve the dry ingredients together and pop to one side.

Whisk the eggs, oil and sugars for about 4 minutes. Ensuring they are thoroughly mixed and the sugar has no lumps. Then stir in the grated carrots and sultanas, then stir in the dry ingredients.

It’s really that simple.

Then pour into the moulds and muffin cases and bake in the middle of the oven for 18 – 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before topping.

And nothing beats a gluten free Carrot Cake topping like good old-fashioned cream cheese frosting.

Gluten Free Carrot Cakes

So when the cakes are cool enough, whisk 200g full fat cream cheese (I use Philadelphia) with 90g icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and using an icing bag and nozzle pipe onto the finished cakes.

Enjoy. And to Mothers everywhere – you do a fantastic job, never under-estimate what you do, you are never taken for granted. Happy Mothers Day x