Gluten Free Halloween Cake

I think I secretly love this time of year. The ghosts and ghouls, the dark and devilish. Not sure about all the blood and gore! But it is rather fun. Certainly had a bit of fun with this cake – a wonderful centre piece for the Halloween table – and its gluten free!

Halloween has been gathering some momentum over here in the UK for the last 10 years. Not sure I had heard about it when I was little, Noah now loves this time of year (I think it’s the sweets when he goes Trick or Treating)

A chocolate cake with a buttercream filling with a gluten free chocolate krispies as the brain, decorated with Schar Cookies and chocolate buttons.

Based around a 7″ cake tin recipe, the first thing will be to make the ‘brain’. Which you could also make using white chocolate coloured red for extra goriness.

Prepare the night before to allow for the krispies to set;

  • A bowl that fits the base of your 7″ cake tin
  • 110g gluten free rice krispies
  • 180g melted chocolate

The curve of the bowl will form the curve of the head of the cake and fits nicely onto the finished cake prior to icing. Mix the krispies with the melted chocolate, pour into the bowl and press down with the base of the cake tin, then leave to set.

 

Pre heat the oven to Gas 4, 180c or 160c fan and line 2×7″ cake tins with greaseproof paper.

  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 100g melted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g cocoa (I use Food Thoughts)
  • 180g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Beat all the ingredients together, I used the paddle beater with my table top mixer, for about 5 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 cake tins and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven to cool, then take out of the tins.

Buttercream and topping;

  • 200g soft butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • red food colouring
  • splash of milk
  • flavouring – optional
  • 1 packet of Schar cookies
  • 1 packet of chocolate buttons
  • 1 packet of ready to roll fondant icing

Beat the butter until its light and fluffy, then mix in the icing sugar before beating further until the buttercream is spreadable.  At this point add the colouring and any optional flavour and beat this in.

Carefully slice each cake in 2 and build using the buttercream – a couple of tablespoons of buttercream should be enough for each layer. Pop the set krispies on top and cover the whole cake with the buttercream. Smooth the buttercream ready to cover. Leave a little over as you can use this to stick the cookies to the cake.

Roll out the fondant icing, you’ll need to roll it fairly thin in order to cover the cake and leave enough extra to give the covering the ‘ghost’ like base.

Cut the cookies so that there is the cream like filling on one side and a plain biscuit on the other.

Use the buttercream to stick a chocolate button on the cookie, then to stick the cookie onto the cake.

 

Gluten Free Trifle Cake

Gluten Free Trifle Cake. Yep, it’s a thing and this way everybody gets a fair slice of sponge, jelly, fruit and custard. Although I’ll admit I always used to like just the custard and sponge.

The celebrations maybe over but there is always time for cake. Where some might be cutting down or even out (God forbid!)  I believe it’s all about moderation. Someone will be celebrating somewhere and here is a gluten free cake to celebrate. Perhaps there should be a National Trifle Day? 😀

gluten-free-trifle-cake

This cake was made for our final family gathering of the holidays or should that be the first celebration of 2017 and if I’m honest it turned out better than I thought 😀😀 It took a little planning ahead, but certainly worth the wait.

You’ll need 2 x 8″/20cm round, loose bottom cake tins and some patience.

Firstly you need to make the jelly and set the custard. You may need to do this bit a day in advance.

  • 1 packet of Jelly – I used Hartley’s Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 tin of Fruit Salad – drained – retain the juice.
  • Line one of the 8″/20cm cake tins with enough cling film, so that it over hangs the tin.
  • 1 tin (400ml) custard – yes I used a tin, do I need to make everything?
  • 4 1/2 sheets of gelatine
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Make the jelly as per the packet instructions – as I used Hartley’s I started with the half pint of boiling water to dissolve the jelly, once dissolved I then poured in the juice from the drained tin. Scatter the drained tinned fruit over the base of the lined cake tin and the pour in the jelly. If you can, pop it into the fridge to set. Once the jelly has set, you can start the custard mix.

Soften the gelatine in a small amount of water – you need to cover the gelatine in cold water and leave it for about 4-5 minutes until its soft and flexible – like the jelly before you dissolve it. Drain the gelatine and discard the water. Put the gelatine in a small saucepan over a gentle heat in order to dissolve the gelatine into a liquid. Try not to let the mix boil, it will though only take a minute or two – so don’t take you eyes of it and stir constantly.

gluten-free-trifle-cake

Pour the cold custard and vanilla extract onto the dissolved gelatine and whisk gently until fully combined. Pour onto the set jelly, pop back into the fridge to set completely.

Then to make the sponge and finish with sherry, jam, cream and sprinkles.  Line the other 8″/20cm cake tin with greaseproof and preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c

  • 120g soft butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam (optional)
    • Sherry
    • 300ml double cream
    • 1 table-spoon icing sugar
    • Sprinkles to decorate

trifle-cake-gluten-free

To make the sponge, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoon of flour if it looks like it might (or is) curdle. Beat in the extract and stir in the gluten free flour. Pour into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.

And then to assemble.

Place the sponge on the cake stand and spread with the jam (if using) and drench with as much sherry as you dare.

Then the tricky bit.

Lift the set jelly/custard out of the cake tin, with the cling film and place on top of the drenched sponge base.  You can then gently remove the cling film by rolling/pulling the cling film from underneath the jelly.

Whisk up the cream, extract and icing sugar until light and fluffy and it holds its shape. Pipe onto the custard and finish with the sprinkles.