Beware the gluten free complacency

And so the fun time of year comes around yet again 😀😀

I do love a bit of spooky and ghoulish behaviour, being scared out of my wits and dressing up, smothered in face paint. There’s nothing like it 😀😀

Let the imagination run wild, how far you go depends on how far you DARE go! And it’s much the same with cake. Last year was a gluten free chocolate cake, covered in white ‘bandages’, eyes and with a red coloured orange curd for blood. That, once cut, oooozed out. Such fun!

This year 2 cakes for you, one entitled ‘Scratch’ and the other, designed by Noah’s sister, ‘Bleeding Eyes’. Both are based around a simple gluten free Victoria sponge recipe  (the link will take you to one of my recipes – just omit the colour and you’ll just need vanilla flavouring/extract) and both are coloured differently inside. But you can do as you please.

‘Scratch’ is coloured purple with green buttercream’ whilst ‘Bleeding Eyes’ is coloured black and purple and layered with strawberry jam. In both cases the ‘blood’ is a paste made with red food colouring, honey, water and cornflour.

Gluten free bleeding eyes Halloween cake

Of course it’s not all about cake and we must always be vigilant for the  ever-present gluten! Whilst these fun and themed times of the year bring us holiday fun, we also need to ensure we are on the look out, on the back of the food packets with all the new foods that become available. Enticing us with something new each year, we need to ensure we are reading the ingredient lists on the back. Even if we have had the product before, it’s always worth looking again as the product may have had an ingredient change that we weren’t aware of. Take nothing for granted and if you really want an extra check, click the Coeliac UK website for updated product news.

Although as we have recently found out, despite something years of vigilance, complacency does creep in and we do make mistakes. We are only human. Without naming the product we had over looked the dreaded ‘barley malt extra’!! Now we have no idea what effect it might have, but we’d rather not find out. So after sharing out the contents of said products, I noticed a rather familiar taste, that sent a little alarm bell ringing. It was a rather ‘cereal’ based flavour that made me look again at the ingredient list – ‘Barley Malt Extract’!!!! The packet disappeared, Noah spat out the sweet, but it left a rather upset Noah, and the every present cry of, ‘I just want to eat normal free’.  It breaks our hearts. Normally we are able to control what Noah eats at the moment and wouldn’t normally let barley malt extract through the right security measures, we have no idea on its impact. I’m sure there will come a time again when out guard is down, or he gets that little bit older……we learn from our mistakes I suppose.

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From Free Angel Cake

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to get the cakespiration juices flowing.

This take off, of a well-known supermarket own brand cake, was created after a friend of mine – who can only eat gluten free and dairy free – commented on how bad they were and hopefully I could do better!! I love a challenge.

Challenge accepted and here is the result – as it happens one of Noah’s favourites too.  This light and fluffy slice is relatively easy to make and keeps well for at least 3 days, in a sealed container. You wouldn’t really know they were a free from cake!

Preheat your oven to Gas 3, 170c, 160c fan

Line 2 small brownie/cake trays c25cm long, c3cm deep and c14cm wide

  • 4 large eggs
  • 240g vegetable oil
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 240g gluten free self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 drops of pink colouring ( I used Rainbow Dust pink gel)
  • 2 drops of strawberry flavouring (optional – I use Foodie Flavours)
  • 50g Stork for Baking
  • 170g Icing sugar
  • few drops of water

I would suggest making the main cake mix twice.  Firstly weigh out 2 eggs, 120g veg oil,  110g caster sugar, 120g gluten free self raising flour and a teaspoon of vanilla essence and using a hand-held mixer whisk the lot together until light and fluffy – 3 – 4 minutes.  Pour this batter into the 1st cake tin and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.

To make the 2nd batch of cake mix, put the remaining 2 eggs, oil, sugar, gluten free flour, pink colour and optional drops of strawberry flavour and again whisk until light and fluffy, pour into the tin and bake for the same amount of time. Or until the inserted skewer comes out clean.

To make the filling – similar to that of a buttercream, without using butter, beat the Stork until light and fluffy, mix in 100g of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and a few drops of water (this will help to spread the filling over the base of the cake) then continue beating using an electric hand-held whisk until the mix is light and fluffy – it turns a pale shade of white too.

In order to spread the filling, ensure both cakes are cool and have been removed from the tins.

Place the pink cake down first and spread over the filling then top with the vanilla cake slice.

Using the remaining 70g icing sugar, the drop of pink colouring and a few drops of water, mix up a thick, pipeable water icing.

To keep the cake looking trim and neat you may want to cut the edges off the cake before serving. Then cut the cake into as many small pieces as you can or as large as you feel, I got about 24 mini Angel Cake Slices.

Finally to finish off the cakes slices, pipe the pink icing over the cut slices, I used a Wilton number 5 piping nozzle for the drizzle.