Gluten Free Chocolate and Raspberry Torte

Before we all get side tracked into watching the new series of the Great British Bake Off and perhaps going a little off-piste with our baking, a little Torte to share with you.

The lovely people at Food Thoughts sent me a tub of their Natural Cacao Powder for baking, it’s also a Fairtrade product. Considered a natural and healthy product, with this much sugar in the recipe it might not be….but perhaps there is room to develop a healthier version? Ummmmm that’ll get me thinking.

If you can leave the Torte unsliced overnight, or for a few hours, the juice from the raspberries will seep out into the Torte and make it even more moist. If you can’t wait that long, a spoonful of half fat, creme fraiche or yoghurt (keeping it healthy) or a dollop of cream will do no harm either.

Relatively easy to make, you’ll need a couple of mixing bowls, one larger than the other, and pre heat the oven Gas 2, 160c, 155c fan. Line an 8″ deep cake tin, base and sides, with greaseproof.

5 eggs – separated

200g caster sugar

160g ground almonds

40g Food Thoughts Cacao Powder 

1 teaspoon Almond essence

100g fresh raspberries

Mix the ground almonds and cacao together and put to one side.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks, using a stand mixer or electric hand-held whisk. Then pour in 50g of the caster sugar and continue to whisk until you have a soft sheen – not too dissimilar to making a meringue. This is where you get the air into the cake, so ensure you use fresh eggs and don’t rush this bit.

Using the same beaters (saving on washing up and it makes little or no difference) and in another larger bowl, beat the egg yolks, remaining 150g of sugar and the Almond essence until light in colour, roughly 50% more in volume and the mix thickens to get that ‘ribbon stage’ – if you pull the whisk out, it leaves a ribbon. Pour into this the almonds and cacao mix and mix well. This will be a stiff paste.

Fold into this a third of the meringue mix, this first third will lose some of the volume, but it’s important to mix well to loosen up the yolk and Almond mix and ensure any pockets of egg whites are dispersed. Fold in the next third, folding gently so as not to knock out the air. Fold in the final third, folding slowly and ensuring all the paste is evenly mixed.

Pour into your prepared cake tin and gently push the raspberries into the top of the mix. There is no need to push them fully down, just enough as you can see in the photo, they don’t sink. But don’t need to.

Bake for 40 – 45 mins.  An inserted skewer will come out with a little of the finished Torte, so you will need to judge for yourself how much is too much cake (on the skewer).

 

Gluten Free Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake

I often wonder if I should post all of my bakes.

After all, is it not the bakes, that drive the blog in the first place? Or is it the general interest in gluten free baking? There are an awful lot of bakes that do not make the blog, but if I put every bake up on the blog, I feel it would curtail the little creativity I have. I would spend too much time writing and then the blog would turn into a heavy weight around the neck. I’d probably not bother.

There is little rhyme or reason as to what bakes go on the blog, but from the outset I have tried to make the bakes on here uncomplicated and fairly easy to do. I would hope you would mention this? 😄

You will have noticed though recently, that I have had opportunities to push myself a little. It would appear to the uninitiated that I love baking for Halloween. I’ll admit it does bring a certain amount of fun to baking and it’s probably about time I got a little more creative. But should I have put everything on here? Not every baker has a blog or website and there are some very creative and fantastic bakes and bakers out there.

So now to something else, seasonal and warming, but perhaps more low-key and no less tasty by any means!

This bake would be perfect on a cold autumnal Sunday afternoon (which appear to be creeping up on us now 😞) with or without custard……or even a rather lush caramel sauce…..

gluten-free-toffee-apple-upside-cake

This will serve 4-5, depending on the size of the portion.

Preheat an oven to gas 4, 180c.

Now because I don’t have all the tins, I used a 7″ sandwich tin with a loose bottom, but fully lined this with greaseproof, so that it came up the sides by about 2″. If you don’t line it, or have a more suitable tin, the caramel you create will seep out the base…and all that taste and squidgy sponge will more than likely burn.

2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced.

70g butter

70g soft brown sugar (although I used dark for this)

130g soft butter

120g caster sugar

130g gluten free self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the 70g of butter and the 70g of sugar and boil for 2 minutes to make the caramel.

Use the sliced bramleys to line the base of the tin with your desired pattern and cover with the caramel sauce. Leave to cool whilst you make the sponge.

Put all of the ingredients into you food mixer/table top mixer and beat until you have the desired consistency (about 4-5mins) for your sponge. If it’s a little heavy and doesn’t ‘drop’, add a little water. I have found that adding milk makes for a rather obscure taste with gluten free baking that I could do without. Hence using water is best for me.

Pour over the apples and caramel and bake for about 20-25mins. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Don’t though put it all the way through, as it will get some of the apple mix.

Carefully remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 5 minutes, before placing a large dinner plate over the cake and turn the cake over (upside down! It all makes sense now 😄) The lovely caramel sauce should then seep back into the sponge.

Serve immediately with custard or sauce of choice.

 

Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf Cake

Finally I get around to posting this!

Sometimes, despite all the planning, it just all falls apart and something else just gets in the way. Others’ priorities take over, it goes above and beyond your control.

I’m  very proud to say that this gluten free Blueberry Loaf cake won me winner of  Week 2 of the Delicious Alchemy ‘Gluten Free Magic Bake Off’ or #GFMBO. Now in its 3rd year, it’s a great way for the gluten free community to showcase any and all of their bakes, through the magic of social media. Weekly winners are picked over 6 weeks and those winners, win a hamper of goodies. Then finally, all the bakes entered, go out to a massive public vote and there is then a final bake-off, before a winner is crowned.

Its my second year of entering and it really is such fun, especially trying to think of something different for each week.

That and with the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong, being run by my Twitter friends The Baking Nanna and Robert Allen, there is plenty of baking to be done, as the Country goes baking mad over the course of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ on the Beeb.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase…

Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf Cake

Preheat the oven to Gas 3/170c and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper or a loaf tin liner.

180g soft butter

170g caster sugar

3 eggs

210g gluten free self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

60ml milk (I used semi skimmed)

200g fresh blueberries

120g Mrs Darlington’s Wild Blueberry Jam

approx 200g icing sugar

water to mix the icing sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. You may need to add a little flour to stop it splitting. I’ve learnt over time, to be patient with this bit. Get the beat going and throughly mix this bit together.

Add the vanilla extract and beat again.

Pour in the rest of the flour and baking powder and mix well, you’re can add the milk at this point so the mix isn’t to stodgy.

Just before adding to the loaf tin, stir in the fresh blueberries, pour into the loaf tin. If you wish, at the point spread the jam over the top of the mix and gently mix in, into the top of the cake before popping into the oven on the middle shelf for 50 – 60 mins. Or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool, before taking out of the tin, and then when cold remove the greaseproof/liner, before adding the icing.

To make the glacé icing, add a tablespoon of the water to icing a little at a time, until your desired thickness is achieved. I love my icing thick, but you may prefer it thinner. If you add to much water, add a little more icing and vice versa.

I have another similar recipe with blackcurrants and almond…..I’ll save that for another day perhaps…

Slice and enjoy 😄😄

 

Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes

Never one to shy away from an offer of a free sample and never one to then have to adapt a recipe around that product. I was very eager to try a sample of some speculaas spice from The Speculaas Spice Company. And of course its gluten free!

There are further details on the website of the origins of the spice, but it is a wonderful blend of – according to the literature – ‘9 spices including real, high grade cinnamon from Sri Lanka, cloves, ginger and 6 others’ its really quite heady. The smell whilst baking is certainly very festive as well.

But what to make? I had a few ideas and they may yet appear, but for now I went with gluten free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes. Chocolate may be the next one… there are a few possibilities….

Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcake

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray and pre-heat the oven to 170c/gas 3.

150g soft butter

130g light brown sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of Camp Coffee

120g Gluten Free Plain Flour

30g Ground Almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Van Dotsch Speculaas Spice Mix

50g Crushed Pecans (plus 12 extra for decoration)

Buttercream;

100g soft butter

200g icing sugar

1 tablespoon Camp Coffee

1/4 teaspoon Speculaas Spice Mix

Firstly mix/sift the flour, almonds, baking powder and spice mix together and set aside.

Cream the soft butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and the beat in, one at a time, the eggs, adding a little of the flour mix if needs b,e to stop the mix from curdling.

Mix in the flour mix and finish with the crushed pecans.

Divide between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes – or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray before removing onto a cooling rack to completely cool.

To make the buttercream, cream the butter till soft, stir in the icing sugar, speculaas spice mix and Camp Coffee and them finish beating – I used an electric hand mixer to get a smooth finish. Pipe as required onto the cupcakes and finish with a pecan. You could also just use plain water icing mixed with the spice.

Thanks again to Steven Dotsch at the Speculaas Spice Company for the sample, I’m looking forward to the next recipe

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

I do like to try to mix things up occasionally. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

We’ve had a few visitors over the past few weeks, the school holidays playing havoc with the normal routine (But then what is normal?) and it’s been a little chaotic!  Sometimes I’ve had time to bake, other times, sadly not. And in the hope of bettering myself I even baked some gluten free Caramel Shortcake for a job interview!! I was asked to talk about something I’m passionate about……. 😀

I think I’ve said it before, planning what to bake normally ends in epic failure! Make-it-up-as-I-go along mostly works out well and this was one of those occasions.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 3 / 160c and line a small baking tray (20cm X 10cm) with greaseproof paper.

 

Gluten free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

90g soft butter

80g soft peanut butter

160g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

120g gluten free self-raising flour

40g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts)

40g ground almonds

1 tsp bicarb of soda

200g chocolate (I use Callebaut)

80g melted butter

1 Bag of Reece’s mini peanut butter cups

First of all scatter about half the bag of mini chocolate peanut butter cups on the base of the baking tin.

Then mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Beat the butters with the  brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. I used a stand food mixer, so I also had to remember to scrap the sides occasionally. When beating in the eggs leave the to beat in well before adding the next. Ensure the mix is smooth and not curdled. Mix in the vanilla extract. Then alternate mixing in the sour cream and dry ingredients. Dry – cream – dry – cream – dry. Until all mixed in well. Pour over the scatter mini cups, smooth out to an even surface and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30mins.

Leave to cool for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan, and making the topping.

Melt the chocolate – in a microwaveable bowl – in 30 second bursts. Or in a bowl over simmering water. Ensuring no water gets into the chocolate and the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl.

Once melted stir in the melted butter and pour over the chocolate cake. Spread evenly and then decorate with the remaining mini Reece’s chocolate  peanut butter cups.

Leave to cool and set at room temperature before cutting as it will cut easier. If you need it quick pop in the fridge. But beware……it’ll be harder to cut.

As with most gluten free fresh bakes,  it’ll only last a couple of days before it starts to dry out. The chances are though it won’t last that long😃😃

Enjoy 😀😀😀