‘Tis the season to be…….

I might not be able to take really good photos, but ‘by eck, do I make rather tasty bakes!

Gluten Free Chocolate Swiss Roll

The festive season is usually one for over indulgence, adding sweetness upon sweetness. You can take the humble mince pie and drown it in brownie, the humble Swiss roll and drown it in buttercream or ganache, a humble mince pie and drown it in alcohol. The list goes on, it seems Christmas is an excuse to over indulge?  But that’s ok, it’s just for a couple of days 😀😀

And this recipe goes only half way to indulgence 😀 Still indulgent and can still be made for a simple centrepiece for a gluten free Christmas table. And if you make this, no one – no one – will be able to tell the difference between this and a ‘normal’ cake. It’s so light and fluffy. Let’s not talk about the other Swiss roll I made, that cracked and fell apart….. 🙄 but did have green Christmas trees and red baubles on!

Preheat the oven to 180c fan, 200c, Gas 4 and line a Swiss roll tin (35cm x 25cm) with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.

To make the swirls;

35g soft butter

35g icing sugar

1 egg white

30g gluten free plain flour

A simple cake mix, beat the butter and the icing sugar together until you have a soft paste, beat in the egg white; again until you have a soft paste, then mix in the gluten free flour until you have a combined mix, that will be easy to pipe.

Now I did this bit by free hand (I know, you can tell) place the cake paste into a piping bag with a writing nozzle and draw onto the greaseproof paper your pattern/s. There are plenty of templates on-line. You don’t need to cover the whole piece of paper as some of the pattern will sit underneath the Swiss roll when it has been rolled up.

Also, if you are going to write actual words, write them back to front. Otherwise when you  turn the Swiss roll over to roll once filled, the writing will be backwards.

Once you have piped your design, place in the freezer, for at least 10 minutes, whilst you make your Swiss roll.

3 large eggs

80 caster sugar

70g gluten free plain flour

20g cocoa (I use Food Thoughts Cocoa)

Using a stand mixer (I have a kitchen aid) whisk the eggs and the sugar for at least 5 minutes until you have trebled the volume of he mix and once you left out the whisk, it leaves a trail or ribbon.

Sift the cocoa with the gluten free flour together and then sift again onto the egg and sugar mix. Then using either a large metal spoon or plastic spatula gently fold in the flour mix.  Gently, so as to keep as much air in th mix as possible.

Once fully folded, take your tray out of the freezer (the pattern should have set) and carefully pour the Swiss roll mix over your pattern. Making sure the mix gets into each hole and crevice. Tap the tray gently and place into the oven on the bottom shelf, and bake for about 8 minutes.

Whilst baking – and this is going to get fiddly i’m afraid – get a sheet of greaseproof paper slightly larger than your Swiss roll, and place onto your kitchen table/surface and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar.

Now, once the Swiss roll is cooked, allow the tray to cool for about a minute to take some of the heat out of the tray, and the turn the tray upside down onto the sugared greaseproof to turn the cake out.  Gently peel off the greaseproof from the cooked cake, place another clean sheet of greaseproof back on top and turn over again! This way the pattern should be on the side of the kitchen surface? Using a sharp knife make a cut along the long length of the cake, only about half way down into the cake. This will help rolling up. Then roll up the Swiss roll with the greaseproof inside and allow to th cake to fully cool.

By cooling the Swiss roll rolled up, it will be easier to roll once filled. It will be stretched enough and shouldn’t crack!

For the filling;

200g of jam/preserve – I used Single Variety Company – Maravilla Raspberry Preserve. Because they were lovely and sent me a jar or 2 to play with 😀😀

200g Nutella (or similar chocolate and hazelnut spread) – gently warmed to make it easy to spread.

Unroll the Swiss roll. It will have cooled enough for you to use by the time you have weighed out the filling ingredients. Then spread on the jam/preserve and then cover with the warmed chocolate spread. Then roll back up, the Swiss roll. Trying to get in tightly rolled to get that all important ‘swirl’, and taking care to keep the filling in!

Place onto your cake dish and serve.

It should keep well (and covered) for at least 2 days.  If it lasts that long!

 

 

 

 

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Gluten free Chocolate Chriwhisky Tart

And that’s  Cree-Whisky!! 😀😀😀 Or Christmas in-a-bite-Tart.

Adding a slosh of decadence to your festive season with a dash of chocolate, mincemeat and a slosh of whisky. What’s not to like?

Using my lovely new, shiny 13” long tart tin again, I have created what could be something of a centre-piece for your table anytime of year, but the use of sweet mincemeat (a favourite of ours) means it’ll fit wonderfully for this coming Christmas.

Resting the pastry a topic for discussion? For this recipe I found there was no need. So don’t bother 😀. There is quite a bit of pastry here, I found that to cover the surface area and keep the pastry sturdy, the thicker the merrier. Plus you can then use the excess for the decoration.

For the pastry;

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
  • 170g butter – taken out the fridge an hour or so before hand
  • 60g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (or similar binding agent)
  • milk to bring together to form a dough

Stage 1 would be to bake the pastry blind. So Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

I used a food processor to blitz the flour, butter, sugar and gum into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one, work quickly with your fingers to rub the mixture together to the same point. From the processor, tip the ingredients into a bowl and pour in 30ml of cold milk at first, then a tablespoon at a time, in order to bring the dough together. Adding s little at a time will ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky, but the dough will take a bit of sticky as the gluten free flour will absorb the liquid.

Once you have that dough, roll out to roughly the 4/5mm thick and fill the tart tin. Retain any surplus pastry dough and wrap in cling film. Prick the surface, cover with a sheet of greaseproof, fill the tart with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove and cool the pastry. Only half stage blind baking is required as it’ll go back into the oven to finish with the filling.

The filling (oven on gas 4, 180c, 160c fan);

  • 140g Soft butter
  • 140g Caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 30g cocoa – I use Food Thoughts Cocoa
  • 30g gluten free self raising flour
  • 180g mincemeat
  • generous splashes of whisky (we had some Bowmore in the cupboard…..)

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time until fully combined. Tip in the dry ingredients, the mincemeat and the splash(es) of whisky and mix in well.

Spread the mix into the pastry case evenly. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out some little shapes to decorate the surface. Brush with a little milk before baking for 35 – 40 minutes. Check with an inserted skewer, but some moisture is required to the finished bake.  The retaining heat will finish the bake-off nicely.

Remove from the oven and cool before serving or cool completely before serving cold. (Best served warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and either cream or custard)

Merry Christmas one and all 🎅🏻😀🎄⛄️

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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!