Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Banoffee Cheesecake with Salted Caramel - gluten free

 

This has to be the most delicious and most indulgent cheesecake I have EVER eaten! Just look at it! Seriously........ it screams 'EAT ME....... You know you want to........ Just pretend I am a low calorie, super skinny pud and worry about the guilty calories afterwards.......'

It is everything you expect from a banoffee and a cheesecake ............... crunchy biscuit base..... gooey caramel-coated banana...... rich, smooth, melty caramel cream cheese...... lightly whipped cream and freshly made decadent chocolate sauce. It is a completely 'push the boat out', extra special, 'icing on the cake' dessert that HAS to be experienced whether you are gluten free or not!


With Easter upon us it will truly impress........ but trust me, this is perfect for any celebratory gathering and will give slice after slice of 'Oohhhs' and 'Mmmmms' and smiley faces.

Feeling a bit 'caked-out', I made it for my birthday last week. Although with age, I generally try to let birthdays go increasingly unnoticed, when it comes to food, they are always a great excuse to play in the kitchen and to justify as much creativity as can be mustered in the time I can squeeze out of the day.


This particular dessert hails from sleepless, night-time inventiveness (am I the only one that spends far too much time mulling over foodie creations when I should be sleeping or conceiving dishes in my dreams?). Its biscuit case, which wraps snuggly round both base and sides, is made with crushed, oatie, gluten free chocolate digestives and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and pecans for extra texture and flavour.


Held within, are layers of banoffee and cream cheese, made with a generous portion of Salted Caramel Sauce (I used one from the Sainsbury's Taste The Difference range to save time) which is both mingled into the bananas and incorporated into the filling. For good measure, the cake is topped with a lavish drizzle of chocolate sauce and an extra sprinkling of lightly toasted chopped pecans and Salted Caramel Chocolate Flakes (from Tesco's Finest range), which sit in delightful contrast against the creaminess of the cheese and neutral fluffiness of the cream.


Each mouthful is an experience to be savoured. As the flavours and textures merge and weave together on the tongue, you want each moment to last with the wanton enjoyment it brings. Although undoubtedly extravagant and even sinful, you have no choice but to surrender to the temptation it holds. Divine!


I am sharing my Banoffee Cheesecake (it's too good not to!) with :


Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum


Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too


Foodie Friday with Casa Costello


Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse


Food Year Link Up with Charlotte at My Recipe Book. This would make a stunning Easter pud!


Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.


Banoffee Cheesecake with Salted Caramel (makes one 9 inch round, deep cheesecake)

Ingredients 

Biscuit Base
420g gluten free chocolate digestive biscuits
80g chopped walnuts and/or pecans 
140g butter 
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Toffee-Banana Layer
4 bananas - peeled and cut into chunks
40g butter
pinch salt
2 to 3 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
1 additional banana - cut into slices

Caramel Cream-Cheese Filling
400g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
250g Mascarpone 
300g salted caramel sauce
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Chocolate Sauce
20g butter
100ml double cream
125g dark and/or milk chocolate - chopped or broken into small pieces.

Decoration
1 banana - sliced
1 dessert spoon salted caramel sauce

300 ml double cream
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans - lightly toasted
1½ tablespoons grated chocolate (I used salted caramel chocolate flakes)

Method

  1. Biscuit Base - Base line a 9 inch (23 cm) round springform cake tin (at least 7 cm/3 inches deep) with baking paper and lightly grease the sides with butter. Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2.
  2. Crush the biscuits into crumbs and mix with the chopped nuts. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup.
  4. When liquid, add the biscuit mix and stir until fully combined.
  5. Spoon some of the mixture into the cake tin to make a base biscuit layer and compress hard with the back of a spoon. Gradually add the rest of the biscuits and ease and press against the sides of the cake tin, working your way round and up (tilt the tin as you go), pressing hard against the sides until you have an evenly spread biscuit border.
  6. Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. When you remove from the oven, you may need to gently press the biscuit against the sides and base again (if any has slipped) as it is cooling to ensure a solid surround. Leave to cool and then place in the fridge until ready to fill.
  7. Toffee-Banana Layer - Place the butter and salt in a small saucepan and heat until melting and beginning to bubble lightly. Add the first 4 chopped bananas and stir, gently turning and frying for 2 to 3 minutes. The bananas may begin to disintegrate, which is fine.
  8. Remove from the heat. Add the caramel sauce and stir through.
  9. When cool, add the last chopped banana and lightly fold, so that you still have some whole fresh chunks.
  10. Spread the banana mixture onto the base of the biscuit layer evenly. Place in the fridge whilst you make the cheese filling.
  11. Caramel Cream-Cheese Filling - Place all the filling ingredients in a large bowl together and beat with an electric whisk until completely combined, smooth and creamy.
  12. Spoon the mixture into the tin (it should come to the top of the biscuit sides), smoothing the top. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours and preferably over night to firm up.
  13. Before you decorate the cheesecake, you will need to remove it from the cake tin and place on your chosen serving plate. Carefully and lightly warm the sides of the tin using either a cooks blow torch or a cloth dampened with a little hot water, then gently open the spring clip allowing the tin to loosen and come away from the biscuit. Carefully remove.
  14. Use a palette knife to carefully loosen the base edges and then gently hold and lift the cake away from the base of the tin (easiest if you have a friend ready to ease it off and pull away the baking paper whilst you carefully support the biscuit case).
  15. Chocolate Sauce and Decoration - In a small saucepan mix the butter and cream and gently heat, stirring until melted and reaching a simmer (do not boil). 
  16. Turn the heat down and add the chocolate, stirring thoroughly until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool, stirring occasionally.
  17. Whilst the sauce is cooling, slice the final banana and mix with a dessert spoon of caramel sauce, making sure the banana pieces are fully coated. Arrange a small pile of caramel-banana in the centre of the cheesecake.
  18. Whip the cream in a medium-sized bowl until it reaches firm peak stage (soft, but able to hold its shape well) and pipe round the top edge of the cheesecake.
  19. Sprinkle the toasted nuts over the banana decoration and grated chocolate on the cheesecake top.
  20. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Perfectly Fluffy Gluten Free Oat Bread


On the 30th March, my blog will turn two! I have published 181 posts, mostly for recipes created by myself, although a few are adaptations and variations of recipes that I have found on the internet or in recipe books and a very occasional recipe belongs firmly to someone else and has been made and posted because it is just too good to alter in any way (full credit has always been given).


Like most bloggers out there reviewing progress since they started, I think I have come a long way in two years. The start of the journey was triggered out of necessity to embrace a whole new way of cooking, eating and living after my daughter was diagnosed with Coeliac disease. Now a way of life, my understanding of gluten free ingredients and how to combine them to make delicious cakes, bakes, pasta, breads and biscuits, feels increasingly natural (although I most definitely continue to learn more every day). My kitchen and my larder no longer feel like a new and alien environment, but one where creativity is a familiar and welcome distraction from the day to day pressures of work.

Much as I would love to throw myself completely into the world of recipe development, cooking and blogging all day every day, it remains very much a part time entity alongside my day job which I simply cannot afford to ditch. I read those amazing career blogs out there with an occasional pang of envy, but mostly with awe at the incredible talent, knowledge and (of course) recipes that are selflessly shared.


Although slow to link myself to the world of Twitter and other popular social networks, I have now begun to enter the fray as and when time allows, but I still try to fit in about three blog posts every couple of weeks. More recently, I finally managed to get round to updating my post on gluten free flours and even found time to write a little introduction about us and our journey into gluten freedom.

My beginning post on the 30th March 2013, was for Rice and Oat Bread. I remember that brief moment of hesitation before I pressed the 'publish' button for the first time and that wave of fear as I realised that someone out there might actually read the post or scarier still, try making MY loaf of bread.


I have made several breads since then and am proud of all of them. I have however, continued to strive to produce better and better loaves and rolls and to improve the texture and flavour with each recipe, in an attempt to get as close to the experience of gluten-based bread as I can.

In celebration of my two years, it seems fitting that I should unveil this new Oat Bread recipe, which has become an absolute staple in our house in the last couple of months. It is a loaf that has been through endless ingredient shifts to reach the bake that you see here. I became quite obsessed with it for a while, but given the result, I can forgive myself the indulgence. This one is a keeper! My husband (who is quite forthright when he does't like what I have made), is very vocal in his praise. He tells me this is the best loaf of gluten free bread he has had......


I am inclined to agree. The texture is amazing. It is pliable, soft, definitely not 'cakey' and (to my amazement) does not automatically break when you squeeze or bend it! Believe me..... in the world of gluten free bread, that seems a rare thing.

So what has made the difference? Possibly the balance of flours. Likely the addition of some glutinous rice flour (which does not contain gluten). Definitely the use of modified tapioca starch (I used Isabel's Baking Fix) alongside some xanthan gum. None of this affects the flavour negatively, which remains neutral, slightly oaty but not 'bitty', and perfect for both sweet and savoury toppings.

Best made as smaller loaves (to get a stable rise) or rolls, it makes for delicious, soft sandwiches. Toast and toasted sandwiches are good too, although because the bread is not as dry as some gluten free loaves and has a looser, airier structure, it can take on moisture quicker (dependent on fillings). The loaf itself stays reasonably fresh for a few days (if it doesn't get eaten first) and freezes fantastically.


I am sharing my anniversary Oat Bread with the following blog challenges :

Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes


Free From Fridays with Emma at the Free From Farmhouse (my first ever entry to the challenge)


Foodie Friday with Casa Costello




Oat Bread (makes 2 x 1 lb loaves)

Ingredients

100g brown rice flour
40g glutinous (sweet) rice flour 
160g gluten free oat flour (make your own as here)
50g potato starch flour
60g tapioca flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons modified tapioca starch (Isabel's Baking Fix or Expandex)
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon caster sugar
14g easy bake yeast (I used Allinsons)
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
400 ml warm water (hand hot)
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons dried milk powder
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
milk to glaze
GF oats to sprinkle on top

Method

  1. Prepare your loaf tins by either lining with baking paper or lightly greasing.
  2. Weigh and mix together the flours, xanthan gum, modified tapioca starch and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, yeast, lemon juice and tepid water. Set aside and leave to froth for about 10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk powder and oil with an electric whisk until well blended.
  5. Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.
  6. Add the yeast mix and use either a mixer with a dough hook or stir thoroughly until smooth, sticky and slightly elastic (this will take a few minutes).
  7. Spoon the dough mix into the loaf tins (to about half to two-thirds full) and smooth the tops.
  8. Brush with a little milk (to glaze) and sprinkle with some oats.
  9. Lightly cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 40 to 50 minutes, until the dough is well risen and the tops are rounded.
  10. Whilst the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  11. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes (15 minutes for small rolls) until golden, crisp and a skewer comes out clean.
  12. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Squidgy Chocolate Cake - gluten free (adaptation of a Delia recipe)


This is such a great recipe! It is one of Delia Smith's, from her Complete Cookery Course and has been around for years. There are countless reproductions of it on the internet and it must have been made and enjoyed a million times in the years since it was first printed.


Its popularity is well deserved. The sponge, which is flourless and fatless (and therefore naturally gluten free) is light as a feather, yet layered with chocolate mousse and lightly whipped cream it becomes an amazingly decadent dessert, perfect for any celebration. The chocolate mousse adds a rich melty sweetness and depth to the bake, slightly sticky against the fluffy sponge and beautifully complimented by the airy, soft cream.


The original recipe is for a squidgy roulade, which we usually have a couple of times a year and always at Christmas (gives me an extra opportunity to break out the snowflake cutter!), but I wanted to see what would happen if I made it into a layer cake.......


This month's We Should Cocoa with Sarah at Maison Cupcake (on behalf of Choclette at her newly named blog Tin & Thyme) gave me the chance to give it a go, the theme being layer cakes with at least 3 layers.


It may not be the prettiest cake, but boy....... it tastes amazing. I think I actually prefer it to the roulade version!

To make sure I had enough batter for a full three layers, I added an extra third to the sponge mix, but left the amount of mousse the same, spreading on just the two interior layers so that the final cake wouldn't be too rich. I also added a couple of meringue nests to the cream (top layer only) for added interest and texture. I found them loitering in the larder from weeks ago when my daughter badgered me to buy them so that she could make a random experimental pavlova for her pudding and there were a couple left over.....


The extra added treat is the Tesco Finest Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate Flakes which I scattered all over the top. I spotted them when I was shopping last week. I could smell the caramel without even opening the packet and felt my hand reach towards the shelf and like a little grab-truck, drop it into my basket......  They taste incredible........ the caramel hit they give absolutely elevates the cake both in aroma and flavour, the salty toffiness dancing on the taste buds against the chocolate.


In addition to We Should Cocoa, I am also sharing this wonderful Squidgy Chocolate Cake with the following blog link-ups :


Simply Eggcellent - a new link with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen, which challenges us to conjure up amazing dishes with free range eggs. Being both flour and fat free, the sponge in this cake is dependent on the humble egg. The whole cake uses a full 10 of them!


Love Cake with Ness at Jibber Jabber. March's theme is 'it's in the book'. The original recipe for this cake is a Delia one from her Complete Cookery Course.


Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.


Foodie Fridays with Casa Costello.


Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.




Squidgy Chocolate Cake (from a Delia Smith recipe) 

Specific differing instructions for roulade marked in blue

Ingredients

Sponge - 3 layer cake (8 inch)
8 large eggs
200g caster sugar
65g cocoa powder

or

Sponge - log
6 large eggs - separated
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder

Mousse Filling
225g good quality plain chocolate - broken into pieces
2 large eggs - separated

Whipped cream
400 ml double cream
2 to 3 meringue nests (optional)
grated chocolate to decorate (I used Tesco Finest salted caramel drinking chocolate flakes)

(for log you need only 225 ml double cream)

Decorate log with sprinkled icing sugar, edible glitter and fondant icing stars and snowflakes 

Method

  1. Sponge : Base-line three 20 cm/8 inch round loose-bottomed cake tins with baking paper (or a 30 x 20 cm swiss roll tin (2.5 cm deep) if making a roulade) and pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until they start to thicken.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to whisk so that it remains thick, but not too stiff.
  4. Sift and mix the cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture until well-blended.
  5. In a clean large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the cocoa batter, working quickly and carefully to ensure as much air as possible remains within. 
  7. When thoroughly mixed, pour the batter into the baking tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and the top springs back to the touch. 
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tins.
  9. Mousse filling : Whilst the cake is cooling, make the mousse filling. Melt the chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl either over a pan of simmering water, stirring continuously or in the microwave on 30 second bursts (medium setting), stirring between each. When the chocolate is nearly melted, remove from the heat and beat with a wooden/silicone spoon until the last lumps are fully blended. Cool slightly. 
  10. Beat the egg yolks a little in a small bowl and then add to the melted chocolate and beat again until completely combined and smooth. 
  11. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  12. Whipped Cream : Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the cake.
  13. To assemble : When the cakes are cold, run a knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen and turn out onto baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Very carefully peel off the baking paper from the cakes.
  14. Carefully spread the chocolate mousse over one side of each of two of the cakes (or if making a roulade, over the whole sponge) in an even layer.
  15. Spread about a third of the whipped cream over the top of the mousse of the first layer and top with the second moussed sponge. (If you are making a roulade, spread all the cream over).
  16. Spread a further third of cream across the top of this sponge and carefully place the final sponge on the top (smooth side up).
  17. Crush and add the meringue (if using) to the remaining third of cream and spread across the top cake layer. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and chill until ready to eat.
  18. For roulade : Using the baking paper under the cake to help you, carefully roll the sponge into a log/roulade shape. 
  19. Transfer the roll to a clean sheet of baking paper and wrap completely, tucking the ends under to hold in place. Place it in the fridge (being careful not to bend) and allow to chill for an hour or so before decorating.
  20. To serve : Trim the ends and/or cut to the length of your chosen serving dish and sprinkle with icing sugar, stud with fondant stars, snowflakes etc.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Honey-Glazed Thyme-Roasted Spring Carrots & Parsnips


It's the time of year when early spring veg starts to become available....... fresh, succulent and tender. I am not a great fan of carrots or any other root veg chopped and boiled, but give me a plate which has been drizzled with the gift of the bees, softly roasted to the point of caramelisation and seasoned with carefully chosen herbs and seasoning and I'm there!

Cooking root vegetables this way has to be one of my favourite side dishes, yet it is so, so easy to prepare. Simply source your most desired root veg, cut to a smallish size (or don't if it is a baby variety), toss in a little olive oil, add a little honey, a sprinkle of fresh herbs and some salt and pepper and roast lovingly!


I spotted some baby parsnips and purple carrots in my favourite local farm shop - Macknade in Faversham last week and just knew I needed to eat them. I also knew that the colour contrast of some bright orange carrots against the deep, almost gothic purple ones and creamy-white baby parsnips was going to make for a stunning plate......

The fresh Spring thyme not only adds a wonderful floral scent and a hint of aromatic herbiness to the dish, but also looks beautiful laid across the vibrant, honey-sweet carrots. Topped with a handful of sesame seeds I could quite happily ignore the meat or fish and eat a whole bowl of these.....


I am sharing my Honey-Glazed Thyme-Roasted Spring Carrots & Parsnips with the following challenges this month :

Extra Veg with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary (& Fuss Free Flavours & Utterly Scrummy). This is a delicious way to get extra veg into your day.

Shop Local also with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. The parsnips and carrots in this dish are locally grown and sourced from our favourite farm shop.

Vegetable Palette with Shaheen at A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table. This month's theme is Simple Spring Vegetables. These Spring root veg are so straight forward but amazingly flavoursome.

Cooking with Herbs with Karen at Lavender & Lovage. This month, we are linking great cookery with Spring Herbs. The Thyme in the garden is definitely showing good signs of recovering from the winter cold and with Spring is looking more tasty by the day.

Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.

Cook, Blog, Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.



Honey-Glazed Thyme-Roasted Spring Carrots & Parsnips

Ingredients

young/baby carrots
purple carrots 
baby parsnips
olive oil to drizzle
clear honey (2 to 3 tablespoons)
a few sprigs fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
  2. Scrape the parsnips and carrots (or peel if older) and trim as necessary. If the vegetables are larger, slice lengthways into batons keeping them as long as possible.
  3. Lay the carrots and parsnips in a roasting dish, interspersed with sprigs of thyme.
  4. Drizzle and lightly toss with a little olive oil to coat.
  5. Drizzle with honey. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about an hour, turning occasionally until soft and beginning to caramelise. If the veg looks like it is beginning to burn, cover with foil to protect.
  7. When nearly done, sprinkle with a spoonful of sesame seeds and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated

Sunday, 15 March 2015

St Clement's Cakes - gluten free (with dairy free/fatless sponge)


I seem to be having a serious citrus binge at the moment. A week or so back, I made an amazingly moist Orange & Raspberry Swirl Bundt cake which was just delicious. And we seem to be munching wonderfully sweet blood oranges by the case-load..... There is some seriously gorgeous citrus fruit around at the moment and we need to make the most of it.

There is something quite addictive about a good citrus sponge. The zing you get alongside the sweetness. The versatility of its marrying with creamy, dreamy toppings and fillings. The slight bitterness from the use of zest.......


The name St Clement's appears to have its history in the popular children's nursery rhyme which we sang as kids : 'oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements' or so it goes..... The rhyme which follows through references to the bells of several churches in the vicinity of the City of London is alarmingly sinister, with reference to death and head-chopping.......... Although it has been difficult to find any clarity about the origins or meaning of the lyrics.


Either way, the combination of oranges and lemons together is sublime. Sweet orange contrasting with zippy lemon. In a sponge? A heavenly partnership!

And even better......... This particular one is fatless. The sponge that is! The vanilla butter cream (frosting) certainly is not...... but it can be made dairy free if you need it that way and is totally delicious against the citrus tang.


Made with lots of ground almonds and sweetened with natural honey and a little brown sugar, this cake is moist with a nutty, slightly coarse bite.

I used Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Australian Macademia Blossom Honey....... A rich, glossy, clear honey with slightly floral notes which adds an extra something special against the orange and lemon flavours.  The sponges are topped with a drizzle of orange glaze (made with blood orange juice) and a sprinkle of lightly toasted crunchy walnuts for extra texture and depth.


You could make it as a single large sandwich cake (8 inch), but I made cute individual ones using my Lakeland mini sandwich tin. It's a perfect sponge for Mother's Day, but with it's light fruitiness, full of spring freshness, it would be ideal for Easter and fitting for any tea time table.

I am sharing my St Clement's cakes with the following challenges this month :


Treat Petite with Cakeyboi (and The Baking Explorer), who's theme is 'Mum'.


The Biscuit Barrel challenge with The Lass in the Apron (for Laura at I'd Much Rather Bake Than...). March's theme is 'Herbs & Flowers'. The macademia blossom honey I used in this cake gives some wonderful floral undertones which sit well against the citrus.


Alphabakes with The More Than Occasional Baker (and Caroline Makes). This month's letter is 'S'....... for St Clement's, Spring and Sandwich!


Cook, Blog, Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.


Foodie Friday with Casa Costello.


Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.


Thanks to Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi, who directed me to her blog after I posted this. For anyone who wants to know the history of the nursery rhyme 'Oranges & Lemons', Emma has a mountain of information having spent what looks like eons investigating it and visiting all the churches! I'm truly impressed with her diligence. Excitingly, I also learnt from her that there is something called 'Oranges & Lemons Day'....... yes really! It takes place every year in London on the third Thursday in March........ which means this year it is this week (19th March 2015)! A timely post indeed......

St Clement's Cakes (makes 12 individual sandwich cakes)

Ingredients

St Clement's sponge
95g ground almonds
110g gluten free plain flour mix (I used mix A from this post)
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
pinch salt
2 large eggs - separated
90 ml honey
65g soft light brown sugar
zest 1 large orange
zest ½ a lemon
juice from ½ a large orange
juice 1 lemon
½ teaspoon orange extract

Vanilla Butter Cream
80g butter (or dairy-free spread) softened
250g icing sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons almond milk (or alternative)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Orange Glaze
juice half an orange
approx 5 tablespoons icing sugar

To decorate :
3 walnuts - chopped and lightly toasted
zest from 1 lemon and 1 orange

Method

  1. Lightly grease or base line a mini sandwich cake tin.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  3. Mix together the almonds, flour, baking powder and salt making sure any lumps are broken down. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the honey, sugar and zest until pale and thick.
  5. Add the juices and orange extract and whisk again.
  6. In a separate very clean bowl with a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolk mix and beat together with a wooden/silicone spoon until well combined.
  8. Add and very gently fold in the egg whites trying to maintain as much air as possible.
  9. Gently spoon the mixture into the tin's individual cake holes as evenly and smoothly as possible (but do not squash down the tops).
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  11. Take out of the oven and remove to a wire rack to cool completely (right side up).
  12. Whilst the sponge is cooling, make the butter-icing : Beat the butter until soft and smooth and then gradually add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk to make a light, spreadable buttercream. 
  13. Cut the sponges in half to make mini layers and spread a good spoonful of buttercream on each to make a sandwich.
  14. To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar with the orange juice and heat gently either in the microwave or in a small saucepan, stirring frequently until the icing sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool (stirring occasionally) until thick enough to drizzle.
  15. Sprinkle and decorate with toasted walnuts and zest.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated