Monday, 12 December 2011

Gluten Free Treats

I made these cakes sometime ago for a family get together, but didn't write a post at the time. My cousin's child is coeliac and I thought I'd be nice to make some treats that we could all eat so he didn't feel left out.

These are two of my favourite gluten free cakes. They are obviously no good for people with nut allergies, but that wasn't an issue here.

The first is a lemon drizzle cake and the result is quite similar to my 'normal' recipe

It has been adapted from Harry Eastwood's beautiful book. She goes as far to say her cakes, which use vegetables to reduce/remove the sugar and butter content and rice flour, are better than the standard recipe. Now after trying quite a few of her recipes I don't agree completely but they are a very good gluten free alternative, particularly with a few tweaks.

I personally don't like the slightly fragrant taste of rice flour so would recommend trying your favourite gluten free flour.

The second cake is one which doesn't have any grandiose allergy free claims and just sits quietly alongside some other chocolate cakes in Nigella Lawson's Feast book, but it doesn't have any wheat flour in it at all and most baking powders are gluten free. It is an unusual recipe and the batter is very thin, but don't panic as it creates a wonderful, moist, almost torte like cake which can be eaten cold or served warm with pouring cream for a pudding. It also tastes scarily like Terry's chocolate orange. I served it plain but it can be dusted with icing sugar or cocoa or sprinkled with grated dark chocolate or strips of orange zest.

I unfortunately didn't take any better pictures, but this will give you an idea. As normal I used the fabulous Lakeland cake tin liners as neither of the cakes needed sandwiching or cutting in anyway.

Here are the recipes:

Lemon drizzle cake

200g swede, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
120g clear honey
2 medium eggs
Zest of one lemon
60g white rice flour
60g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

For drizzle:
3tbsp golden caster sugar
2tbsp water
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 180C
Line base of 2 litre loaf tin and grease sides with a little oil

Place swede in a bowl with a splash of water and cover with cling film. Cook in micro for 7 mins, blend to a fine purée and leave to cool a little

Whisk honey with eggs for 2 mins until bubbly

Add lemon zest, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and whisk. Add swede and whisk again.

Pour mixture into tin and bake for 30mins

Whilst cake is baking dissolve the sugar in the water by heating slowly in a small pan. Cool and add the lemon juice.

Remove cake from oven and whilst still in the tin pierce the cake all over with a skewer and pour over the syrup. Leave to cool in the tin. To serve sprinkle with golden granulated sugar

Adapted from Harry Eastwood's Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake

2 small thin-skinned oranges approx. 375g total weight (or 1 large)
6 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200 g ground almonds
250 g caster sugar
50 g cocoa

1 Put the whole orange or oranges in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours or until soft.
2 Drain, and when cool, cut the oranges in half and remove any big pips.
3 Then pulp everything - pith, peel and all - in a food processor.
4 Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C Butter and line a 20cm spring form tin.
5 Add the eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, almonds, sugar and cocoa to the orange in the food processor. Run the motor until you have a cohesive cake mixture, but slightly knobbly with the flecks of puréed orange.
6 Pour and scrape into the cake tin and bake for an hour, by which time a cake tester should come out pretty well clean. Check after 45 minutes because you may have to cover with foil to prevent the cake burning before it is cooked through, or indeed it may need a little less than an hour; it all depends on your oven.
7 Leave the cake to get cool in the tin, on a cooling rack. When the cake is cold you can take it out of the tin. Decorate with strips of orange peel or coarsely grated zest if you so wish, but it is darkly beautiful in its plain, unadorned state.

From Nigella Lawson’s Feast


  1. I do like Harry Eastwood's recipes and feel as though I am being good whilst eating them, even though they are still cake and not really an essential in the diet. Mind you I think cake is a necessary and as I never have sugar in tea or coffee just take the sugar in cake form!

  2. Now that is a fantastic way of looking at things! I don't have sugar in my tea or coffee either so will start using the principle! x