Its that time of year where we have time to indulge in such luxuries as cake making. Smells filling the house, warming it up rather than over heating it (we live in Spain). This is a Nikki recipe. We are experimenting with different no gluten flours that are not heavily processed like some of the branded gluten free flour on the shelves.
Pumpkin is really popular with cakes and desserts in the America. In Europe we tend to go for different roots like carrot or beetroot. This cake is dense and will last forever getting better day by day. It would of been called ‘hippy cake’ where I am from, not that thats a bad thing. Its the chestnut flour that gives it that texture. I really like it for its longevity and it can also double up as a winter dessert. Serve it with yoghurt and honey or yoghurt agave or vanilla ice cream. Failing that it works really just with a cup of tea.
If you find this cake a little dense or you cannot find chestnut flour, you can use ground almonds instead.
225g pumpkin (once peeled and grated)
200g chestnut flour
4 large eggs
175g brown sugar (or half xylitol) if you have it, all sugar is fine
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tsps ground ginger
50g hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and grease, line and flour (with the chestnut flour) a 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin.
Sieve the flour, ginger and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar in a seperate bowl until mixed well. Fold the egg mixture into the dry mix and add the carrots, raisins and hazelnuts.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and cook for 50 to 55 minutes. If you insert a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake it should come out completely clean, and feel firm to the touch in the middle.
Leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour before transferring to a plate.
In the photo it has been served with Quark and a drizzle of agave.
This is a tasty tea time cake with lots of cinnamon, which has strong resonances of a Moroccan kitchen.
250g ground almonds
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g walnuts roughly chopped
65g dried raisins
60ml organic sunflower oil
6oml good quality organic honey
2 large eggs
For the top;
2 tbsps ground cinnamon
2 tbsps oil
50g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Mix together the ground almonds, salt, bicarbonate of soda, walnuts and currants together. In a seperate bowl whisk together the oil, agave and the eggs. Fold in the egg mix to the almond mix. Pour this into a lined and greased 20cm springform cake tin. To keep the recipe gluten free, I tend to use cornflour.
Now you want to prepare the topping for the cake. Mix together the cinnamon, oil, agave and almonds. Evenly distribute over the top of the cake and then put into the oven for 30 to 235 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for at least 40 minutes before removing.
It has taken me a long time to like buckwheat. I have always used it in my cooking as it is a good, relatively easy to find, gluten free product. It wasn’t until I made these pancakes that I started to really appreciate the subtlety of this flour with its unique earthiness. It took me 20 minutes to make the stack in the photo. This is great weekend treat that the whole house would enjoy.
100g buckwheat flour
1 large egg
125ml soya milk
125ml apple juice
2 tablespoons (30ml) of Greek yoghurt
60g sultanas soaked in water for one hour
50g roasted hazelnuts
Zest of one lemon and one orange
Heat the oven to 200 degrees, and place the hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven until nice and golden. Leave to one side to cool.
In a medium sized bowl whisk the egg, soya milk, apple juice, yoghurt and buckwheat flour together. Use the 5oml of the water to get a good dropping consistency with the batter. That means so the batter is thick enough so it retains its shape in the pan when you drop it into the pan. If you think that the mix does not look wet enough you can add another 25ml of water being careful not to make the mix too wet. Drain the water off the sultanas and add to the batter. Roughly chop the hazelnuts, zest the orange and lemon (optional) and add to the batter.
Take a non-stick pan and a plastic or silicone egg slice. Put the pan on a high flame. Get the pan really hot then turn down to medium. Add a little bit of olive oil and drop in about 50ml of the batter (small ladle), it should set straight away. Use your spatula stop the batter running by bringing it back into shape.
After a couple of minutes add a touch more olive oil and flip. It should be a nice even brown colour. It will take a few attempts before you get the hang of it.
Today you can find many different options for gluten free baking. Brown rice flour, cornflour, corn starch, polenta all with varying degree of success. Some of the gluten free flour mixes for baking work well but can leave a chalky aftertaste in the mouth, I am guessing this comes from the cornstarch. This recipe uses almond powder resulting in a lovely rich texture which retains moisture over time.
250g ground almonds
2 tsps ground cinnamon
5 tsps ground ginger
1 1/2 tsps ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
125ml of olive oil
125ml maple or agave syrup (or mix of both)
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. Grease a 26cm loaf tin with olive oil, and lightly dust the sides with cornflour (I am using cornflour here to keep the cake completely gluten free. If you don´t have this use any of the above flours, or just oil well. The cake may stick a little if you don´t use any flour, just loosen from the sides before removing from the tin.
Mix together the almond powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and raisins. In a seperate whisk together the oil, eggs and syrup. Blend the two mixes together and evenly pour into the tin.
Bake for approximately 55 minutes. The top may brown before the cake is completely cooked, this is not a problem, just cover the loaf tin with foil. When tested to see if the cake is cooked, insert a wooden skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean it is ready.