Entries in Caster Sugar (18)

Wednesday
Apr042012

Fruit Cake (gluten free, vegan, dairy free, egg free)

Fruit cake is one of those classic bits of baking: like a Victoria Sponge or Bakewell Tart, a fruit cake is a quintessentially English affair.  Dense, moist and, most importantly, packed full of dried fruit, the basic fruit cake can be elaborated upon to produce a more seasonal variation – Christmas Cake and Simnel Cake both being pimped up fruit cakes in disguise, while a Tea Loaf and a Brack are more of a pared down affair.  Like most baking, they are a tea-time treat, set off best by a pot of Darjeeling or Ceylon and a sit down with friends and family.  Although, if you’re super keen, and I know that some really are, then fruit cake is pretty much a free for all, it having the benefit of lasting for quite some time and therefore being fair game whenever the mood takes you. 

There are usually a few steps and processes involved in their making: creaming, folding, layering; and that’s where this cake varies – that, and the fact that it’s completely allergy-free!  This particular fruit cake is incredibly simple to make and really takes little more than a simmer and a stir before you abandon it to the oven to do its work.  By simmering the dried fruit in water, sugar and the necessary margarine, you plump up the fruit to all its sweet glory and allow the cake to stay moist when baked.   I would also recommend that you make it the day before you want it, being left only adds to the flavour and allows the outer crust of the cake to soften slightly. Once ready, you then have a myriad of choices: dust with icing sugar (as seen here), drizzle over a Vanilla or Almond Icing or swathe in a layer of marzipan.  The choice is yours but I highly recommend you make it for the Easter holiday, it’s just the thing to last you through the long-weekend and provide a little respite from the chocolate bombardment that you may be experiencing.  Having said that, if you want chocolate, then I highly recommend these, or indeed, these.

FRUIT CAKE

You will need a 7 inch round cake tin with removable base for this recipe

350g mixed dried fruit – I used a combination of sultanas, raisins, cranberries and cherries

100g golden caster sugar

100g dairy-free margarine

4 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water and ¼ tsp baking powder

150ml water

225g gluten free self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 150c and lightly grease and line the cake tin.

Place the dried fruit, water, caster sugar and margarine in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame, while stirring, until the margarine has dissolved into the liquid.  Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the ground flaxseed, water and baking powder in a small bowl, stir together and leave to thicken.

Once the fruit has cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Next, place the fruit and liquid into a large mixing bowl, stir in the flaxseed mixture until combined and then quickly stir in the flour until completely mixed through. 

Spoon the cake mixture into the tin, level the top with the back of as spoon and then bake for 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hours until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Once cooled, store in an airtight tin until ready to use.

Thursday
Jan192012

Blood Orange and Ginger Drizzle Cake

It’s a food fact that if you want to find what’s best in season, head towards the markets.  Whether it’s an organic, bio-dynamic, re-mortgage your house to afford it style farmer’s market or just the local greengrocer and his striped awning.  If you shop from the markets, you will see the seasons as they change and develop, the colours of your purchases satisfyingly ebbing and flowing with the weather.  Right now, blood oranges are having their time again.  Or, as I was recently informed, blush oranges.  The connotation of blood clearly being too much for some shoppers!  Rich ruby red with swirls of amber, these tarter, more intense versions of an orange are utterly delicious and as pleasing to look at as they are to eat.  I’m currently favouring a simple salad made from cooked beetroot, poached chicken and slices of blood orange, lightly dressed in oil and scattered with fresh coriander.  It’s a great combination and one I hope to show you later in the month.  In the meantime, I made this cake from a whim.  I do so love a lemon drizzle and thought that the tartness of the blood oranges would suit the overall feel.  The ginger is a warming addition and a nod to the drop in temperature in recent days.  You’re left with a light and zesty cake, soaked in sweet/sharp nectar and topped with a fine gauze of scented sugar crust.  It’s a winner and a rather lovely treat on a cold afternoon.

To my mind, blood oranges are best.  But I’m sure that if you use regular oranges for this recipe, it will work just as well.  In fact, I’m positive it would be lovely.

BLOOD ORANGE AND GINGER DRIZZLE CAKE

You will need a 2lb loaf tin for this recipe

For the cake

225g/8oz butter replacement - Pure Sunflower Spread

225g/8oz golden caster sugar

4 eggs – 4 tsp Orgran Egg Replacer whisked together with 8 tbsp water

225g/8oz Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

1 heaped tsp ground ginger

1tbsp rice milk

1tsp xanthan gum

The zest of 2 blood oranges

 

For the drizzle

The juice of 1 blood orange

85g/3oz golden caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180c (160c Fan) and grease and line your loaf tin.  Cream together the butter replacement and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the egg replacement mixture, a bit at a time, slowly stirring them through until fully incorporated. 

Sift in the flour, ginger and xanthan gum then add the grated orange zest and rice milk, mix well until fully combined and then spoon in to the lined loaf tin, levelling the top of the cake with the back of your spoon.

Bake in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes until cooked through and a thin skewer or cocktail stick inserted in to the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool a little in its tin while you mix together the remaining caster sugar and orange juice.  Pierce the warm cake all over using the skewer or a fork and then pour over the drizzle – the juice will be absorbed into the cake and will dry to form a sugary crust on the cake’s surface.  Leave the cake in its tin until completely cool and then cut into slices and serve.

You can also find this recipe at Cybele Pascal's Allergy Free Cuisine