Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Lemon Cake

Paleo people – look away now!

I made a cake for a friend’s birthday.  It was to share, and no-one but me needed to eat gluten-free… so, I was going to make this cake using ‘normal’ flour.

I had some ‘normal’ flour in my pantry (in case I decided to bake Rick his favourite shortcake – under desserts as Aila’s Shortcake… I can’t figure out how to do the linky thing).

I haven’t baked anything ‘normal’ since I discovered I have coeliac disease (nearly two years ago)… I had NO CLUE that flour would go ‘off’… but, by golly – it does 😦 – that’s not a smell I will forget in a hurry.

So anyway, I ended up making this using (the last of) a bag of gluten-free baking flour I also had in the pantry. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it is lovely – light, moist and fragrant with lemon. I had a piece… it gave me belly-ache (because the only grains I eat these days are rice, and that – not very often (and frankly, when I DO eat rice – I don’t much like it anymore) and grains are BAD for you people!

Here endeth the lesson – on with the recipe:


4 eggs
340g c sugar
zest of 2 lemons
whisk together till creamy,then add
180g plain flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
100g almond meal
1/2 tbsp baking powder
160 ml cream
whisk until smooth, then add
100g melted butter (cooled)
juice of 2 lemons
whisk again
Bake 160 – 180c till done
150g icing sugar
100g butter (room temperature)
beat together then add
zest and juice of 1 lemon
100g cream cheese (room temperature)
beat till smooth. Ice cake when it is cool, then dust with icing sugar

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I bought coconut flour the other day.  I’ve read so many recipes on the interweb that use the stuff, and I can’t be left out.

It was very expensive. It has been in my pantry, minding its own business – until today.

I’ve been lurking around the edges of Erica’s blog for ages. Erica comes from Seattle –  LOTS of food bloggers seem to live there, or thereabouts…. must be something in the water?

Erica posted about cinnamon muffins http://comfybelly.com/2011/07/cinnamon-bun-muffins/#more-6226

Erica used almond flour, which I have run out of, but she suggested a variation using coconut flour…


I love the scent of cinnamon… and vanilla (I love that some of the poshest perfumes smell like vanilla on me, if they would make a perfume that smelled like coffee – I’d be a starter as coffee always smells better than it tastes… in my opinion 🙂 )

My kitchen now smells like all these things (and earlicheer daffodils)

Now I’m just waiting for the coffee to be ready… wish you were here…

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>Carrot Cake

>Ray McVinnie is a Chef – world famous in New Zealand 🙂 He is also a judge on New Zealand’s version of Masterchef. I’ve met him and he’s lovely, with a very dry sense of humour. This is his recipe as published in one of our weekend newspapers recently. The list of ingredients is quite long, but it is so easy to assemble – don’t be daunted.
 I wish you could be in my kitchen now – the scent is lovely – all warm spicey.

Ray McVinnie’s Carrot Cake
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 cup walnut pieces – roughly chopped
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 large eggs – lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot – about 2 medium sized carrots
3/4 cup crushed pineapple – well drained

Pre-heat the oven to 180c
Grease and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well
Add the wet ingredients and mix well
Pour into the tine and bake 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Cut the cake in half through the equator. Spread half the icing on the first layer, put the second layer on top and spread with the other half of the icing – I didn’t do that – I just plopped the icing on top.

Ray suggests an icing of :
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
100g softened butter
zest and juice of 2 lemons.

But it’s carrot cake! Carrot cakes must have cream-cheese icing…so
150g icing sugar
100g butter softened
beat together and add
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
100g cream cheese.
Ice the cake then dust thickly with icing sugar.

You know how gluten free cakes are dry, crumbly and altogether pretty ordinary? Well, not this one.
Even the next day it is moist and spicy. This recipe is a ‘keeper’! I can’t imagine anyone would guess it is gluten free. Thank you Ray McVinnie xxx

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>Chocolate Cake

> – well it is Valentine’s Day…. not that we get into that kind of nonsense here – sadly…

Flourless Chocolate Cake

125g butter – chopped roughly
250g dark chocolate – chopped roughly
5 eggs – separated
230g caster sugar
250g ground almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin with baking paper
Put butter and sugar into a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. Stir until combined, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Whisk yolks and sugar together until creamy.

Add ground almonds and chocolate to the egg mixture, stirring until combined.

Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir gently into chocolate mixture.
Pour batter into the cake tin. Bake about 1 1/2 hours until cooked through.
Leave cake in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack till cooled completely.

You can ice this cake if you want – I’m finding that my sweet tooth is changing – icing would be too much for me. This cake is light, moist and keeps really well.

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>Turkish Orange Cake

>Put 2 oranges in a pot, cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Cool, cut into quarters and remove the pips. Whizz in a food processor until smooth.
6 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
whizz again, then add
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp baking powder
280g ground almonds
whizz till just smooth.
Pour into a medium cake tin, lined with baking paper and bake for about an hour at 160c

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>summer? – humph!

>Mid summer in NZ and it is blowing a gale where I live. I don’t really mind too much – I am after all, snug and safe inside. I can’t do the laundry because I murdered the washing machine on the weekend and they can’t deliver a new one till tomorrow. I can’t make the bed because The Big Lump is asleep. My Little Mate has made a nest in the eiderdown on the spare bed – so my boys are both safe. And I don’t do to well in the heat of summer anyway, so this is a good day to make chocolate cakes – like I need an excuse!

6 eggs – separated
150g caster sugar
200g almond meal
200g good quality dark chocolate – broken into pieces
150g unsalted butter – chopped
icing sugar to dust

Pre-heat the oven to 160c. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases and lightly grease them (I used spray-on oil)
In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks, and 1/3 cup of sugar with a spoon, to combine.
Stir in the almond meal to form a thick paste form, and then set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.

Gradually mix the chocolate into the almond mixture until well combined – don’t worry if it is a bit lumpy. Set aside.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. In 3 batches, gently fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture, taking care to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

Divide the mixture evenly among the paper cases. Bake 18-20 minutes until the cupcakes are firm on top, but still moist in the centre.

Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, with shaved chocolate, with fresh strawberries…
I made these with Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana chocolate. My Dad said he would prefer them sweeter – everyone else loved them. They keep really well too. They are moist and light.
This recipe was in delicious.magazine April 2009

The Lump. Out of bed, but not yet awake

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>I have a very large collection of cooking magazines.
When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I thought my baking days were over. Then I decided to read my magazines with new eyes. I soon identified an enormous number of recipes that were gluten-free, without even trying to be. They were, just because they were. There were even recipes for cakes and desserts!
These little cakes are light, moist and delicious. The glaze goes a little crunchy initially, which is a wonderful contrast – then – if you don’t eat them all straight away, it softens – and is still delicious.

200g unsalted butter
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
4 eggs

90g polenta
2 tsp baking powder
250g almond meal

2 tbsp milk
finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar

grated zest and juice of one lemon

Pre-heat oven to 180c
Line a twelve hole, 1/2 cup (125ml) capacity muffin pan with cup cake papers.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine polenta and baking powder, add to egg mixture and stir to combine.

Add almond meal. milk, zest and juice,stir until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases and bake about 20 minutes until light golden.

Cool slightly.
To make the syrup, combine sugar, zest and juice in a small pan with 2 tbsp water. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 – 4 minutes then remove from the heat.
Remove the cakes from the pan, to a wire rack.
Brush with lemon syrup and set aside to cool completely.
Store in an airtight tin.
This recipe is by Bill Granger and was in Delicious.magazine June 2006

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>Torte de Mandorle

>I used to love to bake. I don’t do so much anymore. I have found that I just don’t like the taste of most of the alternative flours available. But, sometimes a girl needs cake. This is a moist almond cake perfect for a special occasion and even normal people love it! It behaves a  bit like a sponge cake, so try not to open the oven too much while it is cooking…

Torte De Mandorle
300g caster sugar plus extra to sprinkle
10 eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp orange flower water
400g almond meal
icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 170 – 180c
Grease a 24cm round spring-form pan. Line the base with baking paper and sprinkle the sides with caster sugar.

Put eggs, sugar, zests, cinnamon and orange flower water into a large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until really thick. This takes a lot longer than you might imagine. Do not beat at high speed, because the bubbles will be too big and the cake will collapse. (This will not affect the taste however, it will still be delicious).

Decrease speed to medium and with the mixer running, add half the almond flour and beat until combined.
Add the remaining almond flour and beat until the mixture has shrunk by about a third.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes or until the cake springs back when you press the top lightly. If it is browning too fast, cover the top loosely with tin-foil or baking paper.
Leave in tin to cool for about 15 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When cold, dust with icing sugar to serve.

John’s cake – ready to transport…

I found this recipe in delicious. magazine May 2006 – the original recipe is by Pietro Porcu

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