Tag Archives: gluten-free baking powder

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Pomegranate & Pistachio Cake

Pomegranate cake

Pomegranate cake piece

Yesterday, I woke up at 4am, pushed the curtains to one side, and took a quick look outside. It was one of those magical mornings, with whisps of morning mist, and all the signs that it was going to be a sunny day. I went back to sleep, thinking ‘I’ll make a picnic for lunch’. And, yep, the sun shone, the birds sang – and, at last, it was time for summery food!

This cake is an absolute joy to eat. It’s beautifully moist but holds together well. And it’s full of flavours from the pomegranates, almonds and pistachios. I made it with a very simple dairy-free yogurt and honey topping (but, of course, you can do a different frosting if you want a more conventional sugary one!)

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Makes 1 cake     Preparation time 25 minutes     Cooking time 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 175g/6oz/scant 1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60g/2¼oz/scant ¼ cup rice flour
  • 20g/¾oz/scant ⅓ cup gram flour
  • 20g/¾oz/scant ⅓ cup maize flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/½ cup ground almonds
  • 100g/3½oz/⅔ cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

Topping:

  • 100g/3½oz dairy-free yogurt
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in springform cake tins with dairy-free margarine. Halve the pomegranates and, holding each half over a large mixing bowl, bash the outer skin with a wooden spoon until all of the seeds fall into the bowl. You’ll need to bash the skin a few times before the seeds begin to fall out, but they will. And you might need to pick a few pieces of pith out of the bowl. Put a quarter of the pomegranate seeds into another dish and leave to one side, covered in cling film, to decorate the cake.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in another large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture, add the ground almonds, and fold in. Add the pistachios and three-quarters of the pomegranate seeds and mix in gently. Make sure the mixture is well mixed but take care not to overmix it. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the surfaces with the back of a spoon.
  3. Bake for about 40 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks and leave to cool completely.
  4. Mix together the yogurt and honey in a bowl until smooth. Spread the topping over the cake, cover with the remaining pomegranate seeds and serve. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 days.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Seedy Bread

Seedy-Loaf

Recently my publishers took some new photographs for the cover of the paperback version of Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free. One of the recipes we tried was a bread recipe. I took the White Bread recipe that’s in the book and, in order to make it more visually punchy, added seeds to the recipe. This also adds crunchiness and an extra level of taste.

Adding seeds to bread is a brilliant way of introducing them into your daily diet. And, in doing so, you’re getting additional essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium – helping you to enhance your immune system, combat energy and boost your brain power, amongst other things.

This bread really is delicious. It will keep well for a few days, and you can also freeze it. (I often cut it into slices, freeze it, and toast it straight from the freezer.) It didn’t make it to the cover shot, but it was lovely to eat at lunchtime on the shoot, anyway!

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free

Makes 1 loaf (about 16 slices)     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 120g/4¼oz/⅔ cup potato flour (NB potato flour not potato starch)
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 1 tsp fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp dried active yeast
  • 75g/2½oz mixed seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and linseeds, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin with a little oil.
  2. Sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into a large mixing bowl and, using a metal whisk, mix thoroughly. Add the olive oil and mix in gently. Pour in 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and mix thoroughly with the whisk for at least a minute, to aerate the dough. Whisk until the dough holds some shape, but is still soft enough to fall from the whisk, adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of warm water if it feels too stiff. Add the mixed seeds and mix in gently. Alternatively, sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the olive oil and blend again, then add 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and process for 3–4 minutes to aerate the dough. It will be sticky. Remove the bowl of the food processor from the machine and mix the seeds into the dough mixture gently with a metal whisk.
  3. Spoon the dough into the tin. Dip a metal tablespoon in cold water and smooth the surface of the dough with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle some seeds over the top to cover.
  4. Bake for 55–60 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Turn out of the tin and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is done. If not, return the bread to the tin and bake for another 5 minutes, then test again to see whether it is done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Torta di Riso (Italian Rice Cake)

Rice cake

Rice dishes are very common in Italy, especially in the northern areas, because rice was so plentiful (rice has been grown in Italy since the 15th century). Traditionally Torta di Riso was served as a celebration cake – for weddings, baptisms, Christmas and Easter. A particular favourite in Tuscany, apparently, it’s a flourless cake that uses risotto rice instead of flour, and can also be eaten as a dessert.

It’s lovely to make a cake without the usual flour-combination-method. Not for those on a low-carb diet(!), this cake is mouthful after mouthful of sweet, substantial comfort. The risotto rice is simmered in flavoured milk (I’ve used dairy-free, of course) until soft and creamy, then mixed with lots of beaten eggs and the remaining ingredients, before being baked in the oven. The vanilla and cinnamon imbue the cake with sweet tones, and the lemon zest gives a citrusy kick. Make sure you don’t overcook the rice in the first stage (take it off the hob while it still has some bite) and use really good quality eggs, preferably organic.

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 15 minutes plus cooling time     Cooking time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5½oz/⅔ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 1.25l/44 fl oz/5 cups dairy-free milk
  • 250g/9oz/heaped 1 cup arborio or risotto rice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 large eggs, plus 5 large egg yolks
  • 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • icing sugar, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep, springform 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Put the margarine, sugar, vanilla pod and milk in a large, heavy-based saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat. Add the rice and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is creamy and soft, but still has a slight bite. Remove from the heat and scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add, then add the cinnamon and lemon zest and stir in thoroughly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool completely.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks until pale and thick. Fold the ground almonds, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture. Make sure the mixture is well mixed but take care not to overmix it.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod from the rice mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the rice and stir gently until combined. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for about 60 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, sprinkle icing sugar over and serve.

Zoe’s Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cherry & Coconut Pancakes

Zoe’s favourite part of the kitchen is the cupboard where the dried fruit and nuts are stored (unless there’s some cake or cupcakes in the kitchen, in which case her focus switches immediately…) Her favourites at the moment are dried cherries and coconut so when she wanted to make pancakes, she pulled those out of the cupboard. We soaked the cherries for a little while and toasted the coconut, but if you’re in a rush, you don’t need to do that. When they were made, we drizzled honey over the pancakes – mountain honey that we’d brought back from Thollon, France – delicious!

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Makes: 4–6     Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus at least 10 minutes resting     Cooking time 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g/1¾oz/heaped ¼ cup rice flour
  • 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup gram flour
  • 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup maize flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups soya milk or dairy-free milk, plus extra if needed
  • 30–40g/1–1½oz dairy-free margarine
  • 75g/2½oz/heaped ½ cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 50g/1¾oz/1 cup coconut flakes, to serve
  • clear honey, to serve
  1. Put the dried cherries in a bowl and pour the soya milk over. Leave to soak for as long as you can – up to 30 minutes. Strain through a seive into a bowl and leave to one side, and reserve the soya milk.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then sift in the flours, gluten-free baking powder and salt and stir together. Slowly beat in the soya milk, gradually drawing in the flours to make a smooth batter. Cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes at room temperature or up to 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the coconut flakes and dry-fry, stirring continuously, for 2–3 minutes until just beginning to brown. Remove from the pan and leave to one side.
  4. Add a little of the dairy-free margarine to the pan and heat until melted, making sure it covers the base of the pan. Using a small cup, pour a cup of the batter into the pan to form a circle. Sprinkle a small handful of the cherries over the top, distributing them evenly, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the base of the pancake is golden. Using a large spatula, flip it over and cook for another 1–2 minutes until golden.
  5. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 4–6 pancakes, melting more margarine in the pan as needed and adding a little more soya milk if the batter seems too thick. Stack the pancakes between sheets of baking parchment to prevent them from sticking together and to keep them warm. Scatter coconut flakes over the top, drizzle with honey and serve hot.

Jubilee Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chocolate & Pecan Nut Brownies

This weekend we went to a street party on my sister’s street. Zoë ran around with all the kids, bouncing on the bouncy castle, eating goodies and zooming into different houses, playing, playing and playing; Peter helped my brother-in-law and sister to cook the BBQ (well, he is Australian after all) and I chatted, ate delicious food, drank wine and had a fine time! The sun shone in the afternoon and we stayed on and on, enjoying the celebrations and the prospect of a four-day weekend. (The following day we got drenched, squashed and freezing cold watching the boats going up the Thames…!)

I made these chocolate brownies the night before. They had a wonderfully crunchy crust and gorgeously gooey centre. I normally use fruit sugar, xylitol or agave syrup when I’m baking but I didn’t have enough left in my cupboards, and didn’t have enough time to go and get any more. So I used caster sugar and perhaps that’s why the crust was so crunchy. (I’ll have to make these again, now, to test whether that’s the reason!) There was nothing remotely red, white or blue or Jubilee about these brownies – but my sister had asked for them because she loves them. If you’re just going to bake one gluten-free thing, bake these because they’re really, really good.

Ingredients:

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g/7oz dairy-free dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids
  • 200g/7oz/heaped 1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g/1¾oz/heaped ¼ cup rice flour
  • 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum
  • 100g/3½oz/1 cup pecan nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line the base of a 20 x 30cm/8 x 12in baking tin with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large heatproof bowl. Rest the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Gently stir from time to time until the chocolate has melted. Add the margarine to the bowl and continue stirring occasionally until it is completely melted and mixed in with the chocolate.
  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl until light, fluffy and very pale in colour.
  4. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the heat. Using the electric mixer, beat into the egg mixture, then sift the flours, baking powder and xanthan gum into the bowl and carefully fold in with a metal spoon, making sure the mixture is thoroughly combined but not stirred too heavily, or the air will be lost. Add the pecan nuts and fold in gently.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it evenly into the corners with the back of the spoon. Bake in the hot oven for 15–18 minutes, depending on how gooey you like them, until risen and almost firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Cut into 20 squares.