Tag Archives: ground almonds

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.

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.

Super Easy Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chocolate Easter Cupcakes

Cupcakes really are EASY to make. What’s more, they cook very quickly and the frosting doesn’t need to chill in the fridge – so they’re ready very quickly. (Something that Zoe appreciates hugely!) I’ve made these with cocoa powder in both the cupcakes and the frosting, instead of melting chocolate. And I’ve used a mixture of rice flour, ground almonds and buckwheat flour because it’s an excellent recipe to use buckwheat flour in (which is very nutritious). But you don’t need to use buckwheat flour, if you don’t have any to hand. (Just use 75g rice flour and 50g ground almonds, instead.)

I made these with a little helper – Zoe. She was excellent at helping to mix and at putting all the cupcake cases into the bun tin. She kindly licked the spoons to make them clean and helpfully tasted each stage to make sure that it tasted good. Unfortunately, though, once they were made,  I heard a crash in the kitchen while I was having a bath. Cries of “Mummy” came from the kitchen, followed by Peter coming to explain that Zoe had tipped the container over and the cupcakes were now squashed. Luckily I’d already taken the picture – and I guess we’ll just have to eat the squashed ones quickly and make some new ones now for Easter day!

Happy Easter! x

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

Makes 10     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened
  • 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g/1¾oz/heaped ¼ cup rice flour
  • 20g/¾oz/scant ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 55g/2oz/½ cup ground almonds

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 200g/7oz dairy-free margarine
  • 400g/14oz/scant 3¼ cups icing sugar, or ground fruit sugar
  • 120g/4¼oz/1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and arrange 10 cupcake cases in a bun tin. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.
  2. Sift the rice flour, buckwheat flour, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum and cocoa powder into the mixture. Quickly fold in the ground almonds, using a spoon and mix well, but take care not to overmix. Divide the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
  3. Bake for 15–18 minutes, until well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Put the dairy-free margarine, icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth, light and fluffy. (I find that my electric mixer makes the icing sugar cloud up at the beginning, so I use a wooden spoon initially to blend the ingredients together and then I use the electric mixer. Some mixers, though, work fine if you simply add the icing sugar in slowly.)
  5. When the cupcakes are cooked, remove from the oven and turn out of the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  6. Spread or pipe a little of the frosting over each cupcake and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Raspberry Cake

It’s amazing how delicious raspberries are – and how incredibly versatile. Zoe adores them, so I’ve been making the most of the raspberries available this year, and experimenting with all different types of recipes that use them. This is a lovely cake, full of the taste of summer, no matter what time of the year. You can make this with delicious fresh raspberries but you can also make it with frozen ones, instead. Frozen fruits are a gem – often higher in nutrients than fresh fruit that has been shipped in and sitting around for ages during the distribution process. They’re much cheaper to buy and, of course, you can store them in your freezer and simply take them out when you want to use them.

I’ve used coconut flour alongside the rice flour because it makes baked goods deliciously moist. It’s hard to find but you can buy it from on-line retailers, such as Goodness Direct. And the cake is incredibly moist and moreish, anyway, because of the raspberries in it. Lovely summer-time food – even if it’s chilly and raining!

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

Makes 1 cake (10–12 slices)     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 40 minutes

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup ground almonds
  • 350g/12oz fresh or defrosted, frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp agarve syrup, to decorate
  • 2–3 tbsp fruit sugar, to decorate
  • raspberries, to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed.
  2. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture and fold in, then fold in the ground almonds and gently fold in the raspberries. Make sure the mixture is well mixed, but take care not to overmix it. Pour it into the tin.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with baking parchment to prevent the cake from overbrowning. Bake for another 10–12 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through.
  4. 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, spread the agarve syrup over the cake, then sprinkle over the fruit sugar. Top with raspberries and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chocolate & Pear Tart

I’m coming in late to the Pie Party (sorry!) but I wanted to share this because it truly is heavenly. A rich chocolate tart, with soft, sweet pears – and a very gooey middle. In theory, you should bake your tart until the filling is completely set but the rich, oozing middle in this one defies all rules. It tastes too good to cook it any longer!

The pastry can, of course, be made by hand – but I’ve shown how to make it in the food processor, in order to make this super-easy. And it’s still light-textured, holds together, and a little crumbly when you bite into it.

Shauna, I love your idea of the Pie Party. Can we make it an annual event?!

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

Serves 6–8     Preparation time 10 minutes, plus making the pastry     Cooking time 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped or broken into pieces
  • 50g/1¾oz/¼ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 eggs, beaten

Pastry:

  • 75g/2½oz/heaped ¹⁄₃ cup rice flour, plus extra as needed
  • 75g/2½oz/²⁄₃ cup gram flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup ground almonds
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ¹⁄₃ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 80g/2¾oz chilled dairy-free margarine, diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  1. To make the pastry, sift the flours and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor and blend well. Stir in the almonds and sugar. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. There should be a little extra moisture at the base of the bowl. If it is too dry, gradually add 1–2 tablespoons chilled water. If too sticky, add a little rice flour.
  2. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease a loose-based 20cm/8in tart tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Liberally dust a chopping board with rice flour and roll out the pastry into a circle slightly larger than the tart tin, to allow enough pastry for the side, then neaten the edge, using a sharp knife. Be careful as the pastry will still be slightly sticky. Put the tin, face-down, on top of the pastry and turn the board over to drop the pastry into the tin. Ease the pastry into place, pressing down carefully to remove any air pockets, then prick the base all over with a fork. Line the pastry case with a piece of baking parchment and cover with baking beans.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment and beans.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the pears on a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, make 5 slices down each half, starting about 1cm/½in from the top. Leave to one side.
  6. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Add the sugar and stir in thoroughly, then add the margarine and stir until melted. Add the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in thoroughly.
  7. When the pastry is out of the oven, put the pears onto the base, fanning them out slightly if there’s room (it will depend on the size of the pears.) Pour the chocolate mixture over, taking care to cover all the pears.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes, until just darkening on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully put a plate on the top, turn it over, remove the tin and put a serving plate on the top. Turn the tart back over onto the serving plate. Serve hot or cold.