Monthly Archives: April 2010

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake

This is heaven in rich, dark, more-ish mouthfuls!  The secret is all in the eggs and the chocolate.  I try to use the freshest, organic eggs and a wonderful dairy-free dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. If you want a lighter cake,  just ignore the topping part of the recipe.

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

Preparation time 10 minutes    Cooking time 25–30 minutes    Serves 10



  • 110g dairy-free margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g dairy-free dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 125g fruit sugar


  • 150g dairy-free dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids
  • 150g chestnut purée
  • 30g fruit sugar
  • 30g dairy-free margarine
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a deep 20cm cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with a circle of 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. 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. Remove from the heat.
  3. Put the egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk using a hand-held electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar and continue whisking until they form glossy peaks.
  4. Lightly beat the egg yolks in another bowl, then stir into the melted chocolate mixture until well blended. With a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the whisked egg whites until they are thoroughly mixed in.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the hot oven for 25–30 minutes until risen and cooked around the sides but still slightly soft in the centre. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if there is only a little of the cake mixture sticking to it, the cake is ready. Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Melt the chocolate as above. Add the chestnut purée and sugar and stir well, then stir in the margarine until thoroughly blended. Remove from the heat, leave to cool and serve with slices of the cake.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Tarte Tatin

Create a little piece of French-patisserie heaven in your own kitchen.

There really is something very heart-warming about making and eating Tarte Tatin. Do buy local, organic apples as these will really add to the meltingly sweet taste of the tart, and if you can find xanthum gum, it will make a difference to the pastry, (but don’t worry if you can’t as the pastry will still work without it). I made this for my friends Nichola and Alex when they came round for dinner – and Nichola, who normally never touches desserts, had 2 helpings. Result!

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

Preparation time 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time     Cooking 40–55 minutes     Serves 6


  • 75g dairy-free margarine
  • 100g fruit sugar
  • 7 apples, peeled, cored and cut in half
  • rice flour, for dusting


  • 75g rice flour
  • 50g gram flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g fruit sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 75g chilled dairy-free margarine
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  1. Sift the flours and the ground almonds into a large mixing bowl and stir in the fruit sugar and xanthum gum. Cut the margarine into small pieces and, using cold fingertips, rub it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, mixing lightly with a round-bladed knife so that the mixture begins to hold together. Continue adding the egg gradually until it is all mixed in and the mixture begins to come together to form a sticky dough.
  3. Shape the pastry into a ball. Wrap in greaseproof paper and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This amount will line a 25cm tart tin, 3cm deep, or 5 x 12cm tartlet tins, 2cm deep.
  4. The pastry can also be made in a food processor. Simply tip the sifted flours, ground almonds and sugar into the bowl, add the 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, adding more water if needed.
  5. Heat the margarine gently in a 20cm heavy-based frying pan with an ovenproof handle until melted. Sprinkle the sugar over the top, then arrange the apple halves, cut-side down, in one layer.
  6. Cook over a gentle heat for 20–30 minutes until the apples are soft and golden and the liquid has caramelized. Remove from the heat.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Roll the pastry out on a surface liberally dusted with rice flour into a round that is slightly larger than the frying pan. Be careful, as the pastry will still be slightly sticky. Trim the pastry neatly into a circle with a knife. Carefully lift the pastry with a metal spatula and place it on top of the pan, completely covering the apples.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Take the tart out of the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Place a serving plate, upside-down, over the top of the pan, then, holding the pan and plate together, turn them over so that the tarte tatin turns out onto the serving plate with the caramelized apples on top, and serve.