Monthly Archives: August 2011

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.

Dairy-Free Raspberry Ice-Cream (made in a Vitamix)

This recipe is adapted from one of the recipes in the Vitamix cookery book. It’s incredibly easy to make and full of beautiful flavours from the raspberries and rosewater. And it’s made with yogurt instead of cream (I’ve substituted dairy-free soya yogurt here), so it’s wonderfully light – and healthy!

I adore my Vitamix machine – and I think they’re incredible. Billed as much, much more than a blender, they can chop, grind, puree, crush, whizz, mince, crumb, mill, shred and blend – and make nut milks, batters, pancakes, crepes and muffins, juice & smoothies, sauces, dressings & marinades. And, extraordinarily, they can make hot soups from raw ingredients and then ice creams! What’s more, they’re incredibly healthy. The machines pulverize veggies and fruit to a cellular level, so nutrients and antioxidants are released, making them more bio-available for your body. Research backs up that you get a significantly enhanced nutrient intake from the foods. And the machine uses friction heat generated by the rotation of the blades to cook the food, rather than heat, therefore preventing loss of valuable enzymes and nutrients. All brilliant!

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

Serves 4–6


  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup dairy-free soya yogurt
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • 300g/10½oz frozen raspberries
  1. Put the ingredients in the Vitamix machine in the order listed and secure the 2-part lid. Select variable speed 1 and turn the machine on. Increase the speed to 10 then turn the machine to high and use the tamper to push the ingredients onto the blades.
  2. In about 30 seconds the sound of the motor will change and 4 mounds should form in the mixture. Stop the machine and serve immediately.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Broad Bean & Pancetta Risotto

This is a wonderfully earthy recipe, combining the powerfully-savoury taste of thyme with the substantial broad beans, and the strong pancetta and dairy-free cheese. I use the Cheezly dairy-free cheeses because I think they’re the best on the market – and my favourites are the White Cheddar Style, Red Cheddar Style and the new Blue Style Cheezly. These are all made with soya but if you don’t want to eat soya, they also make a Soya Free Cheezly which is really good.

Broad beans are in season right now (and lovely), so if you can get fresh ones, it’s well worth the extra effort of shelling them (and if you have time to skin them, even better!) But don’t worry if you can only get the frozen variety – this dish will still be delicious.

Gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, seed-free, egg-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 20-25 minutes     Serves 4


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g/9oz/heaped 1 cup arborio or other risotto rice
  • 300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups organic dry white wine
  • 800ml/28fl oz/scant 3¼ cups hot, gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free vegetable stock, or vegetable stock made from gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free stock powder
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz broad beans, shelled, or 450g/1lb/heaped 2½ cups shelled broad beans
  • 200g/7oz pancetta
  • 1½ tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • 75g/2½oz dairy-free cheese, shaved
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then lower the heat and stir in the rice until it is well coated in oil.
  2. Pour a little of the wine into the mixture and stir. Continue cooking over a low heat, gradually adding and stirring in the wine, until it has all been absorbed. Add a ladle of the hot stock and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding and stirring in the hot stock for 18–20 minutes until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, steam the broad beans in a saucepan of boiling water or a steamer for 5-7 minutes, depending on their size, until they are just tender. Remove from the heat, drain and set to one side. (And remove the skins if you have time.)
  4. Pour the remaining oil into a heavy-based frying pan and heat over a medium heat until hot. Add the pancetta and fry for 4-6 minutes until just crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. When the risotto mixture is almost cooked, season lightly with salt and pepper to taste and add the beans and pancetta. Stir in carefully and continue to cook for a further minute until the rice is soft but still has a slight bite and all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the thyme (and parsley leaves if using), and sprinkle with the shavings of cheese. Serve immediately.