24 Sep 2011

More ingredients = better free from cake

The search continues as the deadline fast approaches for an egg, dairy and gluten free birthday cake. My second attempt has also surprised me. It's long daunting list of ingredients, actually had a simple recipe, as most of the free from cakes seem to do. Mix wet ingredients with dry. Bake.

Today's blueberry & orange cake is from the Chopra Centre Cookbook by Indian health guru Deepak Chopra, although as ever I have amended the ingredients according to what I have in the cupboard. Within reason. I chose this recipe over many others I have found purely because my little boy loves blueberries. He pops them like sweeties, will do anything for them and his very kind grandmother - also known as Janma - sent the whole crop from her only bush through the post as a present for him! He loves them that much.

This healthy, quick to make and bake recipe has resulted in a well risen cake that hasn't sunk on cooling. It's a little chewy on the surface, but I think this is because my oven temperature was too low to start with. It has a really good, cakey texture and even when made with gluten free flour is remarkably cake like. It has quite a strong spice flavour which I may dabble with, but overall I thought it was pretty good. I still don't really believe how good these recipes are (although I must wait for a normal cake eater to give the verdict too since I only eat GF cake now which is not the same).

So this is a very strong contender. I am currently researching vegan frostings for the decoration with fresh blueberries and a candle, but will continue with the shortlist so as to find the best for my boy! And to help me in this research I have also discovered there is a vegan cupcake shop, also in Brixton, home of the free from bakeries. And they always have a gluten free one on offer!

Blueberry Orange Cake

300g gluten free flour (Doves)
120g unrefined caster sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp flavourless oil (vegetable)
120g fruit puree (I used pear, but mango, banana, apple all work)
120ml orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
Half cup rice or soya milk
Few drops of vanilla essence for taste
80g maple syrup
150g blueberries, thawed if frozen (I used frozen fruits of the forest mix which works well)

Preheat oven to 180degrees centigrade and grease a 20cm square non stick cake tin
Combine all the dry ingredients together and whisk to thoroughly mix.
In a large bowl whisk all the wet ingredients, except the blueberries.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and gently mix with a rubber spatular.
Add the blueberries and combine briefly.
Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 30-40mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave cake to cool in tin.

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