Winter ginger, pear and Flourless almond cake
“This flourless upside-down cake, with a base of ginger-poached pears, is spicy, sweet and satisfying.
200 g butter
200 g caster sugar
4 large free-range egs
220 g ground almonds
CARAMELISED GINGER PEARS
300 g ginger
1 vanilla pod
550 g caster sugar
20 g butter
For the pears, peel and finely grate the ginger. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, then place it all into a pan.
Add 400g of the sugar and 700ml of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to develop.
Using a spoon, carefully lower the pears into the hot liquid and simmer for 10 minutes, until tender.
Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside to cool.
Line the base of a 25cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Combine the remaining 150g sugar and 100ml of water in a pan and place over a high heat, simmering for about 15 minutes until it turns a dark golden brown.
Stir in the butter until you get a caramel, then pour it into the cake tin.
Cut the cooled pears into slices and carefully arrange them in the warm caramel.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
For the cake, beat the butter and sugar with a whisk until smooth (an electric one will be best for this).
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add the almonds and mix to combine.
Pour the cake mixture over the pears and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and carefully flip upside down to serve.
Raw chocolate cake
“This cake is pure indulgence.
COOKS IN25 MINUTES PLUS CHILLING TIME
300 g pecan nuts
150 g medjool dates
150 g dried figs
3 tablespoons raw honey
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
60 g cacao butter
150 g hazelnuts
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1½ tablespoons raw honey
200 g coconut oil
120 g cacao powder
2 teaspoons raw dark agave nectar , (see note)
2 tablespoons bee pollen , optional
Line a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.
To make the base, shave the cacao butter very finely into a small bowl, then place in a large bowl of hot water and allow to melt (it melts at about 34ºC, so is still considered raw).
Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until very fine, combine with the other base ingredients and press into the tin. Chill while you make the filling.
Blitz the pecan nuts until very fine, then add the remaining ingredients (remember to destone the dates) and blitz until everything comes together. Press into the tin and chill for at least 3 hours.
Combine the icing ingredients and chill for about 20 minutes to set a little, stirring once or twice.
Run a round-bladed knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin. Spread the icing on the cake with a palette knife and dust with the bee pollen (if using).
Pistachio, yoghurt & elderflower cake
COOKS IN1H 10M
250 g butter , plus extra for greasing
250 g sugar
150 g pistachios , plus extra to decorate
100 g ground almonds
200 g polenta
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
2 tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt
3 large free-range eggs
150 ml elderflower cordial
2-3 tablespoons runny honey
½ a lemon
200 g Greek-style yoghurt
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons elderflower syrup
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Roughly chop and add the pistachios, then mix in the almonds, polenta, baking powder and yoghurt until well combined.
Crack in the eggs, one by one, and mix in. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir to combine and pour the mixture into the cake tin.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the syrup.
Place the cordial and honey in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes till thickened. Taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the syrup for the icing. Make a few holes in the warm cake with a skewer, then gently pour the remaining syrup over the cake.
Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.
For the icing, mix the yoghurt, icing sugar and syrup until smooth.
Spread over the cooled cake and top with a handful of chopped pistachios, then serve.
ORANGE, ALMOND, VANILLA & CARDAMOM polenta cake
NUTRITION PER SERVING
200 g unsalted butter , (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing
200 g demerara sugar
3 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
200 g ground almonds
100 g coarse polenta
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
5 cardamom pods
250 ml orange juice , (from 3-4 oranges)
30 ml orange blossom water
125 g golden caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm springform tin, line the bottom and sides with greaseproof paper and grease again.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy – don’t worry if it looks gritty, as the sugar will dissolve when it’s cooked. Beat in the eggs, one by one, then stir in the vanilla essence.
In a small bowl, combine the ground almonds, polenta, orange zest, orange blossom water and baking powder, then stir this into the cake mix.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the surface is light brown and the cake is coming away slightly from the sides of the tin.
Remove the tin from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate. This cake will be quite fragile, so handle carefully as you remove it.
To make the syrup, crush the cardamom pods, then put all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer over a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly. Set aside to cool.
Prick the cake all over with a skewer, then brush generously with the syrup. Delicious served with a dollop of crème fraîche or yoghurt and an extra drizzle of syrup.
Gluten-free lemon cake WITH LEMON & ORANGE DRIZZLE
COOKS IN1H 10M PLUS COOLING
300 g dairy-free margarine (suitable for baking, at room temperature)
300 g gluten-free plain flour , plus extra for dusting
300 g golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
100 g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a 20cm square cake tin with the margarine, then line the bottom with greaseproof paper and dust the sides with gluten-free flour.
In a bowl, beat the margarine and sugar for around 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Crack in the eggs, finely grate and add the zest from 2 lemons and 1 orange, then mix to combine.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum into the bowl, then fold through. Stir in the juice from 1 lemon and ½ an orange until you have a nice, smooth mixture.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin, smooth out to the edges, then place on the middle shelf of the hot oven for 35 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes, before turning the cake out onto a wire cooling rack, then leave to cool completely while you make the icing.
Combine the icing sugar with the zest and juice from ½ a lemon and ¼ of an orange. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle the icing on top, grate over a little lemon and orange zest, then serve.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
Prep time:20 minsCook time:55 mins
Makes:1 large cake
250g / 8 oz dark chocolate
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp strong, hot black coffee
200g / 6½ oz butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar / superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¾ cups ground almonds
6 eggs, separated
To garnish (optional)
chocolate shavings, cut with a vegetable peeler
Preheat oven to 170°C . Line the base and sides of a 23cm / 9-inch-diameter springform cake tin with baking paper.
Combine chocolate, brandy and coffee in a large bowl over a pot of boiling water, stirring as the chocolate melts. Add butter, sugar and vanilla and stir until butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds. Lightly beat egg yolks and stir into the chocolate mixture.
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl and beat to firm peaks. Stir a big spoonful of beaten egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Spoon into prepared tin and bake until risen and set (40-50 minutes). The cake will still be a little gooey in the centre. It may look a little cracked as it develops a crust and can be quite fragile, but this is normal.
Cool completely in the tin, then transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if using. It will keep in an airtight container for more than a week and also freezes well.
Gluten-free carrot cake WITH ZESTY CREAM-CHEESE ICING
COOKS IN1 HOUR PLUS COOLING
unsalted butter , for greasing
225 g gluten-free self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
2 large free-range eggs
125 g soft brown sugar
125 ml sunflower oil
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 eating apple
200 g carrots
1 orange , zest and juice
1 handful of sultanas
50 g walnuts , (optional)
FOR THE ICING
75 g unsalted butter , softened
100 g icing sugar
1 orange , zest only
75 g cream cheese
50 g walnuts
Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Grease a springform cake tin (roughly 20cm) with butter, line the base with greaseproof paper, then dust the sides with gluten-free flour.
Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the sugar and oil, then mix to combine. Sieve in the flour and spices, then fold through. Peel and grate the apple (core and all) and carrots, then stir into the mixture along with the orange zest and juice and sultanas. Roughly chop and add the walnuts, if using.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, then place on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for around 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter, icing sugar and most of the orange zest until pale and smooth, then stir in the cream cheese until just combined.
Once cooled, decorate the cake with the icing. Lightly crush the walnuts in a pestle and mortar and sprinkle on top. Finish with a grating of orange zest, then serve.
Frozen yoghurt and mixed berry layer cake
SERVES 12 TO 16
COOKS IN15 MINUTES PLUS FREEZING
250 g strawberries
16 tablespoons natural yoghurt
250 g bananas
250 g raspberries
250 g blackberries
Line a loaf tin with clingfilm.
In a blender or food processor, blitz the strawberries with 4 tablespoons of yoghurt. Pour the fruit mixture into the tin and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse out the blender or food processor, and blitz the bananas with another 4 tablespoons of yoghurt. Add this layer to the tin and return it to the freezer.
Repeat with the other 2 types of fruit and remaining yoghurt.
The cake is ready as soon as the top layer is hard, but you can keep it in the freezer as long as you like. Slice the cake while still frozen and serve with berries.
Flourless chocolate & pear cake
PREP: 20 MINS
COOK: 40 MINS
A light, but luscious cake made with hazelnuts - serve a slice for dessert with a dollop of crème fraîche
85g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for tin
85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tbsp brandy
3 eggs, separated
85g hazelnut, toasted and ground in a food processor
4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
icing sugar, for dusting
Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.
In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.
Pineapple & ginger Pavlova
PREP: 25 MINS
COOK: 1 HR
plus 8 hrs cooling
EASY SERVES 8
4 large egg whites
225g white caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
½ large pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 4-5 wedges
3 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar (see below), plus extra to drizzle
6 balls stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
500ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting handful mint leaves, shredded
Heat oven to 150C Place the egg whites in a large very clean bowl, and whisk to stiff peaks with an electric hand whisk. Continue to whisk while you add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Continue to whisk as you add the ginger, cornflour and vinegar.
Draw a 23cm circle on a piece of baking parchment, then turn it over and place on a large baking tray. Spread out the meringue mixture to fill the circle, creating a dip in the middle and higher sides. Run a palette knife up the edges at regular intervals if you want to create ridges. Bake for 1 hr, then leave in the oven with the door shut for 8 hrs until the Pavlova is completely cool.
While the Pavlova bakes, heat a clean griddle pan over a medium-high heat until hot. Brush the pineapple wedges with the ginger syrup and griddle for 2 mins until char lines appear and the pineapple is slightly softened. Leave to cool completely, then cut into chunks. (The pineapple can be griddled the day before and chilled. Let it come to room temperature before you assemble the Pavlova. The Pavlova base can be made up to 2 days before serving, stored in an airtight container, then topped with cream and pineapple just before serving).
When you’re ready to serve, whizz the stem ginger and 2 tbsp of the syrup in the small bowl of a food processor to a chunky paste. Add the cream and icing sugar and whip to soft peaks, then spoon into the crater of the meringue. Top with the pineapple, drizzle with a little extra ginger syrup, scatter over the mint and dust with icing sugar.
Gluten-free carrot cake
PREP: 20 MINS
COOK: 55 MINS
EASY SERVES 8
140g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200g gluten-free self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
50g mixed nut, chopped, For the icing
75g butter, softened
175g icing sugar
3 tsp cinnamon,plus extra for dusting
Heat oven to 180C Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
Beat the butter and sugar until soft and creamy, then stir in the grated carrot and sultanas. Pour the eggs into the mix a little at a time.
Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and most of the chopped nuts and mix well. Tip the mix into the loaf tin, then bake for 50-55 mins or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 mins, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter in a large bowl until it is really soft, add the icing sugar and cinnamon, then beat until thick and creamy. When the cake is cool, spread the icing on top, then sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and the remaining chopped nuts.
Gluten-free lemon drizzle cake
PREP: 30 MINS
COOK: 40 MINS
EASY SERVES 8 - 10
With a special surprise ingredient, this gluten free cake stays beautifully moist. To everyone’s amazement it's mash potato!
Nutrition: per serving
200g golden caster sugar
175g ground almond (switch for polenta or wheat-free flour to make this recipe nut-free)
250g mashed potato
zest 3 lemons
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
(Supercook does one)
For the drizzle
4 tbsp granulated sugar
juice 1 lemon
Heat oven to 180C. Butter and line a deep, 20cm round cake tin. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg, beating after each addition. Fold in the almonds, cold mashed potato, lemon zest and baking powder.
Tip into the tin, level the top, then bake for 40-45 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack after 10 mins cooling. Mix the granulated sugar and the lemon juice together, then spoon over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.