Thursday, 4 February 2016

Small Spicy Bundt Cake

We found this recipe, printed out, from 2012 and finally decided to give it a go.  Using a 1 litre Bundt tin (from Aldi) we gathered the following ingredients
  • 375g plain flour (we used Dove's Farm Gluten Free)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (we used Dr Oetker)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • less than ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • 72½g/dark muscovado sugar (we used a dessert spoon to break up the naturally forming clumps when it was added to the caster sugar)
  • 72½g caster sugar
  • 72½g pecans chopped (we used the OXO good grips chopper)
  • 225g cored, peeled and diced bramley (cooking) apples

   We greased the Bundt tin well with melted butter before lightly flouring with plain Gluten Free flour.

   The eggs were beaten with the vanilla extract and sugar until they had lightened and increased in volume.

   The sunflower oil was then added in a steady stream until batter was quite thick.

   Having sifted the flour, bicarb and spices into a large bowl, they were added, a spoonful at a time, to the batter, mixing well after each spoonful.

Next we folded in the pecans and diced apple.

   The mix (which was quite firm) was then placed in pre-greased Bundt tin and cooked in a pre heated oven to 180ºC for 40 minutes.  We checked with a skewer after 30 minutes but returned the oven until the skewer came out cleanly.

   We allowed the cake to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before turning onto rack to cool completely.

   Finally, the cake was decorated with water icing (you could also add chopped, spiced nuts) once completely cooled.

The cake was a huge success, and rose more than we'd expected it to... a variation we will try next is soaked date in place of the apple and walnuts instead of the pecans.  

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Langue du Chat Biscuits

Spotting a recipe for Langue de Chat biscuits, it seemed like the sort of thing we 'tweak' to be gluten free without too much worry about it working.

The ingredients we used were -
50g softened butter
50g icing sugar
Orange zest (we used about a tablespoonful)
Vanilla pod seeds (we used about a pod's worth)
1 medium egg white
50g plain flour, sifted (we used Dove's Gluten Free)
pinch of salt

Surprisingly simple to make, we started by creaming the butter and icing sugar till light and creamy.

Next, the orange zest, vanilla seeds and salt were mixed through.

Then the egg white was fully incorporated before beating the flour in a little at a time.

The result was a fairly stiff dough which was put in a re-useable piping bag with a plain 1cm nozzle.

Piping 8cm long lines of the mix on silicone covered baking sheets, leaving quite a space between them, the mix produced 14 biscuits.

Baking the biscuits in a pre-heated oven (at 170ºC) for 10 minutes, they were checked, and then returned to bake for another 1-2 mins as required.  We were aiming for a firm bake with a golden edge.

We removed the biscuits from the oven and left them on the baking tray for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to completely cool.

They were deemed a great success by all!

In future we will make a double batch, pipe one half of the biscuits close together then freeze on the tray before bagging and freezing for baking, from frozen, when needed.  We think they'll only need an extra minute or two of baking to cook from frozen.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Pecan Cinnamon Twists

We were looking for a maple and pecan recipe (to try to 'do' a Danish like the ones J sees in the Waitrose cafe) but then realised we didn't have any maple syrup.  With this in mind, we decided to make up a 'post-Christmas' ingredients recipe to use up some of the things we had in the cupboards.  This is how we hit upon a recipe to use ground cinnamon and pecan nuts.

Having finally found some Silly Yak gluten free pastry (in the normal chiller with other pastries at Tesco) we thought we'd use this too.

We gathered the following ingredients -

35g dark brown sugar
25g pecans, shelled
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
200g puff pastry (rolled out to 20 x 25 cm sheet)  (we used Silly Yak gluten free which we'd finally tracked down in the chiller cabinet at Tesco)

To start, we combined first three ingredients in a the small hand blender bowl and blitzed till finely and combined.

Next the puff pastry was rolled out.  We used silicone sheets and lots of flour to make sure the pastry was thin and didn't stick (too much).

Once rolled out, the pastry sheet was brushed with the beated egg and then the sugar/nut mix was spread over it.

Using a pizza cutter, we cut the sheet into strips which were then twisted and placed on a chilled, non-stick, baking sheet.  We made sure to push the ends down in the hope this would stop the twists from straightening during baking.

We placed each finished sheet in the fridge to keep the twists chilled.

The twists were then baked in a hot (180ºC fan) oven for 12-15 minutes until golden (this time will vary depending on how thick you made your twists)

Cooling the twists for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, they were then transferred to a rack to fully cool.