Monday, 21 March 2011

Annie's Lemon Cake (Gluten Free)

Part of our outings these days is seeking out suitable establishments to allow us the treat of eating out. Last month, while sous chef J was attending a block placement at Megan Baker House, near Leominster, Herefordshire, it became part of the daily routine to call into Berrington Hall, a National Trust property that is, literally on the doorstep.

On the first day, we asked what Gluten Free options were available and were delighted to be served Lemon Cake. After that, we returned each day... and, as it was so delicious, I asked for the recipe. What a surprise I had when the chef, Annie, came out of the kitchens to talk to me, share her recipe and lend me a recipe book to leaf through whilst I was there! We had a lovely chat about all things Gluten Free and she even gave my husband a 'new recipe' scone to try... he loved it.

So, here is Annie's Lemon Cake recipe... and the record of how it was making it for the first time.

8oz softened butter (we used unsalted)

8oz caster sugar

8oz ground almonds

3 large eggs

2 lemons - juice and zest

4oz polenta

1 teaspoon Gluten Free baking powder (we used Dove's Farm)

For the topping, make a thin syrup of the juice and zest of 2 lemons (we added about 3 tablespoons of sugar to this to make our syrup, but this is something that needs to be done 'to taste' depending on the size of the lemons).

First of all the butter and sugar were creamed. Then the eggs, ground almonds, lemon juice and zest, polenta and baking powder were added. This was then thoroughly combined. By hand. It is quite a firm mixture - and sous chef J was happy to direct proceedings rather than do the hands on work.
Having combined all the ingredients by hand, the mix was shared between a lined 20cm (8") round tin and 6 muffin cases. The recipe states a 9" square tin, but we don't have the resources of a National Trust property's kitchen at our disposal so had to do some maths to work out similar volume/area using the bakeware we do have!
The cakes were placed in a preheated oven (150ºC fan, 165ºC non fan). The cakes looked like this once they had been baked for about 15 minutes - obviously, this is longer for the large, 20cm (8") cake... and this one needs to be firm to the touch before removing from the oven (takes about 40 minutes).
Once the cakes were baked, the lemon syrup mix was drizzled over them. They were then left to cool fully in the tins.
The final result...
The verdict is that they are yummy... although not quite as good looking as Annie's originals!

Annie told me they keep well... but you'll have to verify that for yourselves; they're eaten too fast here to check that out.

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