Sometimes you need cake that really feels indulgent. I've loved watching The Great British Bake Off over the years but i'm mostly left feeling hungry and disappointed that so many of the gluten free alterntives to traditional cakes are so dense, tasteless or packed with refined sugar. This was a superb exeriement that i undertook after I had a can of pineapple pieces left over from a birthday party. I'd been tasked with re-creating one of those 1970's inspired hedgehogs of cheese and pineapple spikes! It was a triumph and thankfully this cake was too. My inspiration was a cake I tasted at the Hummingbird Cafe years before I realsied I was gluten intollerant. It has remained with me ever since so here's my homage to it! Enjoy
For the cake:
- Oil, for greasing the tin
- 300g gluten-free flour – I use my own blend we have created. See below. But you can just use a gluten free flour blend
- 1 tea spoon baking powder
- 1 tea spoon bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tablespoons psyllium husk
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 110g Coconut sugar
- 100g pineapple (I use canned unsweetened)
- 125 ml sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 eating apple
- 200g carrots
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoon pineapple juice
- 100g sultanas
- 100g walnuts, (optional) Omit if you have a nut allergy
For the icing:
- 1 can coconut milk – re-fridgerated
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup – depending on how sweet you want it.
- zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime juice
- 50g walnuts, apricots, sultanas etc to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Grease a spring form cake tin (roughly 20cm) with oil, line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl with the sugar and oil for about 10 minutes. It will double in size and go quite pale.
- Soak the sultanas in the orange and pineapple juice until you need them.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, psyllium husk and spices, into the egg mixture and then fold through.
- Core the apple, peel the carrots and blitz these together with the pineapple in a food processor or nutri-bullet, then stir into the mixture along with the orange zest.
- Add the raisins and juice.
- 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 40 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.
- Take the can of coconut milk from the fridge and remove the cream. Leave the water for drinking or adding to a smoothie.
- Blend in a nutri-bullet or high power blender with the lime juice, zest and maple syrup. It should have the consistency of cream cheese and be slightly tangy.
- Once the cake has cooled, cut in half and spread half the icing inside and half on top. Lightly crush the walnuts in a pestle and mortar and sprinkle on top along with apricots, sultanas or any other fruit you have to hand.
- Finish with a grating of orange zest, then serve.
Ali’s Gluten Free Flour blend
I use this gluten free flour recipe for everything from thickening gravies and sauces to home baking. It’s a perfect combination which I love.
125g Brown rice flour
125g Sweet white sorghum flour
175g Tapioca flour
175g Potato starch
75g buckwheat flour
Mix all the flours together and store in an airtight container. This works really well as a plain flour. If a recipe calls for self raising flour simply add baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. I sometime add a little psyllium husk for cakes too as it helps them rise and makes them light an airy – not an accusiation you can throw at a gluten cake every day!