Archive for the ‘Lactose free’ Category

Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – Week 4. Custard Tarts

Monday, September 30th, 2013

I cannot get excited about a custard tart. I know people who think they are the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t get it – but if you take that sliced bread but some butter on it (or dairy free margarine!), add some dried fruit, pour the custard over the top and bake then you have one of my all time favourite puddings. So maybe they’re not so bad!

custard tartAs I am a few weeks behind with this challenge I will crack on with the recipe.

Here is a link to the recipe used in the programme. Egg Custard Tarts.

To make this recipe dairy free, replace the butter in the pastry for your choice of dairy free margarine and the milk in the custard for your choice of dairy free milk. I prefer almond milk.

See here for my gluten and dairy free sweet pastry.

Gluten, dairy and egg free sweet pastry – Make 9 individual tarts.

100g Doves Farm gluten free plain flour
100g fine maize flour
100g cold dairy free margarine
50g caster sugar
40 – 50ml cold water. The less water the better the texture.

Combine the flours in a large mixing bowl.
Rub the margarine into the flour
Stir in the sugar then the water. Bring together to form a dough.
Use straight away. You can roll out the pastry and cut circles using a pastry cutter. Push into the moulds of a muffin tin. Neaten the edge.
I used a tart press to form my cases.

gluten free pastry

Place a ball of pastry into a large muffin tin, dip the press into gluten free flour and press down a little, dip into flour and press again. Continue until your pastry is your desired thickness. Trim the top with a sharp knife or round biscuit cutter.

gluten free pastry in muffin tin

If you are filling the pastry with egg custard, I would part bake the pastry for 15 minutes at 190°c/ gas mark 5 before adding the custard and sprinkling of nutmeg. Continue baking at 180°c / gas mark 4 for about 10 – 15 minutes until the custard has set.

For egg and dairy free custard I turn to custard powder or Vege-Gel, depending on which texture you prefer.

custard set with vege-gel

This custard is set with Vege-Gel.

Using vege-Gel.
900ml your choice of dairy free milk.
1½ sachets (9g) Vege-Gel.
50g caster sugar.
vanilla extract.

Stir the Vege-Gel and vanilla into the milk.
Pour into a saucepan and stir until boiling.
Stir in the caster sugar. Check you have enough flavouring and sugar. Pour into cooked pastry cases. Grate a little nutmeg on top.
Cool then keep in the fridge until needed.

Using custard powder.
900ml your choice of dairy free milk. I prefer almond milk.
50g gluten free custard powder.
35 – 50g caster sugar.

Pour the dairy free milk into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Blend the custard powder with a little water, when the milk comes to the boil whisk in the custard powder. Keep whisking until thick.
Stir in the sugar. Pour into the cooked pastry cases. Grate a little nutmeg on top. Leave to set and chill in the fridge.

Why not put a spoonful of jam or apple puree into the pastry case before the custard.

 

 

 

Gluten, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge – Week 3. Floating Islands

Monday, September 16th, 2013

So how do you make an egg free meringue?

egg free floating island

Did you know Alfred Bird invented custard powder because his wife was allergic to eggs?

I had never used an egg replacement until a little while ago when I saw a recipe for meringue and had to try it. I tried making a sponge with it which I didn’t like at all so I keep it just for meringue.

The original recipe from The Great British Bake Off is already gluten free – remember if you use Meri-white, it contains wheat. The recipe can be made dairy free by using your choice of dairy free milk in the custard.

The Recipe – 4 portions.

45g Orgran No Egg
2ml pectin
few drops vanilla extract
65g icing sugar
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

500ml almond milk
35g gluten free custard powder
20g caster sugar or to taste

Mix the No Egg with the pectin in a mixing bowl.
Add 125ml water and mix on high speed for 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla and the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue on high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

egg free meringue
Place the almond milk into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to just under a simmer.
Shape the meringue into quenelles and place into the milk. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes depending on the size. Lift out onto a plate.

poached egg free meringue
Strain the almond milk and pour back into a clean saucepan. Bring to the boil.
Mix the custard powder with a little water. Whisk into the almond milk until it is your preferred thickness. Stir in the sugar.
Pour into serving bowls and place the meringues on top.

Place 100g white caster sugar into a small saucepan with a drop of water. Place onto the heat and melt the sugar. Boil until the sugar turns to caramel. Take off the heat and dip the saucepan into the sink filled with a little cold water to stop the caramel cooking further.
Dip two forks into the caramel and flick the caramel over a rolling pin to form strands – this is messy! Place on top of the meringues.

 

 

Gluten Free English Muffins – The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge 2013, week 2

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

So this week was bread week. I’m joined in my gluten and dairy free technical challenge this year by Julia from Alimentary Bites. This time we are attempting the challenge egg and soya free too!

SAM_2615

Julia was lucky this week as she has already made MEWS free English muffins. You will find Julia’s blog here http://alimentarybites.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/great-british-bake-off-challenge-week-2.html

Here is my attempt. I was pleased with my result. Once toasted and spread with dairy free margarine and jam, even my husband said it tasted ‘muffiny’.

The Recipe – makes 12

200g Doves Farm gluten free plain flour
100g cornflour (corn starch)
100g ground almonds
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons caster sugar
4 teaspoons fast action dried yeast
30g dairy free, soya free margarine, melted
210ml almond milk
200ml water

Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Measure the almond milk, water and melted dairy free margarine and stir into the flour. This will be a thick batter.

gluten free English muffins

I tried two ways of cooking the muffins – I baked two muffins in the oven. I spooned some of the mixture into two greased dessert rings, left to rise for about half an hour then baked at 180°c / gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.

gluten free English muffins

I left the rest of the mixture to prove in the mixing bowl. I heated a frying pan and using a wet spoon carefully scooped the mixture onto the pan. Bake for 10 minutes on each side. If the outside is colouring too quickly, turn the heat down and place a lid on the pan.

griddled gluten free muffinsI split the muffins in half and toasted them. I think griddling the muffins gave it a muffin flavour.

 

 

 

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake – Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge 2013, Week 1

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Great British Bake Off is back on so we get to see Mel and Sue together again – yey, bring back Light Lunch!

For a second year I have decided to challenge myself to make a gluten and dairy free version (and this year – egg free when possible) of each weeks technical challenge.

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

This cake is naturally dairy free.

The first hurdle I came to was that I don’t have the special cake tin used to make this cake which is never a good start. I improvised by using a 10 inch cake tin with a dariole mould in the centre which might have worked if the tin hadn’t been non-stick! The dariole mould was lower than the sides of the cake tin so this maybe another reason why the cake pulled away from the sides.

I felt unsure about which gluten free flour to use for this recipe as I have never tried Angel Food Cake. As there is so little flour in this cake I decided to use Doves Farm Plain Gluten Free Flour. I also added xanthan gum for luck which I never usually use in my cakes.

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

The Recipe

125g gluten free plain flour (Doves Farm)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
300g caster sugar
10 large egg whites
2 lemons, grated zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt

Whipping Soya Cream – to serve

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/ 180°c/ 160°c fan oven.
Sift together the gluten free flour with the xanthan gum and 100g caster sugar.
Weigh the remaining sugar into a bowl.
Measure the cream of tartar and salt onto a dish, add the grated lemon zest.
Squeeze the lemon and put 1 tablespoon into a small bowl. Wipe around your mixing bowl and whisk with the squeezed lemon then wipe with kitchen roll to get rid of any grease.
Separate the eggs and put the whites into your mixing bowl. You can use the yolks to make Mary Berry’s lemon curd. You can substitute the butter in this recipe for dairy free margarine, it may be slightly runnier with this.
Whisk the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar, salt, lemon zest and juice and whisk until it forms soft peaks.
Increase the speed and add the 200g sugar a spoonful at a time to form firm peaks.
Gently add a third of the gluten free flour and fold in. Gently add the rest of the flour and fold in. Try not to bang your bowl.
Spoon into the cake tin and level.
Gently run a knife through the mixture to get rid of any air pockets.
Place into the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Turn the cake tin upside down straight away and rest the edges of the cake tin on something to keep it raised off the worktop.
Leave for at least one hour to cool and set.
Run a knife around the outside and inside edge and tease the cake out of the tin. Leave to cool then decorate.

The gluten free flour worked well in this recipe.

I did attempt an egg free / vegan version but I ended up with a very nice marshmallow!

I used the recipe for egg free meringue from the Orgran website and added cornflour. I’m wondering if it might have been better to used Doves Farm gluten free flour instead.

Vegan Marshmallow

Egg Free Attempt

90g Orgran No Egg
½ teaspoon citrus pectin
250ml cold water
140g icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice and zest 2 lemons
50g cornflour

Preheat oven to 130° (250°F)

Blend Orgran No Egg & pectin together thoroughly while dry, and then add to cold water in mixing bowl.

Mix on high for 5 minutes.

Add vanilla and sugars 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing on high for a further 5 minutes. The foam will increase in volume.

Keep mixing until the mix forms firm peaks.

Gently fold in the lemon juice then the gluten free flour

Spoon into a cake tin with a centre and level.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Turn upside down straight away and balance on something to keep off the worktop for at least 1 hour.

If you want to make this egg free marshmallow, it will only last about a day as it absorbs any moisture around and goes soggy.

Vegan Marshmallow

 

 

 

Dairy Free and Egg Free Gooseberry Curd

Monday, July 29th, 2013

I’ve picked 18lb gooseberries this year from the bushes we inherited with our new house. They are amazingly overgrown so if anyone can tell me how to prune them I’d be grateful but for now I will enjoy all they have to share.

gooseberry curd

I first discovered gooseberry curd last year and I now think it is the best thing you can make with them.

Traditional recipes state you can only keep it for a month unopened then one week in a fridge once opened. So I tried freezing some in small plastic tubs. My test pot defrosted fine. I recommend putting it into the fridge to defrost and eat within a week.

I’ve experimented with two recipes. I wanted to try and make a curd without using eggs too. This worked well, it has a nice flavour, it doesn’t melt on your hot toast the way traditional curd would do but it’s still worthy of a place at the breakfast table and would be a great filling for a gooseberry tart.

To sterilise your jam jars

Preheat your oven to 140°c/gas mark 1. Wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse in clean water. Place on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes.

1st recipe – Dairy and Egg Free Gooseberry Curd

Enough to fill 3 small jam jars

I’ve used cornflour to thicken this recipe in place of eggs

450g gooseberries
150ml water
150g caster sugar
50g cornflour
50g dairy free margarine. I used Vitalite

You don’t need to top and tail the gooseberries as they will be passed through a sieve.
This recipe will only keep for 5 days stored in the fridge but it can frozen in plastic tubs.

Place the gooseberries and the water into a saucepan and boil until the gooseberries burst – about 10 mins.
Push through a sieve to get as much of the fruit through as you can.
Measure 500ml gooseberry puree into a saucepan, add the sugar and stir until boiling.
Add a little cold water to the cornflour to blend, whisk this into the boiling liquid until thick. Turn off heat.
Stir in the dairy free margarine and strain into sterilised jam jars or plastic tubs for freezing.

This makes a lovely tart filling as it sets well and the sharpness goes well with sweet pastry.

 2nd recipe – Dairy Free Gooseberry Curd  made the traditional way using eggs as the thickener. Recipe from Marguerite Patten’s Jam, Preserves and Chutneys handbook

Enough to fill 3 small jam jars

450g gooseberries
150ml water
375g caster sugar
85g dairy free margarine
5 egg yolks or 3 whole eggs (I prefer to use whole eggs)

You don’t need to top and tail the gooseberries as they will be passed through a sieve.
Place the gooseberries and the water into a saucepan and boil until the gooseberries burst – about 10 mins.
Push through a sieve to get as much of the fruit through as you can.
Measure 500ml gooseberry puree into a heatproof bowl, add the sugar and dairy free margarine.
Place the bowl on top of a saucepan filled with an inch of water on the stove.
Stir the mixture until melted.
Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly mix together.
Whisk a little of the warmed mixture into the eggs then whisk the eggs back into the gooseberry puree.
Keep stirring the mixture over the heat until thick and the mixture coats the back of your spoon. If you have a thermometer it should read 82°c.
Strain into sterilised jam jars or clean plastic tubs to be frozen.
The curd doesn’t set really thick but does spread nicely. I’m going to try adding an extra egg next time.
You can use egg yolks instead of whole eggs if you prefer a richer curd, use 6 yolks in place of 3 whole eggs. I find this too eggy so prefer whole egg.

SAM_2325My son decorated this jar for his teacher.

Apple Shaped Teachers Gift – Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

I can’t believe my sons first year at school will be over in one week. Reception year in his school is three classes but they all mingle and they have lots of teaching assistants so I thought I would make a little present for all of the teaching staff.

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I also made his two main teachers a jar of dairy free gooseberry curd – I’ll post this recipe next week.

I cooked the chocolate cake in a 6 x 2 inch wide half sphere silicone mould.

This recipe makes 12 whole spheres or a 6 inch round cake

150g dairy free margarine (I use Vitalite)
200g caster sugar
50g dairy and gluten free plain chocolate (around 60% cocoa solids – I find a higher cocoa solid content gives a drier cake)
4 eggs
75g self raising gluten free flour
30g dairy and gluten free cocoa powder

Dairy free chocolate ganache

75ml almond milk
110g dairy and gluten free plain chocolate

10g dairy free margarine
40g icing sugar

Strawberry jam

I also used

1kg gluten free sugarpaste
gluten free apple green paste food colouring (I used Sugarflair gooseberry with a little mint green)
red dust food colouring
a small amount brown sugarpaste
a small amount of dark green sugarpaste

Apple or rose leaf cutter and mould

For the dairy free ganache

Make the dairy free ganache a few hours before and allow to set at room temperature – heat the almond milk until boiling and mix in the chocolate until melted.
Mix the dairy free margarine and icing sugar together. When the ganache has set, mix this into the ganache and leave to set again. This makes a lighter ganache.

For the chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 190°c/170°c fan oven/ gas mark 5
Melt the chocolate on a low heat in the microwave.
Cream the margarine and sugar together until light in colour
Beat in the melted chocolate, scrape down the sides to ensure all the chocolate is incorporated.
Crack the eggs into a cup, whisk together then mix into the creamed mixture a little at a time.
Sieve the gluten free flour and cocoa powder together then fold into the mixture until combined.
Spoon a little of the mixture into each mould just over ¾ full.
Bake for about 15 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the mould for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling wire.
If you need to refill the same mould, wash before using again.

Once all of your half spheres are baked and cooled, place back into the mould and slice the top off level with the mould.

a
Spread strawberry jam and ganache over half of the half sphere then put another sponge on top. Fill in the gap around the centre with more ganache then spread all over the cakes. Leave to set for a few minutes.

b

Knead then roll out your green sugarpaste, cut a circle big enough to cover your ball. Place over a cake and mould around.
Cut the excess paste away from the bottom. You can then pick up the cake carefully and mould the sugarpaste underneath to make the ball shape. Place back on the table and smooth the icing into shape.
Indent a cone tool in the top.
Brush with red dust food colouring and rub in with your hands.
Roll a thin sausage of brown sugarpaste and cut into the shape of a stem. Attach inside the cone at the top with edible glue or rose water.
Roll out the dark green sugarpaste and cut out 12 leaves. Mark a leaf pattern with the mould or a knife. You can dust them with dark green and a little red dust colouring. Attach one to each stem with rose water. Leave to dry.
I wrapped each of mine in cellophane with a little thank you tag written by my son.

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Free From For Kids

Friday, February 15th, 2013

I thought I’d tell you about a website selling free from foods aimed for children.

www.freefromforkids.co.uk is a website dedicated to selling free from foods. If you’re looking for dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, soya free, egg free and other food allergen free treats, snacks or baking goods then you are in the right place. The foods are aimed at children, but if you like good food that is free from common allergens then Freefromforkids.co.uk is perfect for big kids too!

If you are struggling to find free from Easter goodies then this is a good site to visit.

The owners of this site also run www.parentsown.co.uk which was set up to allow parents with children with gastro intestinal, feeding problems and allergies, as well as other medical conditions, to share their experiences, information and find people in a similar situation to them.

Egg, gluten and dairy free wedding cookies

Monday, January 28th, 2013

I was asked how to decorate cookies with flooded icing without using egg. You can get the same effect, shinier in fact by using fondant icing.

I don’t mean sugarpaste. I mean bakers fondant which is made from sugar and glucose syrup. This can be bought in block form which is how bakers use it, you can buy it from the supermarket as ‘fondant sugar’ which you mix with water before using or you can buy real fruit fondant powder from Squires Kitchen.

The three cookies on the left were decorated with block fondant. The three cookies on the right are decorated with powdered fondant sugar. My photography is not brilliant but I hope you can see that both give a good finish.

Both block form and powdered fondant sugar will give a smooth shiny finish which is as shinier than flooded royal icing – and you don’t need a heat lamp to dry the icing.

Tips – Prepare your fondant sugar in a glass bowl and stir with a metal spoon. Plastic bowls can hold onto any grease previously held in the bowl and this will affect the shine of your fondant.

Pipe the outline of your shape with sugarpaste ‘let down’ with cooled boiled water. I add 1ml to 20g sugarpaste but this doesn’t have to be exact. Use this to fill a piping bag fitted with a number 2 nozzle.

To prepare your fondant sugar – stir in water a few drops at a time until it is a thick pourable consistency. Colour with liquid or paste food colouring.

To prepare block bakers fondant – place your fondant in a glass bowl, pour a small amount of water over the top. Place into a microwave on a low heat, stir after every 30 seconds until it is the required consistency. It should be just warm. You can add a little water to adjust the consistency. Do not overheat as this will effect the shine and constant overheating will cause the fondant to become grainy. Colour with liquid or paste food colouring.

Both sugars dry hard and you can pipe on top. This method can also be used to make free standing ‘run out decorations – you can either draw your pattern the wrong way round onto a piece of silicon baking paper, turn upside down so the pencil marks are underneath, or place a piece of clear cellophane on top of your design and pipe your design onto this. Pipe the shape outline with let down sugarpaste in a piping bag fitted with a number 2 nozzle. Fill in the shape with the fondant icing in a piping bag. Leave to dry before carefully running a very thin thin palette knife underneath to loosen from the paper.

This recipe makes about 12 x 3inch heart shaped biscuits.

 Ingredients
70g caster sugar
150g dairy free margarine
100g gluten free plain flour
100g maize flour or cornflour
1 x 500g pack fondant sugar (available from your supermarket)
Small amount sugarpaste, coloured as required
paste or liquid food colouring
any extra decoration

Equipment
1 large baking tray
cookie cutters
rolling pin
small paper piping bags
number 2 piping nozzle
small cranked palette knife

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas mark 4.

Mix the sugar together with the dairy free margarine until combined.

Mix in the gluten free flour and maize flour and bring together to form a dough.

Dust your worktop with gluten free flour. Roll out the dough ¼ inch thick and stamp out shapes using biscuit cutters.

Place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper lightly brushed with oil.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes and leave on the baking tray to cool.

Let down your coloured sugarpaste with cooled, boiled water. Paddle with a small cranked palette knife to remove any lumps and air bubbles.Fill a paper piping bag fitted with a number 2 piping nozzle.

Pipe any outlines on your cookie with the let down sugarpaste.

Prepare and colour your fondant sugar until it is a thick pouring consistency. Fill a paper piping bag with this. It does not need a nozzle.

Snip the very tip of your piping bag off with a pair of scissors and pipe the fondant onto your cookie within the outline. Start piping, keep the point of your piping bag in the piped fondant to ‘guide’ the fondant where you want it to go. Try not to overfill. Leave in place to dry. Decorate as required.

Once dry the fondant can be piped on top.

Getting ready for Christmas: Gluten Free Mincemeat

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

I love the run up to Christmas and it starts with our Christmas baking. Cheesy Christmas music is a must. My youngest son joining in for the first time.

We started this year with mincemeat, making double the usual amount after running out last year.

I used to just mix all the ingredients together, put into jars and leave until needed but a couple of years ago I found the apple had fermented so I now follow Delia’s advice and warm up the mixture to melt the fat so it coats the fruit.

I always use vegetable suet in my mincemeat as I find beef suet sometime solidifies once the mince pies are cooked and cold. Gluten free vegetable suet is available from whole food shops. I used Community Foods. If this is hard to find I would use white vegetable fat as we are going to melt it anyway.

If you want to use beef suet, you can buy this fresh from some butchers which can be grated or blitz in a food processor.

This recipe makes enough to fill 5 jam jars.

The Recipe

200g raisins
200g sultanas
200g currants
200g wheat free mixed peel
2 cooking apples, peeled and chopped finely
200g gluten free vegetable suet or white vegetable fat (Trex)
200g Demerara sugar
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
2 tsp mixed spice
pinch salt
25ml rum
25ml brandy

The Method

Mix all the ingredients except the rum and brandy in a large bowl. Cover and leave overnight for the flavours to develop.

Preheat the oven to 120°c / gas mark ¼. Place the mixture into a deep ovenproof dish and warm in the oven until the fat has melted.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool, stirring occasionally. When cold stir in the rum and brandy.

To sterilise the jars – clean five glass jars in hot soapy water and dry with a clean towel. Place the jars in a moderate oven (160°c / 325°f / gas mark 3) for five minutes to ensure they are sterilised.

Fill the jars with the mincemeat while the jars are still hot.

Cover with a plastic coated lid. The fruit can corrode a metal lid.

The Great British Bake Off – gluten and dairy free technical challenge – The Final

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Technical Challenge – The Final. Gluten and dairy free fondant fancies.

I’ve really enjoyed my own technical challenge. I hope I have proved that most dishes can be adapted to suit a gluten and dairy free diet which are just as tasty.

I had a bit of an issue with this challenge. I have never used powdered fondant sugar before. I have always used block fondant available from bakery wholesalers.

I thought I would use the powdered fondant sugar this time as it is available from supermarkets and the allergy information easier to find.

I definitely prefer block fondant so if you can get it I recommend using it. I found the powdered fondant icing sugar takes ages to set and the sugar feels grainy in your mouth.

I read in Peggy Porschen’s fondant fancy recipe that block fondant is available from www.almondart.com I have contacted the company and this fondant is free from all allergens.

I used four 500g boxes of fondant icing sugar to cover 25 fondant fancies! The instructions state to add 6 tablespoons of water to 500g sugar. I added 5 tablespoons water. I had to coat the sponges twice to get a thick enough coating. I’m wondering if I had added even less water and warmed  the sugar up instead then one coat would have been thick enough. If anybody has success with this sugar I would love to get some tips.

The Recipe

Ingredients

For the sponge

125g Doves Farm plain gluten free flour
65g fine maize flour or cornflour
60g ground almonds
1 heaped teaspoon gluten free baking powder
250g dairy free margarine – I use Vitalite
250g caster sugar
gluten and dairy free flavouring
5 free-range eggs

For the dairy free ‘buttercream’

150g dairy free margarine
600g icing sugar
vanilla extract

200g gluten and dairy free marzipan

For the icing and decoration

1 – 2 kg white fondant icing sugar, depending on your success! Or 1kg gluten and dairy free block fondant icing
gluten and dairy free flavouring
gluten and dairy free liquid or paste food colouring
100g gluten and dairy free dark chocolate – I use Plamil 60% dark chocolate

Method

Grease and line a 20cm / 8 inch square cake tin. Run a knife along each side of the tin to give a sharp edge. Make sure your baking parchment sticks to the sides of the cake tin or your sponge will not have straight sides.

Preheat oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas mark 5.

Combine the gluten free flour, maize flour, ground almonds and gluten free baking powder. Sieve together four times to fully distribute all of the ingredients.

Cream together the caster sugar and dairy free margarine until light and fluffy. It is best to do this using a food mixer with a beater attachment or use a hand held electric mixer.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork.

Beat the egg into the creamed mixture a bit at a time making sure to beat in each addition properly before adding the next. If the mixture starts to split, mix in a spoonful of the flour.

Add the flavouring.

Fold in the gluten free flour with a large spoon.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm to touch and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate then turn onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.

For the dairy free butter cream

Mix the icing sugar and flavouring into the dairy free margarine. Do not overbeat the mixture as it will split. Stir in a few drops of water until it reaches the required consistency.

You may think this is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture will split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream.

Place 100g/3½oz of the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Keep the rest in a bowl for the cake sides.

When the sponge is cold. Level the top of the sponge. You want the sponge 4cm high. Turn the cake over so the bottom is now the top. Spread a thin coat of dairy free buttercream over the top of the sponge.

Roll the marzipan out very thinly, cover the top of the cake.

Cut the cake into 25 equal squares (each 4cm/1½in square). You may need to cut off the edges if they have rounded and pulled away from the sides of the tin – all the edges must be straight and neat.

Cover four sides of each square with dairy free buttercream (not the marzipan top or the base). Using the buttercream in the piping bag, pipe a blob in the centre of each square on top of the marzipan. Place in the freezer for 2 hours.

How I used the powdered fondant sugar – I mixed one 500g pack at a time with 5 tablespoons water until smooth and add food colouring and flavouring. I spooned the fondant over each sponge until completely covered then placed onto a cooling wire to let the excess drip off. Continue with the rest of the squares. Leave to set. My coating was too thin so I coated each square a second time.

I would prefer to use block fondant. To use this, place 1kg fondant into a large bowl that can fit in a microwave. Cover the fondant with water then drain off. Place on a low heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in the colouring and flavouring if using. If the fondant is still quite stiff, add a drop more water and place in the microwave for 15 seconds, stir and repeat until the fondant is easy to stir. Hold the sponge underneath and scoop through the fondant. Leave to set on a cooling wire.

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Once melted, place the chocolate in piping bag and set aside.

Using the piping bag of melted chocolate, drizzle the chocolate over each fancy in a zig-zag pattern.

Leave to set and then place on a cake stand to serve.