Posts Tagged ‘lactose free’

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 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.


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.

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.


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.


Free From For Kids

Friday, February 15th, 2013

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

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

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

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.

Leftover mincemeat?- Gluten and dairy free mincemeat shortbread

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Unusually this year I had a jar of mincemeat leftover after Christmas. I also needed to make something for lunch boxes this week.

I fancied a mincemeat bakewell tart but there is a no nuts policy at school so decided to make mincemeat shortbread.


1 large jar of gluten free mincemeat. (If you haven’t got enough mincemeat, you could mix it with stewed apple or pear)
375g dairy free margarine
180g caster sugar
250g gluten free plain flour
250g maize flour or cornflour

for the Shortbread

Preheat 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.

Line an 8in x 8in brownie tin with greaseproof paper, grease with sunflower oil or dairy free margarine if needed. I used an 8in x 12 in tin and spread the shortbread out to 8 inches. It didn’t spread any further when cooking so you can use a bigger tin.

Press half of the dough into the bottom of the tin.

Bake for 15 minutes, leave to cool. I would always recomend part baking the base if using a domestic oven.

Cover with the mincemeat.

Place the remaining dough onto a piece of parchment paper which is bigger than the brownie tin.

Roll out onto the parchment until it is the same size as the brownie tin and of an equal thickness.

Get somebody to help you. Each hold two corners of the parchment and turn over onto the mincemeat.

Manoeuvre into the right place, rub over the parchment with your hand to stick the shortbread to the mincemeat, then peel off the paper.

Mark into portions and sprinkle caster sugar over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool before slicing into portions.

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 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


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


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.

The Great British Bake Off – gluten and dairy free technical challenge – Week 9

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Technical Challenge – week 9. Gluten and dairy free Fraisier cake.

I’ve really been enjoying adapting the technical challenges. I’ve been able to bake lovely things for my family that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.

This weeks challenge is my kind of pudding. I remember the first time I tasted crème pâtissière, I thought it was the nicest thing I had ever eaten.

The Recipe

20 cm/8 inch cake

For the genoise sponge

150g caster sugar
4 eggs
75g ground almonds
75g cornflour
40g dairy free margarine, melted and cooled

For the crème pâtissière

570 ml almond milk
100g caster sugar
4 eggs
80g cornflour
20g gluten free custard powder
a few drops of vanilla extract

For the lemon syrup

75g/2¾oz caster sugar
2 lemons, juice only

To finish the cake

200g/7oz marzipan
50g/2oz dairy and gluten free dark chocolate, for decoration
50g/2oz dairy and gluten free white chocolate, for decoration
600g/1lb 5oz medium sized strawberries

For the genoise sponge

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

Grease and line 2 x 20cm/ 8in cake tins.

Melt the dairy free margarine in the microwave on a low setting.

If you are using a food mixer – place the caster sugar and eggs into the machine bowl, fit the whisk attachment and whisk on a fast speed for 8 – 10 minutes. It is whisked enough when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on the top of the mixture for a second. This is called a sabayon.

If you are using a hand whisk or electric hand whisk – find a large saucepan and a large heatproof bowl that will sit on top.

Fill the saucepan with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to the boil. Take off the heat.

Place the caster sugar and eggs into the bowl and whisk together.

Place on top of the saucepan and whisk for 10 minutes until when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on top of the mixture.

Using the pan of hot water speeds up this process.

Sift together the ground almonds and cornflour. Use a spoon to add the flour and melted, cooled dairy free margarine to the sabayon and fold in carefully. You want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible so try not to bang the bowl!

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until firm to touch.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling wire.

For the crème pâtissière

Pour the almond milk into a large saucepan and place on the heat.

Beat the sugar and eggs together until white and creamy.

Stir the cornflour and custard powder into the egg.

When the almond milk has come to the boil whisk half the milk into the egg mixture then pour this back into the hot milk. Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens then beat until smooth.

Cool and store in a fridge until needed.

The custard can be made thinner by whisking in more almond milk to the cold crème pâtissière until it is the required consistency.

I have taken the rest of the recipe from Mary Berry’s recipe used on The Great British Bake Off

Place the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a small saucepan with 70ml/4½ tbsp water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then boil rapidly for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, roll out a thin disc of marzipan to fit a 20cm/8in circumference circle. It is best if you draw around the 20cm/8in base of another loose bottomed tin for the perfect circle. For best results and a perfectly flat surface, chill it in the fridge until it is needed.

Place a strip of acetate plastic or a double strip of baking parchment around the inside of the springform tin. Or line the base and sides with cling film or parchment lined foil.

Place one layer of sponge cake in the bottom of the cake tin. Then liberally brush the sponge with half the syrup. With the back of a spoon, gently squash the edges of the cake down so that they are pushed directly against the sides of the tin, creating the defined edges necessary for the Fraisier cake.

Rinse, hull and halve about 12 strawberries, try and make sure they are all the same height.

Place the cut sides of the strawberries against the plastic on the inside of the tin. The strawberry halves should be sitting snugly beside each other, so it looks like a little crown inside the tin.

Take the chilled crème pâtissière out of the fridge and spoon two thirds of the crème into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm/½in nozzle.

Pipe a swirl covering the exposed sponge completely in the bottom of the tin.

Then pipe between each of the strawberries so the gaps are filled right to the top with the crème pâtissière.

Set about 3-5 strawberries to one side for decoration, then hull and quarter the rest of them and place on top of the crème, so it raises the inside of the cake by about an inch.

Pipe another swirl of crème pâtissière on top of the cut strawberries to cover the whole surface. Then smooth with a palette knife.

Place the other disc of sponge on top of this, with the cut side uppermost, so it has a completely flat top. Brush with the remaining syrup.

Gently press the top down quite firmly, so that the cake and filling push against the acetate to create the distinctive smooth and defined sides of the Fraisier cake.

Lay the chilled marzipan circle on top of the cake and put the whole thing back in the fridge to set.

Make some pretty decorations of your choice with melted chocolate.

When ready to serve, remove the cake from fridge.

Very carefully release the spring tin/loose bottom and remove the cake from the tin and from the acetate or cling film.

Place onto a serving plate and decorate with reserved strawberries, chocolate decoration and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve chilled.