Due to my future mother in law’s gluten intolerance, she doesn’t get to sample many of my cakes (that plus living 200 miles away doesn’t help!!) This weekend the future in-laws and the ‘laws’ all met up for a celebratory glass or two of bubbles to celebrate Mr E&G popping the question. I happily agreed to provide some cake for afternoon tea and yet again went on a search for a good Gluten Free cake recipe.
I came up with 2 possibles. The first a chocolate brownie recipe from the Dove’s Farm website and the second a fudgy almond cake with mint syrup and frosting taken from Phil Vickery’s book Seriously Good!
The chocolate brownies had incredible reviews and are easy to make but the fudgy almond cake sounded so intriguing with honeycomb in the topping.
I don’t often get to experiment with new recipes so took the opportunity to go for the more adventurous option of the fudgy almond cake.
The process was slightly more complex than a normal cake in that you have to make a meringue to get plenty of air into the cake and then add this slowly to the chocolate mixture but otherwise it was pretty easy.
I was also slightly worried about the mint syrup and wondered if it would make the cake too sweet and if all of the flavours would be overwhelming. Anyway, I followed the recipe as it was and was very happy with the result. The mascarpone topping was lovely as the honey added a slight natural sweetness and the honeycomb a delicious crunchy texture (Although be warned don’t put this on too far in advance of serving as the honeycomb goes soft in the mascarpone mixture).
This cake is delicious but quite dense and rich and would actually work well as a desert rather than with afternoon tea.
For the cake
- 200g unsalted butter
- 200g gluten free dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 5 medium eggs, at room temperature, separated
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 240g caster sugar
- 1tbsp vanilla extract
- 200g ground almonds
- 50g chickpea (gram) flour
For the syrup
- 100g caster sugar
- 4tbsp chopped fresh mint
For the frosting
- 500g mascarpone
- 50g honeycomb, chopped (I couldn’t get any so used some Crunchie bars with the chocolate cut off)
- 100g clear honey
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Line a 24cm round, 7cm deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
- Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, take the pan off the heat but leave the bowl over the pan to keep the mixture warm.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl and whisk until thick and foamy, then add half the sugar, and whisk again until creamy and thick.
- Add the rest of the sugar and whisk until very stiff, but still a creamy consistency. Stir the egg yolks, vanilla extract, almonds and chickpea flour into the warm chocolate and butter, then straight away add half the meringue, mixing well. Finally, add the rest of the meringue and fold in.
- Spoon into the lined tin and bake for until well risen and firm. The recipe says 45-50 minutes but I found this only too about 40 minutes and was on the edge of burning at 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the tin. Make several holes over the surface of the cake with a skewer.
- Place the sugar, 100ml water and the mint in a small pan and boil until the sugar has dissolved, then strain. Spoon the syrup over the cake and leave to soak in and cool completely.
- Once the cake has cooled, beat the mascarpone, honeycomb and honey together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Don’t over beat the mascarpone or it will be too soft and not hold its shape.
- Turn out the cake carefully onto a large, flat plate and cover the cake with the honey mascarpone. I used some of the left over Crunchie, crushed up to decorate the top of the cake.
This recipe is taken from Seriously Good! Gluten-free Cooking by Phil Vickery (Kyle Cathie, £19.99)