Gluten free chocolate sponge

The ultimate compliment any parent can receive from their child on their cooking – “it is incredible”.   Our young six year old was being unusually excited about dessert as he wanted us to bake him a cake with custard just like his school cafeteria.  Normally Anna does the baking but I wanted to give gluten free baking a go and worked off a standard sponge recipe my mother normally uses (equal measures of flour, sugar, butter and eggs) and added my own extras.  Barring the initial mishap of baking the cake under the grill for the first 15 minutes (burnt the top – scrapped it off in the end!) the end result was an exceptionally moist chocolate cake which the entire family enjoyed.

Chocolate cake

What do I need to make it?

  • 200 gms gluten free flour (we use Dove’s Farm all purpose flour)
  • 250 gms softened butter
  • 250 gms golden caster sugar
  • 50 gms cocoa
  • 1 bar dark chocolate (melted)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar to sprinkle on top (optional) 

How much will I make?

12″ round cake

How do I make it?

Cream sugar and butter in cake mixer before adding the remaining ingredients (except the cocoa and melted chocolate).  Keep mixing till you get a glossy sheen before adding the cocoa and melted chocolate.   Place batter in a greased cake tin and bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree Centigrade for 45-50 minutes or till the cake is cooked.  Remove and cool on a wire rack before sprinkling the icing sugar on top.  Serve on it’s own or with a good dollop of creme fraiche/vanilla ice cream.

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Passion fruit with marscapone cheese

WARNING – not for the health/diet conscious or faint hearted – this dessert is simple and can become addictive.

My culinary forte has been mainly in the savoury domain and I have dabbled a little in the dessert making arena.  Off late between the two of us, Anna has taken a greater interest in making desserts – she is into baking and has pulled out some tasty treats with some stunning gluten free recipes.   One dessert I am fond of which came about through a stroke of luck and is simple to make is a rich passion fruit with marscapone cheese and honey concotion served on a bed of crushed meringue.  Think of it as an Eton mess with passion fruit – not exactly a visual treat but irresistibly tasty.

Growing up in Zambia we had a passion fruit vine in our back garden and back then I thought of it as a sour fruit with little value.   Boy was I wrong – if I knew then what I know now I would have experimented a bit more with this fruit and desserts in general.

Passion fruit and marscapone cheese

What do I need to make it?

  • 4 passion fruit – cut and scooped out
  • 250 gm marscapone cheese
  • 2 -3 tbsp Greek honey
  • 4 meringue nests

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Whisk the marscapone cheese in a bowl.  It takes a bit of effort as the mixture can seem a bit stiff and will loosen up when the other ingredients are added.   Add the passion fruit and honey and whisk further till you get a nice smooth mixture.   Check the mixture for sweetness and add some more honey if needed.  Crumble a meringue nest in each bowl and add a dollop of the mixture and enjoy.