Gluten free almond and cherry cake

With Anna away I have caught the baking bug and been experimenting with chestnut flour in various recipes.  So far it has worked well in a coffee and walnut cake and as a base for pancakes.   I have come to the conclusion that chestnut flour is fairly versatile and is a great alternative to gluten free flour mixes.  The proof in the pudding (no pun intended) was evident when I used it with almond meal to make a almond and cherry cake.  I can’t wait for the cherry season next year to try this with fresh cherries as I think it would taste better.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 150 gms chestnut flour
  • 100 gms almond meal (ground almond)
  • 250 gms caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250 gms softented butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp hazelnut drink
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 100 gms blanched almonds (toasted)
  • 200 gms glazed cherries
  • 5 tbsp cherry brandy

How much will I make?

12″ round cake

How do I make it?

Cut the cherries in half and soak in the cherry brandy.  Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer first before adding the eggs.   Add milk and hazelnut drink before sifting in the chestnut flour, almond meal and baking soda.   Keep mixing till you get a nice glossy sheen.  Fold in the glazed cherries and toasted blanched almonds.  Transfer into greased cake tin and bake in a 180 degree Centigrade preheated oven for an hour till cake is done.    I dusted some icing sugar to keep things simple but might try making a cherry brandy glaze next time.

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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.