Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Apple cake

We have a new favourite for a quick, easy and tasty tea time treat

This is based on a recipe from the Be-Ro Baking book which is a legendary British baking book in its 40th edition, however theirs is a different fruit and used butterscotch not syrup plus obviously not gluten free.

I've made this twice in the last few days. The first time the apple disappeared into the cake and while it tasted great it didn't look very interesting. This second one I put apple purée behind the apple slices and that helped stop the cake enveloping the apples slices.

The recipe is very simple really. It is made like a Tart Tatin ie put the apple in the bottom of the pan and add the cake on top then turn out to serve upside down. In this case the cake is a basic Victoria sponge mix.

The syrup used can be a simple sugar syrup you make yourself with sugar and water or a bought one. We used some I made a few days ago which was a failed attempted at "compost jelly" from the River Cottage Preserves book. It is a jelly made from apple peelings and orange skins, tastes great but I didn't let it boil long enough and it failed to set so we are using it as a syrup instead.

Apple Cake

Apples - enough to cover the bottom of the tin once sliced - I used 4 smallish ones
Apple puree or apple sauce, a small bowl or jar full. This is optional but helps the slices stay visible
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Syrup
8oz Sugar
8oz Soft marg or butter
4 medium eggs
8oz of flour (Dove Farm GF Plain flour)
2 tsp baking powder

Peel core and slice apples, lay in a pretty pattern over the bottom of a cake tin. Pour over syrup and cover with purée if using. Sprinkle on cinnamon.

Mix flour and baking powder together.
In a bowl cream sugar and marg or butter until pale and fluffy.
Add one egg at a time with a little flour each time, mixing well before adding the next egg.
Add the rest of the flour.
scoop mix over the apples gently spreading it out to completely cover it.

Cook at 180c for 30 mins or till set and slightly browning.

Allow to cool slightly then turn out on a plate. Eat warm with cream or even better with dark chocolate sauce and cream !!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Book review - Gluten-free girl and the chef

I've been rather tardy about posting this one but that is partly because I love it so much I've been wanting to try out more recipes before I post about them but other things keep getting in the way.

When I got a email asking me if I would review this book I jumped at the chance, it was already on my wish list to buy and I have followed Shauna's blog for years back before her and Daniel married and had their wonderful little girl so I knew I'd love the style of writing. Actually I love it even more than I expected. I'm the sort of person who reads cookery books like novels and this one has so much to read! The recipes sound amazing and make you want try them out there and then but there is much more in the book than just recipes. This book is part recipe book, part biography about how Shauna and Daniel live their lives, it is mostly written in Shauna's 'voice' but with occasional additions from Daniel which works really well.

The extra stuff includes lots of tip bits about why you do certain things in recipes, information about ingredients and what it's like being a chef as well as a huge amount of enthusiasm and love of life anyone who reads the blog will know well.

One of the tips I can really relate to is that it is much easier to get a recipe to work if you sort out all the ingredients first, weigh them out and so on, that way you aren't trying to prep the next ingredient while the first stages overcook !  Something I may possibly have done more times than I like to remember. I am determined to get my kitchen better organised so I get ready before I start actually cooking !

So what about the recipes? Well I've tried several recipes from the blog in the past and they have all worked out well so while I haven't tried as many as I'd like as yet I am pretty confident they will be good when I do get to them.

One I did try is Apple and rosemary muffins. I've been doing a lot with apples recently as I have a couple of generous friends with apple trees.

Can I eat them yet?

As you can see I was trying out my new square silicon  muffin cases which I just couldn't pass up when I saw them in Aldi,  I now have 3 dozen silicon muffin or cupcake holders, though one dozen are a little floppy to use on their own.

They were very yummy and one of the reasons I chose them to try was the teff flour. I thought the flour added a lovely depth to them and the rosemary was really good in them too. Next time I will cook them just a little more as they were still a bit to gummy in the middle but that was very much me being impatient not the recipe !

I like that not all their recipes that need flour use a mix with sorghum in, while I totally understand why it is so common in american recipes it isn't a flour we can get a reliably safe version over here at all easily.

We also tried the garlic flans which had Tom considering what changes he might make to take some to the next camping event so I think that counts as a success !

I keep meaning to try the pickled apples too as I love pickled anything! The blue cheese cheesecake with fig crust is on the list, then there is the gluten-free crackers! There are many more including more complicated main course dishes that I plan to try later as well.

You never know I might get the Kindle version too so I can keep the printed one nice and clean ! You can find both versions on Amazon (the link here is for the UK but it's easy to fine on the American one too)

Thanks Shauna and Daniel for an inspiring and uplifting book and may you have many happy years together with your lovely little girl!