Gluten free baking can be a challenge.
I’ve found that simply swopping ingredients in and out doesn’t always have the desired effect. There is some tweaking, some alchemy required. ‘Normal’ flour contains the gluten, the bit that holds the ingredients together, without the gluten there is a tendency for it all to lose its shape and you end up with something regarding a mess. It’s taken a while, but I’m getting there and it’s beginning to make sense.
Why Gluten Free?
Our son Noah, fell ill whilst on holiday when he was 18 months old, some 7 years ago. It wasn’t until after 6 more months of pain and uncertainty that he was finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. We had to act, and act quickly to adapt our eating lifestyle to ensure that we could remove gluten from the household, or look at ways of ensuring that Noah could eat safely and without incident.
Fortunately our decades of experience around food and kitchens meant that this was taken in our stride. It’s not as difficult separating foods out or cooking with different ingredients, as you might think. But this gave us something else to think about.
Gluten free cakes were bland, (and in many cases, still are) and uninspiring. Oddly for us cooking main meals and savoury items was the easy bit and taste wise not so different, but cakes were a different matter.
I used my experience
I took it upon myself to use my experience to develop everyday cakes and bakes into gluten free options. At the time, cakes for children did not exist – still don’t really. Large, branded restaurants and cafés etc. seem to cater for adults – children are overlooked. Try feeding a 2 year old a ‘chocolate and violet cake’, when all they want is the cake that their sister is eating!! They want the same, they don’t want to be different.
And so it began, Cakes by Noah. Cake and bakes that Noah could eat, that I could then share with the world. Share with them how accessible baking is, with some of the work removed, in terms of ingredients. It has developed to develop me, to develop the baker and develop bakes trying to be relevant and topical to the time of year.
Cakes are for everyone.
Read more about Gluten Free and Dairy Free baking
Gluten free baking. Mango & Passionfruit cake.
Mango and Passion Fruit Cake - Recipe contributed by Chris Waling.
- 150 g Onken Mango and Passion Fruit Yoghurt
- 50 ml Vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 180 g caster sugar
- 210 g gluten free self raising flour I use Dove, always have
- 40 g chopped dried mango chips
- 40 g toasted desiccated coconut
- 200 g soft butter
- 360 g icing sugar
- 120 ml passion fruit coulis I used Tesco Finest
- Preheat the oven to gas 3, 160c, 150c fan and line the base of a deep 8" cake tin with greaseproof.
- Using a hand held whisk, beat the yoghurt, oil, eggs, caster sugar, gluten free flour altogether until light and fluffy - about 4-5 minutes.
- Gently stir in the chopped dried mango chips Then pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before removing from the tin.
- Slice the cake carefully in half, horizontally, through the middle.
- To make the buttercream beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gently add in the icing sugar so as not to create a dust cloud and continue to beat until it comes back to light and fluffy.
- Add in the passion fruit coulis and continue to beat until fully combined.
- Pipe the buttercream into the middle of the bottom layer, place the second cake layer on the top, ice and pipe as desired. Sprinkle over the toasted coconut.
- The cake should remain moist for at least 2 days.