Tuesday 30 June 2015

Almond and Apple dairy and gluten free cake recipe

This delicious gluten and dairy free cake was one of the treats I recently made for a workshop. A number of people asked for the recipe, so here it is.

My daughter is G and D free, a horror of a combination, over the years I have come to realise that substituting things in recipes usually ends in failure and I have had some spectacular failures! Once I realised that success lay in just baking recipes that happened to be without G and D everything worked. I now have some Scrummy recipes which I have tweaked, changed and experimented with and we all enjoy them.
This one is a great favourite and really simple to make.

You need a 23cms or 9 inch loose bottomed cake tin, or a loaf tin. (I think it works better in the round tin) lined with baking parchment or grease proof paper.
1 large cooking apple or two small eating apples, cored and chopped into small cubes.
zest and juice of 1 lemon
6 large eggs
200gms (8oz) caster sugar 

240gms (8.5 oz) ground almonds
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
40gms (3.5 oz) flaked almonds

Yes, that's it, no flour, honestly I haven't made a mistake! 

Place the diced apples, lemon juice and zest in a pan and gently cook on the hob until soft but not mushy. (This is really important so that there are lovely soft appley bits in the cake)
Leave to cool.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl till light, pale and fluffy, then add the ground almonds, baking powder, vanilla extract and flaked almonds. Mix until well combined then stir in the apple mix.

Pour the cake mix into the cake tin and bake in the oven at 160C 320F for 40 minutes in the round tin 55 minutes in the loaf tin. 
Check that a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake, if it's not clean pop it back in for another 10 minutes or so. 
Leave it to cool in the tin.
This is a lovely moist cake, but you don't want it undercooked in the middle.

It will naturally sink a little when cool so don't panic! 
If you give it a go, let me know what you think of it, post a comment for others.

Friday 26 June 2015

Trip to Robin Hoods Bay

'Flaming June' we thought when we booked our trip to Robin Hoods Bay on the north east coast, and as we set off in sunshine we thought the same. However, as we drove further and further north the drizzle began and by the time we got there it was cold and pretty wet. Did that stop us? Of course not!
In the back of the car were macks (rain coats for those of you outside the UK) towels and walking gear. Maggie May was with us of course, we could never come to a glorious beach without her.

Robin Hoods Bay is the finish of the  famous 'Coast to Coast' walk beginning at St Bees, its 192 miles and takes about 2 weeks, ending up at The Bay Hotel (where we stayed)
My Dad did this walk many years ago and I remember collecting him in the car from here. (Bob Peart runner - Google him) He had a story about collecting his pebble - I should just mention that its customary to pick up a pebble on the beach at St Bees and carry it to Robin Hoods Bay, then pick up a pebble from there too. 
As he bent down to pick up a pebble at St Bees he heard an almighty THUD... and lying just feet away from him was a cow! Fallen off the cliff! Honestly, it really happened. None of his walking stories compared with his near miss he said the headlines would have read - 'man killed by falling cow before as he began the Coast to Coast walk'

So it was with fond memories that I walked into The Bay Hotel - a traditional old fashioned pub.
Our room overlooked the beach and slipway which Maggie enjoyed as much as we did. 

The following day the sun came out and it was glorious. The tide goes out such a long way leaving rock pools and the beach is fabulous. Its a glorious rugged coast line, magical in all weathers.... but particularly in sunshine!

At 4.30am the beach is particularly wonderful, many people don't see it like this. High tide was 9.00am and the water comes right up to the harbour wall, so looking out of the bathroom window, looking down is just swirling water!

If you walk along the beach (or cliff top walk) heading south the next little bay (20 mins) there is a wonderful youth hostel and cafe where you can get a wonderful cup of coffee in lovely surroundings, really worth stopping there for a break. If you get there by beach and the tide comes in, you can always go back via the coastal path, these little inlets do get cut off by the incoming tide.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings - we had a wonderful three days.