Pistachio, yoghurt & elderflower cake

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Ingredients

  • 250 g butter , plus extra for greasing
  • 250 g sugar
  • 150 g pistachios , plus extra to decorate
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 200 g polenta
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • ELDERFLOWER SYRUP
  • 150 ml elderflower cordial
  • 2-3 tablepsoons runny honey
  • ½ a lemon
  • ELDERFLOWER ICING
  • 200 g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons elderflower syrup

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Roughly chop and add the pistachios, then mix in the almonds, polenta, baking powder and yoghurt until well combined.

Crack in the eggs, one by one, and mix in. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir to combine and pour the mixture into the cake tin.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the syrup.

Place the cordial and honey in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes till thickened. Taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the syrup for the icing. Make a few holes in the warm cake with a skewer, then gently pour the remaining syrup over the cake.

Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.

For the icing, mix the yoghurt, icing sugar and syrup until smooth.

Spread over the cooled cake and top with a handful of chopped pistachios, then serve.

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Vegan toffee apple upside-down cake

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Ingredients

  • 25 g vegan margarine , plus extra for greasing
  • 3 dessert apples
  • 195 g muscovado sugar
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ teaspoons mixed spice
  • 80 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tesapoon vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 85 g walnuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4 and grease and line the base of a 23cm square cake tin.

Core and coarsely grate 2 of the apples and finely slice the remaining apple.

Melt 85g of the sugar and the margarine in a pan, then pour into the prepared tin. Top with the sliced apple in a single layer.

Combine the flour, 110g of sugar, the bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, 180ml water, the vinegar, grated apple and lemon zest. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet, quickly but thoroughly.

Roughly chop and stir in the walnuts, then pour over the layer of apples in the cake tin.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes before turning out.

Vegan Victoria sponge

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Ingredients

  • 300 g dairy-free margarine , (suitable for baking), plus extra for greasing
  • 300 g gluten-free plain flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 300 g golden caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 200 g organic soya yogurt
  • zest of
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • optional:
  • rice milk
  • For the filling:
  • 200 g icing sugar , plus extra for dusting
  • 100 g dairy-free margarine
  • 100 g fresh raspberries
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Grease two springform cake tins (roughly 20cm) with the margarine, then line the bottom with greaseproof paper and dust the sides with gluten-free flour.

In a bowl, beat the margarine and sugar for around 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Halve the vanilla pods lengthways then, using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the margarine mixture, along with the yoghurt and lemon zest, then mix until combined. Sieve the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum into the bowl, then fold through. If it’s a little thick, add a splash of rice milk and stir briefly until you have a nice, smooth batter.

Carefully divide the mixture between the cake tins, then place on the middle shelf of the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack, then leave to cool completely while you make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl, then add the margarine and beat until smooth. If it’s a little thick, add a splash of milk to loosen.

Once cooled, place one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand. Carefully spread the butter icing on top and scatter over most of the raspberries. Spread the jam onto the second sponge and place, jam side down, on top of the iced sponge, pressing down slightly. Dust the top with a little icing sugar and decorate with a few raspberries, if you like, then serve.

Epic chocolate and beetroot cake

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Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • plain flour , for dusting
  • 300 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 250 g raw beetroot
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 150 g golden caster sugar
  • 120 g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality cocoa powder
  • natural yoghurt , to serve

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin with olive oil.

3. Use scissors to cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, roughly the same size as the bottom of the tin, and use it to line the base.

4. Dust the sides of the tin lightly with flour, then tap the tin to get rid of any excess.

5. Break 200g of the chocolate up into small pieces and add to a heatproof bowl.

6. Place the bowl on top of a small pan of simmering water over a medium heat, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water, and allow to melt, stirring occasionally.

7. Once melted, use oven gloves to carefully remove from the heat and put to one side – beware of the steam when you lift up the bowl.

8. Use a Y-shaped peeler to peel the beetroot (you might want to wear gloves to do this), then quarter them on a chopping board.

9. Push the beetroot through the coarse grater attachment on the food processor, then tip into a large mixing bowl.

10. Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a large clean mixing bowl and adding the yolks to the beetroot, then wash your hands.

11. Stir the sugar, almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and melted chocolate into the beetroot and mix together well.

12. Use an electric hand whisk to whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.

13. Use a spatula to fold a quarter of the egg whites into the beetroot mixture to loosen, then once combined, fold in the rest but try not to over mix.

14. Add the mixture to the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly using a spatula.

15. Bake in the hot oven for around 50 minutes, or until risen and cooked through.

16. To check if it’s done, stick a cocktail stick or skewer into the middle of the sponge, remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean the cake’s cooked; if it’s slightly sticky it needs a bit longer.

17. Allow the cake to cool slightly, then carefully turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

18. When you’re ready to serve, melt the remaining chocolate (in the same way as above), then serve each slice with some yoghurt and a little drizzle of the melted chocolate.

Tip:
Flavour wise beetroot is sweet, which is why even though its a vegetable it works really well in cakes. You can grate it by hand using a box grater, if you prefer, depending on how much time you have.

Measuring the ingredients exactly is the key to success, so accurate scales are a very important pieve of equipment. Make sure the scales are set to zero before you start.

Ultimate chocolate & raspberry tart

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Ingredients

  • 200 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 25 g icing sugar
  • 175 g cold butter
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 1 tesapoon vanilla extract
  • 250 g fresh raspberries
  • CHOCOLATE FILLING
  • 500 ml double cream
  • 75 g golden caster sugar
  • 300 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 2 large free-range eggs

Method

To make the pastry, sift the flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor.

Cube and add the butter and a pinch of sea salt, then pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of cold water and pulse again, until the dough comes together.

Tip out onto a floured surface and bring it together with your hands. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6, and insert a baking tray to warm up.

On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry into a 25cm circle to the thickness of a pound coin.

Using your rolling pin, lift the pastry and drape it over a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Ease it into place, pushing the pastry right into the corners.

Roll your rolling pin over the top of the tin to cut off any overhang, prick the base all over with a fork, and return to the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

Take the tin out of the fridge and line it with greaseproof paper, then fill with baking beans or rice.

Bake it in the oven on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Pop the cream and caster sugar in a pan, place it over a medium heat and bring it to the boil.

Break the chocolate into a bowl, pour over the hot cream and stir until all the chocolate has melted.

Beat the eggs, then stir them into the mixture.

Scatter the raspberries into the cooled tart case, then pour over the chocolate filling.

Return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the filling is almost set but still has a little wobble in the centre.

Leave on a cooling rack to cool completely, then ease the tart out of its tin, slice and serve.

Children’s party cake

 

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Ingredients

  • 200 g butter , at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 large oranges
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200 ml double cream
  • For the chocolate topping
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) , broken up
  • 100 g icing sugar

Method

Everyone needs a reliable party cake, and this is mine. It looks the business, is delicious served with cream and even has some fresh fruit in it. It’ll keep for a day, so you can make it ahead of time if you like. What more can I say? Just tuck in!

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas 4. Line the bases of two 20cm/8 inch sandwich tins with greaseproof paper, then grease the sides of the tin with a little of the butter.

Add 4 tablespoons of boiling water to the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Grate the zest of 2 of the oranges. Beat the sugar and butter until fluffy, then add the cocoa mixture, eggs, flour, baking powder and the orange zest, and mix well.

Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. To check the cakes are cooked, stick a skewer into the middle of one and leave it for 5 seconds. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate topping ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Make sure the water isn’t boiling and the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, or you will burn the chocolate. Zest the remaining orange, putting the zest to one side, then cut the orange in half and squeeze 3 tablespoons of juice into the bowl. Stir until melted and mixed, then allow to cool. Whip the double cream until you have soft peaks. Segment the two other zested oranges with a small, sharp knife.

Remove the greaseproof paper from both the sponges and place one on a plate or cake stand. Spread the cream over the sponge and place the orange segments on top. Sandwich the second sponge on top and press down slightly. Drizzle the chocolate topping over the cake and leave to firm slightly. Decorate with the remaining orange zest.

Rich chocolate tart with salt flakes

Rich chocolate tart with salt flakes

Ingredients

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • 50 g unsalted butter , softened
  • 200 g 70% cocoa cook’s chocolate , broken into small pieces
  • 50 ml whole milk
  • 375 g ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • Sea salt flakes and creme fraīche or ice cream , to serve

Method

You can make the pastry for this, if you like, but ready-made is easier.
This salted chocolate tart is so easy to knock up but the addition of salt magically brings out the sweetness.

Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23cm greased tart tin. Cover with baking paper, fill with dried beans and bake blind for 10-15 minutes, remove beans and bake again for 15 minutes until golden.

Put the cream, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove as soon as the mixture boils up. Off the heat, add the butter and chocolate. Stir until blended.

Take a couple of minutes for a breather, then stir in the milk. Keep stirring till shiny. Pour into the tart shell and leave at room temperature for 2 hours to set.

Sprinkle salt flakes lightly all over, then serve with creme fraīche or ice cream

Jaffa cakes

Jaffa cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 free-range egg
  • 50 g white caster sugar
  • 65 g self-raising flour , sifted
  • Butter , for greasing
  • 250 g marmalade
  • 100 g 70% cocoa chocolate , chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil , (optional)
  • 1 tbsp water

Method

Recipe by Anna Jones

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Whisk the egg and sugar with an electric hand whisk until thick and creamy, then stir in the flour.

Grease a 12-hole jam tart tin and put 1 tablespoon of mixture in each hole. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden brown, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, cut the cakes in half horizontally, so you have 2 thin cakes.

Gently heat the marmalade in a saucepan for a few minutes, until it has thickened but is still spreadable. Sift to remove any peel, if you want a smooth centre. Allow to cool, then spoon a dollop of marmalade onto the centre of each cake.

Melt the chocolate with the orange zest, oil (if you like) and water in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water, stirring well. Cool until the chocolate starts to thicken, and spoon over the marmalade. Leave to set.

chocolate cake

chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • 450 ml rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 300 g gluten-free self-raising flour , sifted
  • 100 g cocoa powder , sifted
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 160 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Icing
  • 225 g dairy-free
  • sunflower spread
  • 225 g icing sugar , sifted
  • 50 g cocoa powder , sifted
  • 100 g dairy-free dark chocolate , 70% cocoa
  • To decorate
  • dairy-free chocolate buttons , or fresh berries

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas mark 7. Line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking paper and lightly grease the paper and tins with oil.

Mix the rice milk and cider vinegar together and set aside. Don’t worry if it separates – you are effectively making a buttermilk that will give the cake a light texture and help to activate the raising agents.

Mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb of soda, xantham gum and salt together in a bowl. Make sure they are really well mixed together.

Pour the oil, vanilla and the rice milk and vinegar mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix them together really well either by hand or gently using a handheld blender.

Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins.Tap the tins on your work surface to remove any large air bubbles and place on the middle shelf in the oven. Bake for about 30–35 minutes (test with a skewer or sharp knife – if it comes out clean it is cooked).

Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make the icing, whisk the sunflower spread, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Break the chocolate up into pieces in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high in 10-second bursts until it has just melted. Add the melted chocolate to the icing and mix.

Spread an even layer of icing on one of the cooled cakes and then place the other cake on top. Top the cake with the rest of the icing. Decorate with dairy-free chocolate buttons (or fresh berries if preferred).

Confetti cake

Confetti cake

Ingredients

  • butter , for greasing
  • 115 g plain flour
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 8 large free-range egg whites
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon
  • BUTTERCREAM
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 100 g butter , at room temperature
  • 1 splash of milk
  • hundred and thousands, to decorate

Method

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Grease and line a 4-litre cake tin.

Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a free-standing mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.

With the mixer still running, add the caster sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and a tiny pinch of sea salt and whisk to stiff, glossy peaks.

Sift the flour and icing sugar again, fold it into the egg whites with a metal spoon, then finely grate and mix in the lemon zest.

Spoon the mixture into your tin (it should be about two-thirds full), tap it gently on your work surface to knock out any air pockets and smooth it level.

Bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, or until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make a buttercream icing by beating the icing sugar and butter in a free-standing mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, until pale, then mix in the milk.

Use it to cover the cake, then finish with hundreds and thousands.