Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars

It’s been a little too hot to bake recently, as here in the UK we’ve been experiencing a heatwave – I do like to see the sun out at last, but our country is not built to cope with heat… and neither are us Brits!

So, I’ve been eating a lot of lazy food; lots of salads (my particular favourite is a watermelon, cucumber and feta salad) and cured meats, like salami and prosciutto – basically anything that doesn’t involve standing in front of a hot stove.

I have been feeling a little sick of ice cream, so I wanted to come up with a quick, easy and refreshing no bake dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth.

My Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars tick all the boxes – they take a matter of minutes to put together, there is no baking required and they don’t  need to be left to set.

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Strawberries are at their best right now and I absolutely adore them – but you could also use Raspberries or a mix of both if you prefer.

For the biscuit layer, I used Schär Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits – I prefer this brand because they are also free from oats, but you can use any kind of biscuits you like.

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These Cheesecake jars are best served right away, but they can be made ahead of time and popped in the fridge. They are also ideal for a picnic as they are portable – simply put the lids on and pop them in a cool bag to keep them fresh!

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Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars

Makes 4 (depending on the size of your jars)

Ingredients

180g Philadelphia cheese, cold
330ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons icing sugar
150g gluten free digestive biscuits (I prefer ones by Schär, as they are also free from oats)
500g fresh strawberries, halved
Fresh mint to decorate

Method

1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor (or crush them by hand) until they are the consistency of breadcrumbs.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until combined. Add the whipping cream and whisk using a electric hand mixer until the ingredients form soft peaks.

3. Add a layer of the biscuit crumbs to the base of each jar, followed a layer of cream and a layer of strawberries. Repeat until the jars are full and top with mint leaves to decorate.

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I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your Cheesecakes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

 

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Jammy Dodger Recipe

Today I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free & Dairy Free Jammy Dodger Recipe – this recipe is also free from eggs and so is suitable for vegans.

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I found gluten free biscuits a little tricky at first, but I’ve discovered over the course of many biscuit based experiments that success comes down to two things:

1. What type of flour(s) you use.

2. How you bind your ingredients.

I’ve found that good gluten free biscuits require a mix of different flours. I usually start with gluten free self raising flour as my base, then add other types of flour depending what kind of texture I want the finished bake to have. For biscuits, I wouldn’t recommend using self raising flour alone, as the biscuits will rise too much and be more cake like. Gluten free self raising flour is a useful base though, as it usually has added raising and binding agents, like Xanthan gum which helps to bind the ingredients together. To the self raising flour I like to add cornflour, which also helps bind the ingredients together, and ground almonds to add some bulk  – although I don’t like to add too much, as this could cause the biscuits to crumble.

In most of my cookie recipes I usually add an egg yolk to help bind the ingredients together – without an egg, I usually find that the dough is too crumbly and too difficult to handle. This time I decided to experiment with golden syrup, which in my opinion did the job just as well as an egg yolk – great news for vegans!

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Jammy Dodgers – Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Egg Free/Vegan

Makes approximately 18 cookies

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

250g gluten free self raising flour

60g cornflour

40g ground almonds

100g caster sugar

150g dairy free spread

2 tbsp golden syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

200g strawberry or seedless raspberry jam

1 tbsp cold water

Icing sugar for dusting

Method

1. In a large bowl, stir together the gluten free self raising flour, cornflour, ground almonds and sugar.

2. Rub the dairy free spread into the flour mixture until it starts to form a bread crumb like texture. Add the vanilla extract and golden syrup then start to bring the mixture together with your hands until it forms a dough – don’t worry if the dough seems quite soft at this point.

3. Wrap the dough in cling film then leave it to chill in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

4. Whilst the dough chills, preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/gas mark 3 and line two large baking trays with baking parchment.

5. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. Using a 6cm crimped scone or pastry cutter, stamp out 36 cookies – transfer the cookies to the baking trays using a palate knife or splatula.

6. Once the cookies are on the tray, cut holes in the centre of half the biscuits using small cookie cutters in any shape you fancy – I used a tiny flower cutters and a piping nozzle to cut out circles.

7. Bake the cookies for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown – don’t worry if the cookies are a little soft, they will firm up when they cool down.

8. Leave the cookies to cool and firm up on the baking tray for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

9. In a small bowl mix together strawberry jam (or the jam of you choice) with some cold water to make it more spreadable.

10. Lightly dust the cookies with the hole in the centre with icing sugar.

11. Spread the jam over the base of  the cookies without the holes, then sandwich them together the remaining cookies, so that the jam peeks through!

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Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Today I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes recipe which is inspired by the showstopper challenge from the Semi Final of ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

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Last week’s show saw the remaining four bakers battling it out over Patisserie for a place in final, but sadly Selasi didn’t make the cut. He might not have made it to the final, but he did win over the hearts of the nation and I will definitely miss him during this week’s show. Speaking of this week, the final will be a very bittersweet occasion, as although I am excited to see who wins, I am sad that this is the last episode of GBBO as we know it.

What I’m going to miss most is how the show has inspired me to bake things I’d never thought of trying – this includes fondant fancies, which were featured on last week’s show.

I used to love Fondant Fancies and seeing them on the show has made me feel super nostalgic – I remember having them at my Grandma’s house when I was little and how I always would choose the pink ones, because I liked them best!

I will admit though, Fondant Fancies looked incredibly difficult and fiddly to make, so I decided to go for a more simple approach. My Fondant Fancy cupcakes are much a easier to achieve, but they are every bit as delicate, dainty and delicious as the fondant fancies I remember.

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These cupcakes would be lovely served at afternoon tea or a birthday party and are sure to impress, despite being deceptively simple.

Gluten Free Fondant Fancy Cupcakes

Makes approximately 16 small cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

150g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
150g caster sugar
150g gluten free self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)

For the buttercream:

100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
100g icing sugar

For the fondant icing:

300g ready to roll icing
50ml cold water
A few drops of pink food colouring

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/gas mark 3 then line two cupcake trays with 16 cupcake cases.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add a tablespoon of flour, then beat in the eggs a little bit a time before sifting in the remaining flour and baking powder. Add the milk, then beat the ingredients together with the electric hand mixer until combined.

4. Spoon two teaspoons of mixture into each cupcake case, being careful not to overfill them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.

5. Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack. To make the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until it’s very light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until all the ingredients are combined, then transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle.

6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe a blob of buttercream onto each cupcake then place them in freezer to firm up while you make the fondant icing.

7. Cut the ready to roll icing into pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add a splash of water and using a spatula start to break up the icing until it starts to become more paste like. Add the rest of the water and beat with an electric hand mixer until the fondant becomes more runny.

8. Save a couple of tablespoons of the white icing to decorate the top of the cupcakes. Add a couple of drops of pink food colouring to the remaining icing and mix until the fondant turns a light pink colour.

9. Remove the cupcakes from the freezer. Spoon a little of the pink fondant icing over each cupcake, then use a palate knife to spread out the icing making sure that the buttercream is covered.

10. Put the left over white icing into a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle. Pipe the icing across the top in a zig zag pattern.

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Gluten Free Bakewell Tart (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Today I’m going to share with you my gluten free take on Mary Berry’s Bakewell Tart, as featured on the latest episode of ‘The Great British Bake Off’.

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This week the bakers had to tackle pastry and they were tasked with making Danish Pastries, Filo Pastry Amuse Bouches and a Bakewell Tart, which was this week’s technical challenge.

There was some controversy on Twitter after the show aired that Mary’s bake was not a Bakewell Tart, but in fact a Cherry Bakewell because it was topped with an almond flavoured icing – apparently a traditional Bakewell Tart is supposed to be topped with layer of flaked almonds, not icing.

It may annoy traditionalists, but I decided to stay true to Mary’s recipe and go for a layer of icing…  but I did add some flaked almonds for good measure!

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The challenge making a gluten free version of this bake is coming with a good shortcrust pastry recipe.

Gluten free pastry can tend to be a little on the crumbly side, so it’s important that there is enough liquid in the mixture to help bind the ingredients together. My recipe uses a combination of egg yolks and butter to achieve this, but if the mixture is being little stubborn, a drop of water can be added to help bring it together.

It’s also incredibly important to chill your pastry before using it, as it this really does help to make it more pliable.

Finally, a good quality non stick tart or flan tin with a loose base is essential, or you will struggle to get your tart of its tin!

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Gluten Free Cherry Bakewell Tart

(Recipe inspired by Mary Berry’s Bakewell Tart recipe from ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

You will need a 8″ inch fluted flan or tart tin with a loose base.

Ingredients

For the Pastry:

200g plain gluten free flour

50g ground almonds

75g  icing sugar

2 egg yolks

125g butter

A drop of water

For the filling:

4 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

150g butter, softened

150g caster sugar

150g ground almonds

1 large free-range egg, beaten

1 tsp almond extract

For the icing: 

300g icing sugar

1 tsp almond extract

A handful of toasted flaked almonds to finish

Method

1) To make the pastry, stir together the flour, ground almonds and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl.

2) Rub together the flour mixture and the butter, add the egg yolks and start to bring the mixture together your hands.

3) Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough until it comes together in a smooth ball – you can add a few drops of water to help, if necessary.

4) Wrap the pastry in cling film and put it in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour – this is very important as the colder the pastry is, the easier it is to work with.

5) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4, then throughly grease your tart tin with butter.

6) Roll out the chilled pastry between two sheets of greaseproof baking paper (this will prevent the pastry from sticking to your work surface) until it is about the thickness of a 1 pound coin.

7) Use greaseproof paper to help you get the pastry into the tin safely. Firstly, peel off the top layer of baking paper, place the tin upside down into the middle of the pastry then carefully flip the pastry over with the help of the bottom sheet of baking paper. Peel off the bottom baking sheet and gently press the pastry down into the tin, insuring it’s pressed right into each groove – don’t panic if you do get any tears or any holes, just neatly patch it up with some spare pastry.

8) Trim off any excess pastry. Place some baking paper into the case and fill it baking beans (any dried beans or rice will do) then blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and bake the case for a further 5 minutes to help dry it out.

9. Meanwhile make the Frangipane: cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, ground almonds and almond extract until the ingredients are combined.

10. Leave the pastry case to cool down slightly before spreading the jam over the base of the case in an even layer. Next, spoon the Frangipane into the case and smooth it out with a palate knife.

11. Bake the tart for 25 – 30 minutes or until the Frangipane is golden brown and firm to touch. If the pastry starts to get a little too much colour, put some tin foil over the tart, this will prevent it from burning.

12. Leave the tart to cool completely before decorating. While you are waiting, toast your flaked almonds by spreading them over a lined baking sheet and baking them at 180 degrees for about 5 minutes until toasted.

13. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the almond extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix until you are left with a thick but spreadable icing.

14. Spread the icing over the cooled tart using a palate knife. Sprinkle over the toasted almonds, then serve!

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I hope you enjoy this recipe and all other recipes I have recreated during this series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ so far.

I love seeing your bakes, so if you try any of my recipes please take a snap and share it on Instagram or Twitter by using the hashtag #titchytonbakes or post a picture on my Facebook page.

 

Gluten Free Viennese Whirls (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

Bake Off is finally back on our TV screens, so queue the nationwide baking frenzie and attempts to recreate bakes from the show at home – sometimes with varing success!

This was certainly the case when I attempted to make a gluten free version of Viennese Whirls, the technical challenge from this year’s Biscuit Week.

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I discovered Mary Berry’s recipe on the BBC Food website and decided to give it a whirl (see what I did there?) – I thought a gluten free version would work quite well and that all I needed to do was change the flour… I was quite wrong!

I followed Mary’s recipe to the letter and all the the tips the bakers mentioned on the show, including insuring the butter was soft enough and chilling the whirls before baking. Unfortunately, they turned out a crumbly mess and I couldn’t even get them off the baking tray without them disintegrating into a million pieces

The recipe definitely required a few further tweaks to work gluten free, so it was back to the drawing board.

I think that the first attempt went wrong because the mixture was too soft and a bit oily which resulted in the mixture melting in oven, despite the fact that I’d chilled the whirls in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to baking.

On my second attempt I decided to use margarine instead of butter, which combatted some of the oiliness, and I added a touch more dry ingredients, which resulted in a firm but pipeable mixture. Again, I  chilled the whirls before baking which helped them to keep their shape.

This time they came out overbaked, which I think is due to the oven temperature being quite high in Mary’s recipe – if you don’t check the biscuits every 30 seconds after the first 13 minutes, you might accidentally overbake them and I definitely wouldn’t recommend leaving them for the full 15 minutes without checking them!

By the third attempt, I knew I had found the right balance of ingredients but decided to drop the oven temperature from 190 degrees to 180 to help to slow down any potential overbaking.

It was definitely third time lucky. The result was a whirl that had kept its shape, was golden but not over baked and was actually stable enough to get off baking tray and be filled. They also tasted delicious and melted in the mouth – heaven!

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Gluten Free Viennese Whirls

Recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s Viennese Whirl Recipe from ‘The Great British Bake Off’ found on the BBC Food website.

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

250g soft margarine (or dairy free alternative)

70g icing sugar

225g gluten free self raising flour

50g cornflour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

Strawberry Jam (Mary’s recipe said Raspberry, but I prefer Strawberry)

100g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative)

200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C fan/gas mark 4.

2. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper, then use a 5cm cutter to draw 8 circles onto each sheet of paper, making sure they are well spaced out. Turn the paper over so the circles are underneath.

3. In large bowl, cream together the margarine, sugar and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the gluten free flour and cornflour and beat with the hand mixer until all the ingredients are fully combined.

4. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle – I like to use plastic disposable piping bags because I think they are easier to use.

5. Pipe 24 swirls inside the circles on the baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes to help the swirls firm up before baking.

6. Bake for 13—15 minutes, until  pale golden-brown in colour. I reccomend checking them every 30 seconds after the first 13 minutes as the edges can catch and they can easily overbake.

7. Leave the whirls to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes then transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.

8. To make the butter cream, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy and almost white in colour. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

9. To decorate: Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of half of the biscuits, then pipe a swirl of buttercream over the top. Place a biscuit on top of each one to create a sandwich, then dust with a little icing sugar to finish.

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Gluten Free Battenberg featuring Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Mix

There is less than a week until ‘The Great British Bake Off’ returns to our screens, and even though it’s been delayed slightly thanks to the Rio Olympics, I am no less excited to see what surprises lie in store this year.

The return of Bake Off means that Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Magic Bake Off is also back for another year and to celebrate I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Battenberg Cake which I made using Delicious Alchemy’s Vanilla Sponge Mix

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Back in 2014 I entered Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Magic Bake Off for a bit of fun with a Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake that I made for my sister’s birthday. I ended up making it to the final three bakers and although I didn’t win the overall competition, I was chuffed to bits to make it that far. I hadn’t been on a gluten free diet that long and it gave me the confidence boost I needed to start writing that gluten free food blog my friends were always nagging me to write… the very blog you’re reading now!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am an enormous fan of Delicious Alchemy’s products, particularly their baking mixes and I always have a few stashed away in cupboard for emergencies just incase I need to whip up something super quick.

Their Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix is perfect for this Battenberg Cake as it makes the process much simpler – you need very few ingredients, whipping up the mixture for the sponge takes only a matter of minutes and the construction of the cake isn’t too daunting as long as you follow the instructions step by step!


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My top tip when making a Battenberg Cake is to use food colouring which is bake stable – I recommend using either a gel or a paste as many liquid food colourings aren’t bake stable which means the sponge won’t retain its colour when baked.


Gluten Free Battenberg

Ingredients

You will need one packet of Delicious Alchemy Vanilla Sponge Mix (400g) spilt into two 200g portions.

Yellow Sponge:
200g Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Mix
100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)
A few drops of a yellow food colouring (make sure it’s bake stable)

Pink Sponge:
200g Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Mix
100g softened butter (or dairy free alternative)
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk (or dairy free alternative)
A few drops of pink food colouring (make sure it’s bake stable)

For assembling the cake:
400g ready to roll white marzipan
3 tbsp apricot jam

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 then grease and line a square tin with baking paper.

To save time (and washing up) I decided to bake both sponges in the same tin. To do this, I made a divider out tin foil and placed it down the centre of tin. The divider should fit snuggly into the tin which and should be sturdy enough to stand up by itself. Make sure you grease the divider too so that you can remove the cake more easily.

3) Firstly make the yellow sponge: Place half (200g) of the Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge mix in a large bowl with the butter, eggs and milk, then beat with a electric hand mixer for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the yellow food colouring and mix for a further 10 – 15 seconds ensuring the food colouring is fully incorporated.

4) Next, make the pink sponge: Place the remaining half of the Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge mix into a large bowl with the butter, eggs and milk, then beat with a electric hand mixer for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the pink food colouring and mix for a further 10 – 15 seconds ensuring the food colouring is fully incorporated.

5) Carefully spoon the mixtures into the prepared tin ensuring the divider properly separates them.

6. Bake the sponges for 20 – 25 mins. Check the sponges are cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of each sponge, if the skewer comes out clean then the sponges are ready.

7. Leave the sponges to cool in the tin for a moment and then transfer the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely – If you attempt to assemble the cakes whilst they are still warm they will crumble.

8. Once your cake has cooled, trim the tops with a sharp knife or a cake wire to ensure they are flat and even in height.

9. Place the sponges on top of each other and trim the edges so that they are nice and neat.

10. Cut the sponges in half, straight down the middle so you are left with four long pieces of sponge.

11. Gently heat the jam in a pan or a microwave to make it easier to spread.

12. Take one of the yellow and one of the pink pieces of sponge, brush the top and sides lightly with the apricot jam then place them side by side. Brush the next two pieces of sponge with jam and then place them on top so that they create the iconic checked pattern.

13. Knead the marzipan in icing sugar until it becomes more pliable then roll it out into a large square which is longer than the length of the cake and wide enough to wrap around the cake.

14. Make sure the cake is evenly covered in apricot jam to ensure that the marzipan sticks to the sponge. Place the cake onto the marzipan and tightly wrap it around the cake.

15. Trim off the the excess marzipan to create neat edges and leave the ends exposed so the  checked pattern can clearly be seen.

16. Serve!

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You can find out more about Delicious Alchemy’s Gluten Free Magic Bake Off, including how to enter, on their website.

They also have 25% off their baking and bread mixes on their online shop until the 4th October 2016 to celebrate the start of GFMBO so you can stock up and get practicing your skills!

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Last weekend I went to stay with my sister and her boyfriend up in Leeds and on a rather dull and grey sunday afternoon, we decided to bake a Lemon Drizzle cake.

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My family are not coeliac or on a gluten free diet, but they are always happy to try and critique my gluten free cakes whenever I’m around and I’m happy to report that they think they taste just as good as normal cakes!

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When I was little, my mum used to make the most delicious lemon flavoured Madeira cake and have I tried to create a gluten free version of her Madeira cake as the base of my Lemon Drizzle.

Here a few snaps of our afternoon:


Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

175g caster sugar
175g butter, softened
225g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest from an unwaxed lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice

To decorate:
150g icing sugar
3 – 4 tsp lemon juice
Finely grated lemon zest

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees c/gas mark 4 then grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift together flour and baking powder then stir through lemon zest.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time along with one tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling.

4. Stir through the remaining flour and lemon juice and mix until all ingredients are fully combined.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, then bake for 50 – 55 mins minutes.

Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake to check if it’s cooked– if it comes out clean the cake is ready.

6. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before turning it out on a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

7. To make the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water slowly whilst stirring – the icing shouldn’t be too runny but should be spreadable.

8. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it drip down the sides.

To finish, sprinkle finely grated lemon zest across the top of the cake.

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