Gluten Free Easter: Marmalade Simnel Cake

Today I am going to share with you my Gluten Free Marmalade Simnel Cake recipe.

IMG_4506For me, it simply wouldn’t be Easter without Simnel Cake – a traditional cake made up of a lightly spiced fruit sponge with a hidden marzipan layer. It is topped with 11 marzipan balls which are said to represent the 11 apostles, minus Judas.

My recipe is a slight twist on the traditional Simnel Cake. I have added a little more liquid in order to create a moist sponge, as Gluten Free Flour requires more moisture than normal flour – Simnel cakes are usually slowly baked on a low temperature for a long time, so the extra moisture is necessary to prevent a dry cake.

I also used Orange Zest instead of Lemon zest and instead of apricot jam I brushed the cake in a generous layer of marmalade.

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Simnel Cake would make a beautiful centrepiece for a special Easter Sunday meal, it is also easily prepared in advance and will comfortably feed a large family.

Gluten Free Orange and Marmalade Simnel Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

200g butter, softened
200g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g gluten free self raising flour, sifted
3 large eggs, whisked
500g sultanas, raisins, mixed peel
Zest 1 orange, plus 2 tbsp of juice
2 tbsp marmalade, gently warmed
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
300g Marzipan, for the centre

To decorate:
2 tbsp Marmalade
500g Marzipan, to decorate

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 140 Degrees C/Gas Mark 1 and grease and line a loose-bottomed cake tin.

2) In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer or a wooden spoon.

3) In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: sift together the flour, baking powder and spices, then fold through the fruit and the orange zest.

4) Add the eggs one at a time to the wet ingredients along with a tablespoon of dry ingredients to stop the mixture from splitting. Ensure each egg is fully combined before adding the next one.

5) Fold in all the remaining dry ingredients, then add the marmalade and orange juice and mix until fully combined.

6) Spoon half the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth out with a spatula.

7) Roll out 300g of marzipan into a circle large enough to fit the tin and place it on top of the cake mixture

8) Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the marzipan and smooth out with spatula.

9) Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour 40 – 50 minutes, until the cake is deep golden brown and firm to touch.

10) Leave the cake to cool in the tin slightly before turning it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

11) Once cake is cool, brush the top with a generous amount of marmalade which which will help the cake to stay moist.

12) Roll out 400g of Marzipan into a circle large enough to cover the top of the cake.

13) Place the marzipan on top of the cake and divide the remaining marzipan into 11 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into 11 balls and arrange them around the edge of the cake in a circle.

14) Place the cake under a grill high heat for a minute or so until the marzipan is golden brown – watch it like a hawk or the marzipan could burn!

15) Place the cake onto a serving plate and wrap it in a pretty ribbon.

You are now ready to proudly display your beautiful and entirely gluten free Easter centre piece for all the family to admire!

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

Gluten Free Christmas: Stollen Muffins

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and I don’t know about you, but I’m rather glad. It’s been a scary and rather uncertain year with everything that has been going on in the world, so I’m grateful for a distraction and I hope that a bit of Christmas cheer will help to take my mind off it… and yours too!

So, get ready for my first Christmas recipe of the year and prepare to feel fabulously festive.

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My Gluten Free and Dairy Free Stollen Muffins are every bit as tasty as actual Stollen and are the perfect way to get your Stollen fix, without the hassle of making bread.

Stollen is a German Christmas bread which usually contains dried fruit, almonds, marzipan and spices, such as cinnamon. These muffins are chock full of everything you’d find in traditional stollen, but with a dash of my favourite tipple for good measure, because it’s Christmas!

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Gluten Free and Dairy Free Stollen Muffins 

Ingredients

2 – 3 tbsp Cointreau (you could also use Brandy, Rum or Amaretto)
200g mixed dried fruit (I used sultanas/raisins/cherries/mixed peel)
300g gluten free self raising flour
Zest of an orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g ready to roll marzipan (chopped into small pieces)
100g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
100 ml sunflower oil
200 ml almond milk
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 vanilla extract
50g flaked almonds

Method

1) Leave the mixed fruit to soak in Cointreau overnight.

2) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

3) In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, orange zest, cinnamon and ginger, then stir through marzipan.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract until combined, then add this to the dry ingredients.

5) Gently mix together all the ingredients using a wooden spoon until you are left with a batter which is only just combined (don’t worry too much if there are any lumps), then stir through the dried fruit and the flaked almonds.

6) Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin case, then bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

7) Leave the muffins to cool completely on a wire rack, before dusting them with icing sugar to finish.

Be sure to store the muffins in an air tight container and they will last for 4 to 5 days.

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Keep your eyes peeled for lots more Christmas recipes coming soon, but in the meantime why not try some of my Christmas recipes from previous years:

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten Free Hazelnut, Cranberry and Orange Biscotti

Gluten Free Cointreau Christmas Cake

Gluten Free Kransekake (Traditional Scandinavian Cake)

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 Christmas: Kransekake Recipe

For me, every Christmas table should have a showstopper, something extra special which makes the family go “Wow!”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there is anything more show stopping than the towering Kransekake Cake which would look simply spectacular at the centre of any Christmas dinner table!
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The Kransekake is a traditional Scandinavian cake which is often served at special occasions including weddings and Christmas celebrations. It consists of 18 almond flavoured rings which are stacked on top of each other to form an impressive tower – If you’re a Marzipan fan, you’ll love this cake!

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My Kransekake Design

Although it looks very impressive, it’s actually quite straight forward to make! The rings are made from a dough consisting of ground almonds, icing sugar and egg whites which is shaped to fit Kransekake moulds which can be found at Lakeland.

Kransekake Cakes are usually gluten free, although dough is sometimes rolled out in Semolina flour which is not suitable for Coeliacs. For my Kransekake cake, I rolled the dough out in Cornflour instead of Semolina.
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Gluten Free Kransekake Recipe

Recipe inspired by Paul Hollywood’s Recipe from ‘The Great British Bake Off’

Ingredients
500g ground almonds, plus cornflour for dusting
500g icing sugar
4 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
sunflower oil spray

For the Decoration:
2 egg white
500g icing sugar
edible spray glitter
fondant stars (optional)

You will also need 6 Kransekake Moulds (I bought mine from Lakeland)

Method

1. In a large bowl mix together the ground almonds and icing sugar.

2. Add the egg whites and almond extract, then using your hands work the ingredients into a smooth ball of slightly sticky dough.

3. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least two hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6.

5. Spray the Kransekake moulds with oil and dust them generously with cornflour.

6. Dust a work surface with cornflour and split the dough into 6 equally sized pieces.

7. Split one of the pieces of dough into three different sized pieces: one large, one medium and one small.

8. Roll the balls of dough out into pieces which are approximately a finger-width and long enough to wrap round the Kransekake moulds.

9. Place the first piece into the Kransekake mould and pinch the ends together. Repeat with all the other pieces until all the moulds are filled.

10. Place the moulds onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

11. Remove the Kransekake rings from the oven and allow them to set in their moulds – if you try to remove them while they are warm they will break! Once the Kransekake are cool remove them from their moulds and set them aside while you make the icing.

12. To make the Royal Icing, place the egg whites in a bowl and slowly sift in the icing sugar in batches. In between each batch of sugar stir the icing with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk until the icing thickens up.

13. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round writing nozzle.

14. Before you begin to decorate, sort the rings out into size order.

15. Place the largest ring onto your serving plate (you could use a bit of icing to adhere it to the plate and stop it from slipping around). Pipe a zig-zag pattern onto the ring and place the second largest ring on top. Repeat until all the rings have been neatly stacked.

16. To finish, spray the Kransekake with edible spray glitter. I made mine extra special by covering it in gold stars made from fondant icing.

I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season and have a go at my Christmas recipes this year, which also include my Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies which I posted last Christmas, my Hazelnut Cranberry and Orange Biscotti and my Cointreau Christmas Cake.
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I am taking a well deserved Christmas break, but I will be back in the New Year with plenty more gluten free recipes for you all to try.  In the meantime, why not check out my out my Instagram page or my Facebook page to see what else I get up to over Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  xxx