Those with food intolerances are viewed by many as just fussy eaters (or awkwardtarians as my mate calls it. I like this cos it sounds like a dinosaur). There are those who avoid gluten or dairy due to the amount of research and opinions from professionals saying they are not the kindest food stuffs for our waist line. However, a huge amount of people cut out wheat and/or dairy due to the health impact on the body, especially the tummy and digestion. My mum is lactose intolerant which she kindly passed onto me in a currently very mild form. I’m not quite sure how it works (with my peanut sized brain) but not all dairy is created equal with some products containing more lactose than others. I made her really ill the other week when she tucked into my chocolate Easter cake without telling her it contained cream. Uh oh. Was def not the favourite child after that incident.
This weekend I visited the BF’s mum who cannot eat gluten. I wanted her to think I was the best thing since (gluten free) bread and the best way to win anyone over is to bake them cake! And this presented a new challenge of baking gluten free cake which I have never done before as it is notoriously dry and I have never needed to. It really got me thinking though about using more natural ingredients in my baking. I never use margarine in my baking, only the best quality butter. Golden caster sugar which is less processed than white caster sugar. Free range eggs. Organic full fat milk. Some things are unavoidable but where you can make the substitutions then why not? A little less guilt and a little kinder on the body. So going forward I’m going to experiment with more natural flours too such as coconut flour. I really struggled while researching this recipe, there is a real lack of delightful sounding or looking gluten free cakes. The lack of gluten affects the structure and texture of the sponge which is why so many gluten free cakes are dry and crumbley. The 6 eggs in this recipe may sound like a lot but the fat in the yolks help keep the cake moist and the egg whites add structure. The BF’s mum, Carole, said it was ‘..the closest thing to actual cake I have had, moist and cakey’ (real quote!). I also think this recipe would make a fantastic summer wedding cake, stacked and tiered or scattered in flowers (which I am available for!) So do your body a favour, give it cake but one that is a little nicer to your tum tum.
Gluten free lemon, blueberry and white chocolate cake
- 200g blueberries
- 140g white chocolate
- 100g unsalted butter
- 3 lemons, zested and juiced
- 140 g gluten free flour
- 1 & 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 100 g ground almonds
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 85 g caster sugar
White chocolate cream cheese icing
- 150g white chocolate
- 100g unsalted butter
- 200g full fat cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar
1. Line a 20cm baking tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 170 degrees
2. In a heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate and butter over a pan of hot water making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. When fully melted, remove from the heat and transfer into a clean bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest, sift in the flour and baking powder, almonds and egg yolks and mix well to combine.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites and gradually add the sugar until stiff and peaks form on the surface. Fold the egg white mixture into the white chocolate mixture very carefully making sure there are no streaks of egg white and the two mixtures are completely combined. Carefully fold in the blueberries..
4. Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
5. Place the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
6. As the cake is cooling, melt your white chocolate in a heat proof bowl as above.
7. Soften your butter with a quick 10 second blast in the microwave if it is not at room temperature. Beat the cream cheese and butter together then add the slightly cooled chocolate.
8. Sift in the icing sugar, beating thoroughly into the mix until it is smooth.
9. Add to the top of your cooled cake and scatter with blueberries or grate some white chocolate on top.