I have been hunting out a Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Cake to bake just lately – but why?
Well, despite my complete adoration for all things cake, unfortunately I’m not supposed to have too much sugar or wheat – especially pastry (don’t ask it’s a hereditary) and dairy effects the asthma that decided to rear it’s ugly head after 15 years of taking a holiday.
So when I was asked if I was coming to the next Clandestine Cake Club, my head was saying “yes” – oh yes it was – and it was my stomach that was saying “please let me recover from the rubbish you fed me over Christmas.” Which included the Mother of all cakes on the cholesterol front, that I made for the last CCC.
So I went in search of replacements for the perpetrators. The thing is, it’s not that easy. It’s not that the recipes would have been tasteless – they were just so few or seemed overly complicated (I don’t do complicated!). I do fuss free, quick and easy and most definitely ‘tasty’. So, to avoid slashing my wrists at the thought of ‘not’ going to the next CCC or to make future cake & cookie baking a lot easier in future, I was determined to find a recipe to try.
If you have visited HoniesKitchen on my blog before, you will know that we love ‘all things lemon’ in the HonieHouse.
So I hunted for all of the lemon cakes in my endless collection of cookery bookes and cake Bibles and not one of them had a Sugar Free, Gluten Free or Dairy Free alternative – they were full on, full fat, full sugar versions of everything!
The internet is full of US branded stuff that is ‘not’ available over here and given I had already bought a bag each of gluten free self-raising flour and plain flour, dairy free (vegan) butter/shortening and some soya milk and cream (amongst other things I wanted to include), then I wasn’t really wanting to search out recipes that didn’t include them.
So, I decided to experiment with my own recipe – I usually do this anyway!
I’d set my heart on lemon and coconut as the main flavours and set to invesigating various types of sugar alternatives ….. I wasn’t including aspartamine in my ingredients list and thought that sucrose at a whopping big £1.90 for 125 grams was not going in either (a steep price for most cake recipes for the sugar, instead of less than 15p with the usual Tate & Lyle).
I was chuffed to admit that HONEY was my choice of alternative and given that it attracts moisture in baking, it was a great choice (HappyHonie). For those of you that don’t get the Honie reference – my Dad is a Beekeeper!
So what of the recipe choice?
Well, there are a few variations of lemon and coconut cake you can try, but to get the very best out of the use of lemon and to have a fairground of textures and flavour bursts, I remembered a lush lemon sponge with coconut streusel topping, which you also put into the cake batter along with another favourite of mine ‘lemon curd’ – I had none in! Oh damn it, what bad luck, I’ll have to make some fresh 😮
So before I could get to mixing cake batter, I got to squeezing lemons (also needed to add to the batter anway) and made some ‘fresh off the stove’ lemon curd for my cake and got to making the stresusel also.
All set and ready to go – the cake only takes 50-60 mins to bake and after 15 mins cooling I can add the lemon glaze. The thing is it’s already gone 11.00pm and I have to measure out the batter ingredients yet, working out the exact honey volume needed and getting the consistency right.
Blah, blah blah blah and a couple of hours later (1.00am) and I’m sitting eating a slice of a deliciously yummy and mosit lemon and coconut cake ….
I did remember to take photographs before tucking in – are you tempted to try?
The verdict is a huge ‘hit’ in HoniesKitchen – it’s very tasty, very light and still moist and the bonus is that the ingredients are much better for you. Working with honey instead of sugar was much easier than I thought and if anything made the batter mix more moist. I realised afterwards that it says more liquid will be needed for my gluten free flour – which is made up of naturally wheat and gluten free rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat. The honey did the trick!
All that’s left to do is give you the ingredients and method, so that you can make it too.