My baking cupboard has been made pretty much redundant these days. Baking for anything other special occasions got to be a bit of a chore as I couldn’t always tuck in to the cakes due to my wheat intolerance. It kind of upset me to see Alex eating twelve cupcakes all on his own (or taking them away to anyone that would have them) and If I can’t eat them then where’s the fun in that? Actually, the real truth is that Alex was starting to get a bit of a pot belly because I was baking more than he could keep up with and I think even he was feeling there was a bit of cake overkill in his life.
I have never really looked into baking cakes without wheat flour. I’ve tasted a few shop bought one’s (which weren’t great) but as it’s only me in my circle that has this rather annoying problem I never really thought the others around me should miss out on the good stuff.
Someone recently loaned me a copy of Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood. It’s a cake book with a difference. For one there are plenty of recipes containing rice flour rather than wheat. Hurrah! Another difference to my usual cake recipes is that the majority of them contain vegetables such as aubergine, beetroot, courgette, butternut squash and even my dreaded worst enemy swede!
The book is lovingly written and is a joy to look through, so last night I decided to venture into the world of baking for myself once again. First up – Coconut, Lime And Blueberry Slice.
I chose this recipe because I love the way that blueberries just burst in your mouth and provide a lovely juicy taste when baked. The down side to this one though is that it contains quite a lot more sugar than I’d usually use but I’d like to think that the goodness in the courgettes and blueberries might sort of cancel out that badness… A girl can dream.
The only problem I had whilst cooking was that I took the coconut base out of the oven too soon. Coconut can burn quite quickly and I took mine out in half of the time that the book suggested as it was looking like it was heading that way. This resulted in the base being not quite hard enough and a lot of it broke away on cutting.
Anyway, it tasted delicious and I personally didn’t even notice the courgette (another of my vegetable baddies). I’m looking forward to trying out some more recipes from the book and who knows I may even go as far as trying the one with Swede in it… But probably not.
The making of the sponge
Sponge mixture on base and back into the oven with it…
Afternoon tea at 10pm – Hence the picture blur! (Must try harder)
THE RECIPE – Lovingly typed up word for word by me as it’s nowhere else online – I expect you to use it.
Coconut, Lime And Blueberry Slice:
FOR THE BASE:
80g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
150g desiccated coconut
FOR THE SPONGE:
2 medium free range eggs
150g caster sugar
150g topped, tailed peeled and finely grated courgette
zest and juice of 2 whole limes
120g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt,
FOR THE TOP:
A little icing sugar
YOU WILL NEED:
A 22cm x 5cm deep brownie tin.
THE FUN BIT:
1. Preheat the over to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line the base of the tin with parchment and brush this and the sides with a little vegetable oil.
2. To make the base, slowley heat the sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan. within a few minutes the butter would have melted
and there will be a sweet paste in the pan. Put the coconut in a large mixing bowl, yip the paste over it and fold together with a palette knife. Treating the mixture like shortcrust pastry, finish combining it with your fingertips. Don’t worry if it appears flecked, this will right itself in the oven.
3. Pat the mixture into the tin with a spatula and place it int he over for 15 minutes. This should give you just the right amount of time to go ahead with making the sponge, but always keep a keen eye on it as coconut and sugar love to burn.
4. To make the sponge, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and pale. Add the grated courgette and lime zest and beat until fully incorporated.
5. Remove the base from the oven and pour the sponge mixture over it, before scattering the blueberries over the top. Cook for a further 30 minutes in the middle of the oven.
6. Once cooked, cool in its tin for 10 minutes. Sieve the icing sugar over the top and cut the cake inside the tin before serving.
The cake is gorgeous either on its own or served with a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream