“All-free” lemon drizzle cake (no gluten, lactose, eggs, soy …)

Lemon_drizzle_cakeIt’s been quite a while since I’ve posted new recipes on my blog. It’s not that I stopped baking (although I’m baking slightly less), it’s that I’m not really finding the time to right about. The reason is that next to my day job, I have a new task: twin boy management! The boys are now 8 months old and doing great, but it makes baking (and writing about it) a bit more of a challenge. It also makes it a multi-step (or somethimes even multi-day) process, spread out during the day. But of course, come Christmas, I wasn’t going to let me family down so I was once again in charge of desserts (two days in a row). As my sister in low has been diagnosed with a gluten-, lactose-, egg white-, soy- (and other things I’m forgetting) intolerance, it became quite a challenge. To be honest: the first attempt (not this recipe) went straight in the bin. This meant that I needed a plan B, and I needed it fast! So I looked at the GoodFood website, and found this recipe for a light lemon drizzle cake, which I could easily adapt. I’ll indicate possible changes you can make depending on your diet.

Heat oven to 160C and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Put 175g rice flour (or use gluten-free or self-raising flower), 1 and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (use baking powder if you’ve used self-raising flour), 50 g ground almonds and 50 g polenta in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the zest of 2 lemons (you’ll need the juice later) and 140 g sugar, then make a dip in the centre. In another bowl, beat 2 eggs (I used “no-egg” egg replacement and followed the instruction on the box, you can find this in health food shops), then stir in 225 g yogurt (I used goat yoghurt as I wanted to avoid lactose, which you can find in health food shops or biological supermarkets, it tastes very much the same as regular yoghurt). Tip this mixture along with 75 ml rapeseed oil (or use sunflower oil) into the dry ingredients, then briefly and gently stir with a large metal spoon so everything is just combined, without overmixing.

10 mins if it starts to brown too quickly. While the cake cooks, make lemon syrup. Tip 85 g sugar into a small saucepan with the juice of the 2 lemons and 75 ml water. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat, boil for 4 mins until slightly reduced and syrupy, then remove from the heat.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool briefly in the tin. While it is still warm, turn it out of the tin, peel off the lining paper and sit the cake on a wire rack set over a baking tray or similar. Use a skewer to make lots of small holes all over the top of the cake. Slowly spoon over half the lemon syrup and let it soak in. Spoon over the rest in the same way, brushing the edges and sides of the cake too with the last of the syrup.

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Ready for summer: polenta, orange and blueberry loaf

orange and blueberry loafI’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks and with good reason: I was on holiday! And yes, the weather was nice, we had a great time, we visited a lot but managed to relax and as always it was way too short… The relaxed feeling was gone all too quickly once I struggled through the pile of mails at work so it’s back to another relaxing hobby: baking. By now you probably realised that blueberries, along with raspberries, are among my favourite fruits and in this cake they almost pop in your mouth as you eat it. I found the recipe in a recent GoodFood magazine and as always it tasted delicious.

First, heat the oven to 140 C and line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Put 100 g polenta, 200 g self-raising flour, 140 g sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 140 g softened butter and the zest of 1 orange into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor or if, like mine, it decided to break down, just get your hands in it and rub the butter through the mixture until you get the same result (it won’t take long, I promise). Combine the juice of 1/2 orange with 1 egg, then pour this into the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough (or get your hands in it again to achieve the same result).

Push half the dough into the lined tin and scatter with half of 200 g blueberries. Cover the berries with the remaining dough and finish with the remaining berries. Bake for 1h10 until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 min before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before eating. If you want, you can freeze the cake (or pieces of it) as well: wrap in a double layer of foil and pop in the freezer. Defrost for at least 3 h before eating. Enjoy while listening to Summernights, the ultimate Grease classic.

More blueberry recipes

> Blueberry cheesecake gateau
> Blueberry crumble cheesecake
> Blueberry muffins
> Blueberry pancakes
> Summer fruit cake

Use up your polenta: light lemon drizzle cake

Spring is here: light lemon drizzle cake

lemon drizzle cakeAs you know by now, I’m a happy subscriber of GoodFood magazine. And each month, it contains a recipe “make-over”, where a classic recipe (aka calorie bomb) gets upgraded to a lighter version. Last month, it was the lemon drizzle cake and it sounded like the perfect ending for an otherwise not so light meal when my brother and his girlfriend came to dinner last Friday. And it got the seal of approval: most went for a second slice! Thus eliminating the lighter effect I assume but who cares 🙂

For those of you who are interested or looking for a guilt-free treat, “lighter” means 243 kcals per slice (if the cake is cut in 12 slices), whereas a classic lemon drizzle cake will be 335 kcals per slice. This is achieved by substituting butter for oil and yoghurt which also means you can use less eggs. The sugar was reduced and ground almonds and polenta were added. Here’s how to make it:

Preheat the oven to 160 C, lightly oil a 20 cm round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Put 175 g self-raising flour in a bowl with 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder, 50 g ground almonds and 50 g polenta (if you don’t have polenta or don’t want to use it, you can use 100 g ground almonds instead). Stir in the zest of 2 lemons (you will need to juice later as well for the topping) and 140 g golden caster sugar. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs with 225 g natural yoghurt. Make a dip in the dry ingredients and pour the yoghurt mixture in the dip followed by 75 ml rapeseed oil (if you can’t find rapeseed oil, use sunflower oil instead. Don’t be tempted to use olive oil, it has a strong taste that will come through in your finished cake). Briefly stir so everything is combined without overmixing.

Pour the mixture in the cake tin and level the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil for the final 5-10 min of the top starts to brown too quickly. Remove from the oven and let it cool briefly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

While the cake is in the oven, make the lemon syrup. Tip 85 g caster sugar into a small saucepan with the lemon juice (of the 2 lemons you zested before) and 75 ml of water. Heat over a medium heat stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 4 min until slightly reduced and syrupy. When the cake is on the wire rack, poke it all over with a skewer and slowly spoon the syrup on top in 2 batches so it can soak into the cake (you may want to put your wire rack over a sheet of cling film to avoid washing all the syrup of your counter top). If you prefer a crunchy topping instead of a sticky one, use 1 tbsp less caster sugar for the syrup and sprinkle that over the cake after you soaked it. Or dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice without adding the water and without heating it. Enjoy while listening to Lemon Tree by Fools Garden.

Use up leftover polenta in a polenta, orange and blueberry loaf. Leftover lemons are great in hazelnut and lemon madeleines, a lemon and poppy seed loaf or a lemon cake.