Yesterday the lovely Michelle from The Bake Escape came round for an afternoon of experimental gluten-free cooking. We’d decided to try our hands at gluten-free puff pastry, the holy grail of pastry making, and some cake on the side. Being a scientist, experimenting seems to come naturally to Michelle and she wasted no time in pondering how to alter a perfectly good cake recipe I’d found. I think she could be good for me though, as the end result was delicious. Possibly even more so than the original. We took a simple but elegant cherry, almond and chocolate cake recipe and tweaked it some, then mixed up the flavours, and then tweaked it some more. Not content with switching the almond paste (different to marzipan and tricky to find over here) for ground almonds she insisted on different flavours in the cake. I offered raspberries in the place of the original cherries but strangely Ms Bake Escape wasn’t so keen on that combination. Er, am I the only one who thinks chocolate and raspberry is a great combination? To keep the peace in the kitchen we divided up the batter and each went our own way; I chose the chocolate and raspberry and Michelle went for triple ginger, adding in sugar and, tasting all the time, deciding to drop in a splash of honey as well. Needless to say, her intuitive cooking produced by far the better dessert. [Though in working together on the puff pastry I think we far exceeded our individual capabilities – more on that later in the week].
Chocolate, almond and triple ginger Cake
Adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
175g ground almonds
100g dark chocolate
30g gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon crystallised ginger, diced
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl in the microwave.
3. Beat the ground almonds and eggs together in a large bowl. Fold the melted chocolate into the almonds and eggs. Stir in the flour, sugar and baking powder. Fold in the honey and 3 different types of ginger.
4. Scrape the mixture into ramekins. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until set on top but still slightly gooey in the centre. Serve warm with ice cream.
Makes about 6 ramekins. For the chocolate, almond and raspberry cakes switch out the ginger and honey for a handful (75g) chopped raspberries, plus 2 drops of either raspberry or almond essence, depending on which flavour you want to accentuate. Add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time, as the raspberries add more liquid to the batter.