I am hoping that as my commuting time is about to halve that I will soon be back to blogging again on a regular basis. For the time being though here is a lovely cake that is adapted from Harry Eastwood's Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache. It is gluten free, dairy free and virtually fat free but serve it to guests and they will never guess. This is what I class as a pudding cake in that it can also be used as a dessert with soya custard or cream. The original recipe calls for cider but I switched this for ginger beer as it is something that I definitely associate with summer days plus almost everybody in my family is a bit of a ginger fiend. Although this picture makes the cake look elegant it also managed to carry off the animal shaped candles I had later in the day!
Apple, Parsnip and Ginger Beer Cake
Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Dairy Free
For the cake
Dairy free margarine or oil to brush the cake tin
1 Medium sized cooking apple
200g/7oz Peeled and finely grated parsnip
150g/5.3oz Ground almonds
150g/5.3oz Rice flour
200ml/7floz ginger beer or dry cider
1tsp Mixed spice or ground cinnamon
1tsp Ground ginger
2-3 tbs Stem ginger finely chopped (optional)
2tsp Baking powder (ensure it is gluten free if required)
For the top
small cooking apple
23cm/9inch by at least 7cm/3cm deep cake tin
Piece of string
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400F/gas mark 6.
- This cake takes 2 hours to cook and so it is important to ensure that the cake is triple lined with parchment/baking paper. To do this cut out three circular pieces of parchment paper to the size of your cake tin bottom. I use the bottom of the tin as a template to ensure that I get it the right size. To triple line the edges, pull out the sheet of parchment and wrap around the outside of the cake tin. Once you have a piece long enough the you can cut it to this length. Then to get three layers fold the parchment in three so that you are thirding the depth. Brush or wipe the inside of the cake tin with margarine or oil.
- To line the tin take the long piece of parchment that you have folded in three and snip one of the long edges with cuts approximately 2cm deep so that when you lay this around the inside of the tin the newly cut flaps will spread out on the bottom ensuring a close fit. Place this piece around the edge and ensure the flaps are laying flat to the bottom then add the three circular layers of baking parchment to the bottom of the tin. Brush the inside of the parchment paper with oil or margarine. This may seem like a real annoyance but it is important to do as it will protect the cake from burning during its long cooking time. Once you have lined your cake tin it should look something like this.
- The cake making gets a lot easier once your cake tin is lined. Peel and core the medium sized cooking apple and cut into cubes that are smaller than 1cm cubed. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the apple pieces and ensure that all the cut surfaces are covered with the juice.
- In a large bowl add the eggs and sugar and whisk until they are pale and fluffy and have approximately tripled in volume. This took around 5 mins of high powered an constant whisking with an electric whisk.
- Once the eggs and sugar have tripled in volume add the ground almonds, rice flour, ground spices, salt, baking powder and finely grated parsnip. Whisk again to ensure it is all well combined. Then add the ginger beer or cider and apple cubes and stem ginger. Stir well and pour into the tin. The mix will be pretty wet but don't worry it will still set and make a yummy cake.
- Next peel the small apple and slice thinly removing any pips. You should be left with thin apple slices with a a star shaped hole in the middle. Brush these apple slices with lemon juice and gently arrange on the top of the cake mixture.
- Now take a piece of aluminum foil big enough to cover the top of the cake tin and secure it with a piece of string wrapped around the outside.
- Place in the oven directly on the wire rack/shelf and cook for 2 hours. Do not check the cake or remove the foil for the whole two hours as this will let all the heat and moisture out.
- Once the two hours are up remove from the oven and being careful of any steam remove the tin foil. Allow to cool then remove from tin. Brush the apple slices with water and then sprinkle with icing/confectioner sugar. Serve warm or cold with whatever you fancy. This is good as either a deesert or cake. It does not freeze well so store in an airtight container and eat within a couple of days.