A Gluten Free, Low Sugar, Low Fat Lemon and Blueberry Cake

OK, gluten free, low sugar and low fat are not words you will usually find on The Gammon Kitchen. Sugar and fat are my main food groups. However, I’ve been following The Culinary Jumble run by the lovely Tracy for a while and her blog has started to really focus on offering healthier alternatives that are still tasty and simple to make. As a Brit living in Sweden, her blog is chock full of delicious Scandi inspired goodies such as saffron and white chocolate buns as well as British classics like nostalgic jam tarts. If you’re looking for gluten free options you can find everything from a jaffa cake sponge to cinnamon bun waffles. I had one of those ‘lick the screen’ moments recently when Tracy posted a recipe for hot cross bun rolls, a hybrid of a cinnamon roll and a hot cross bun. I didn’t get round to making them for Easter but have them bookmarked for next year.

I’ve not done a whole lot of gluten free baking as quite frankly, I have no need to. It’s always good to give things a go though and I was intrigued by the ingredients for the lemon and blueberry cake which was originally posted on The Culinary Jumble back in January. It’s a bit of a bonus that it’s also low fat and low sugar as let’s face it, most of us could do with less of the bad stuff. Tyler (my fiancé of 10 years and lovely cat dad to our two fur babies) got rather excited when I said I was going to be doing a spot of baking. His heart sank when he saw me putting gluten free flour and brown cane sugar in the shopping trolley. He loves cake. I get it. The idea of a gluten free, low fat, low sugar cake doesn’t sound awfully appealing but Tracy’s post images had my mouth watering and I was excited to give it a go.

The ingredient list isn’t scary like some alternative cakes. I was able to get everything I needed in Sainsbury’s. The brown cane sugar does have stevia added, which I’m not sure is entirely right but it was all I could get. Yes, before you ask, it was ridiculously overpriced, but you don’t need much of it so it will last ages and it smells delicious. I’m going to try it in coffee. I used frozen blueberries and lemon juice from a bottle as I already had some in the cupboard.

The recipe is ridiculously easy to follow and didn’t create too much mess which is always a bonus. Within 20 minutes of thinking about making the cake it was in the oven and my kitchen smelt lovely and sweet. The youngest cat was most intrigued and spent the entire time rubbing himself up my legs and meowing. Maybe he was just hungry, I didn’t think to check his food dish as my biggest concern was cake. Obviously. I tested the cake after 30 minutes and it seemed to be cooked but when I went back to it 10 minutes later there was a puddle of uncooked mixture and the cake had sunk a little in the middle so I popped it back in the oven. 10 minutes later it was cooked but a little too dark on top. Next time I will probably cook for 45 minutes on a lower temperature.

So what’s the verdict? It took all my will power (I don’t have much at the best of times) not to eat it piping hot from the oven because it smelt so good. I knew that if I tried to slice it when it was too warm it would just crumble and I would ruin any chance of a decent picture for the ‘gram. It felt like hours before it was cool enough to slice and serve up with cups of tea, or in my case warm milk with a tea bag dunked in for approximately 1.7 seconds. The wait was worth it though. What a lovely tea time treat. The cake is so moist with a delicate tang from the lemon and Greek yogurt and the blueberries explode in your mouth. It’s not too sweet meaning you don’t feel too guilty (not that you should ever feel guilty for anything that doesn’t harm anyone or anything else). I would happily eat this for breakfast or with tea drunk from a china cup and saucer for an afternoon treat or warm with whipped cream for pudding.

Tyler’s verdict? 8/10 but would be better with chocolate. I’ll take that.

If you want to give healthier baking a go you can find Tracy’s recipe here. Do it!

This is the cake in it’s full, glazed, cracked, rustic glory. I actually like it when a cake has cracks, imperfections are beautiful. This is what I tell myself every morning when I look in the mirror. If the mantra is good enough for me, it’s good enough for my cake.

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The loaf sliced pretty well, the odd crumb here and there which may or may not have gone straight into my mouth, but a fairly clean cut with a bread knife. The blueberries sunk which I was expecting because they were frozen but I don’t mind that at all.

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You see what I mean about my tea. I’m a terrible Brit.

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And a second slice whilst writing the post because I can. I mean, its low fat and low sugar and if I eat the whole thing that’s one of my 5 a day so really its practically a health food. Oh dear, you can see how long this cake is going to last.

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Thanks to The Culinary Jumble for the recipe and for the inspiration to get my bake on!

Let me know if you try it out too!

Tania x

My 100th Post!!!

Bonjour!

I am back in The Gammon Kitchen. I took a few weeks off blogging to enjoy a holiday to France (more on that to follow!) and to give myself a break. Blogging can be hard work! I’m not ever going to be one of those people who make a living from blogging and whatnot, I just don’t have the time to commit to posting that regularly, but I’m glad to be back and am looking forward to sharing some more recipes and stories with you.

This back to blogging post also just so happens to be my 100th blog post! Milestone alert! As I sit here in my jumper (like, when did it get so cold?) I’m reminiscing about some of the previous posts I have shared with you and thought this would be a great opportunity to recap on some of my favourites before I share some new content with you, starting with what I did on my holiday.

My Favourite Ever Post

My Thoughts On Dieting from January 2016

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I remember writing this post in the early hours of the morning as I couldn’t sleep and needed to vent about my feelings towards diets and the current craze of clean eating. I got some really great feedback on this post and still very much stand by my thoughts!

My Favourite Recipes

Fully Loaded Sweet Potato Fries from February 2016

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Even just looking at the picture makes me dribble. Yum!

Chocolate and Pecan Banana Bread from March 2016

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This is one of my most used recipes from my blog and one I always turn to when I want to bake, or have some manky bananas in the fruit bowl, which is every single week.

Chickpea, Spinach and Potato Curry from June 2016

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I developed this recipe during my vegan trial week and even though my time as a vegan didn’t last, this is still one of the nicest curries I have ever made and is a favourite in my house.

Masterchef Style Smoked Haddock from July 2016

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I was so proud of this recipe, I even considered applying for Masterchef!

My Most Viewed Post

Recipe Review: Nigella Lawson’s Lemon Pavlova from January 2016

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Thanks to a Twitter comment from the Queen herself, I have enjoyed many views on this post, many now coming from Google searches. I love this photo too, I could dive into that pav face first right now.

It’s been nice to look back on some of my favourite posts from this year and I’m feeling ready and inspired to go on and create another 100 posts. See you all soon! PicMonkey Collage.jpg

My Weekend Food Diary

Tyler and I took a trip down to Eastbourne last weekend for the annual nerd fest that is the air show. As much as I’m terrified of flying, I love planes and get fan girl excited over the Red Arrows. As we stayed over for the night I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share a food diary with you. It didn’t quite go to plan as I was really unwell on Sunday and ended up eating nothing all day so my weekend food diary ends on Saturday night!

Friday 9pm – Dinner at Zizzi’s

Starter: Arancini with tomato sauce

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Main: Chicken and vegetable skewer with potatoes, slaw and a lemon and parmesan sauce

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Dessert: Mango and coconut sundae

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Saturday 11am – Breakfast at Wetherspoons

Vegetarian breakfast

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Enjoying the lovely weather and planes!

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Saturday 3pm

Tango Ice Blast, mixed cherry and raspberry. So refreshing in the heat!

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Saturday 3.30pm – Lunch from a Thai street food stall

Tempura prawns with sweet chilli dipping sauce

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Saturday 9pm – Dinner at home

Crispy chilli beef, plain chow mein, chips and curry sauce from the Chinese takeaway. Too exhausted to cook!

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I’ll try and get a full weekend of food in next time I try this! Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend too!

 

Recipe: My Famous Lime Cheesecake

I’m putting myself out there here: This is the best cheesecake ever. Big-headed? Me? Don’t be silly!

No really, this has a buttery biscuit base and is topped with the most creamy mixture bursting with sweet and zesty citrus flavour. It’s my mum’s favourite and I think mine too. Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make, the hardest part is resisting it whilst it chills in the fridge overnight.

Serves 8. Or at least it should, but never goes that far in my house.

What you need:

  • 200g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 350g full fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 115g caster sugar
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • zest and juice of 3 limes
  • 175ml double cream

What you do:

  1. Mix together the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and spices until you have what resembles wet sand, then push it into the bottom of a springform tin. Leave this in the fridge to chill whilst you make the filling.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together along with the zest and juice from the citrus fruits until the mixture is smooth and creamy. This won’t happen if your cream cheese is too cold so plan ahead!
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream until it reaches a soft peak consistency then add this to the cream cheese mixture and fold in thoroughly.
  4. Pour and scrape this mixture on top of your biscuit base and flatten and smooth it with a spatula or pallet knife then chill in the fridge, ideally overnight or at least for a few hours. When ready, devour with glee.

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July Roundup

July. The month that felt like the early 2000s with everyone talking about Pokemon and Blink 182. Not me though. I’ve been harping on about Celebrity Masterchef, the lack of decent strawberries in the supermarkets and how summer just doesn’t feel like summer when you don’t have a 6 week holiday.

Oh the good old days of school when life’s biggest worries were getting a ladder in your tights or not having a boyfriend like all the cool kids. I thought my teenage years were such a struggle. I knew nothing. I used to come home every day to my bed made, a home made dinner on the table and my washing done and ironed for me. Now, I come home to a messy house at whatever time the traffic allows and have to engage the brain enough not to mix my dinner up with the cat’s. I tried a cat treat once. It was a terrible, terrible mistake.

I’ve made some damn good food in July, though I do say so myself. I’ve recapped all of this month’s posts below in case you missed any or want to have a re-read.

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Recipe: King Prawn Linguine / Recipe: Steak’n’Stuff / Recipe: American Pancakes with Bacon / What I Ate In A Day #11 / Recipe: Masterchef Style Smoked Haddock / Top 5 Must Have Cook Books For Eating Well / Recipe: Peanut Butter Brownies / Recipe Review: Gordon Ramsay’s Bread and Butter Pudding / Recipe: Chicken Tikka Salad / How to be a Better Cook in 5 Easy Steps

See you in August!

Recipe Review: Gordon Ramsay’s Bread and Butter Pudding

I haven’t stopped going on about this since I made it. And ate the whole thing. Yes, just me, a spoon and a smile permanently fixed on my face as I devoured the whole scrummy lot along with some cold double cream. Even then it wasn’t enough. It still isn’t enough and I’m waiting for my next opportunity to make another batch.

Gordon’s recipe uses sliced pain au chocolat but I don’t like chocolate with dried fruit and I just wanted to be hit with cinnamon, sugar and creaminess without nuggets of chocolate getting in my way. Never though I’d say that! Nigella has an amazing recipe for chocolate chip bread pudding that I will go to for when I want such a thing.

I’ve adapted Gordon’s recipe quite a bit so what follows is my version. You can find his original in his Ultimate Cookery Course book.

Serves 4 generously (or 1, if you’re me)

What you need:

  • 12 thin slices of brioche bread
  • 50g soft butter
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 small handfuls of sultanas
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 60ml double cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

What you do:

  1. Cut your brioche slices into half diagonally to make triangles and generously butter one side of each triangle. Pile the bread into a bowl and leave to one side.
  2. Grease a pie dish (big enough to hold all the bread tightly) and sprinkle over one tablespoon of the demerara sugar and one tablespoon of the ground cinnamon.
  3. Next, make the custard by whisking together the milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, one tablespoon of the sugar and a little more cinnamon. Now pour half of this into the bowl where your bread is sitting and allow it to sit for a minute or two.
  4. To compile your pudding, lay slices of the bread with their pointy corners sticking up out of the dish and sprinkle in some sultanas as you go, pushing the bread together. When all the bread is used up, pour on the rest of the custard mixture, making sure it gets into all the crevices. Sprinkle over the remaining cinnamon and last two tablespoons of demerara sugar then bake in an oven set to 180°c for 35-40 minutes until set and golden. Leave to rest for a little while before eating unless you have a fire resistant mouth.

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Bread and Butter pudding should have a crunchy sugary top and be rich, creamy and luxurious beneath with lots of flavour from the spice and fruit. This delivers in every possible way. It may not be the prettiest pudding in the world but some of the ugliest things can be delicious. Just writing this up makes me want to get into the kitchen and get me some bread and butter pudding on the go. Enjoy!

Recipe: Peanut Butter Brownies

Brownies are one of my most favourite things to eat and are also one of the easiest things to make. If you’re a kitchen novice or don’t have a successful track record in the baking department, give these a go. They are squishy, gooey and super chocolatey. You can either serve them warm by way of a dessert or have them at room temperature with a nice cup of tea as an afternoon pick me up.

I can’t take full credit for the recipe as actually I’ve only adapted one that I’ve been using for years. The basis of my recipe comes from Lorraine Pascal’s Cookie and Cream Fudge Brownie recipe in the Baking Made Easy cookbook. These are brownies with crushed Oreo biscuits baked in to them and are a revelation. I’ve made them so many times and they’re always successful but I wanted to try something different so I’ve adapted the recipe to remove the biscuits and replace them with spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Makes 16

What you need:

  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

What you do:

  1. Line a 20cm square baking tin with foil and pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan on a low heat. Once it has melted, add the chopped chocolate, stir to combine then remove from the heat and leave to sit to allow the chocolate to melt completely.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the 3 whole eggs with the 2 yolks and the vanilla until light and fluffy. Once you reach the right stage of fluffiness, add the sugar half at a time, whisking well between additions. Keep whisking until the mixture stiffens.
  4. Now, add the melted chocolate and butter mixture and stir well.
  5. Spoon in the flour and cocoa powder and fold the mixture until everything is evenly combined. Pour this into your prepared tin.
  6. Take small dollops of peanut butter and place them evenly on top of the brownie mixture, then use a flat knife to swirl the dollops into the chocolate batter. Bake for around 25-30 minutes.
  7. Once the brownies are cooked but still gooey in the centre, remove them from the oven and leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack. Cut into squares when cool and give them to your friends or eat them all yourself, I’m not bothered.

You can serve them up all fancy shmancy style on a plate that’s far too big with some raspberries, icing sugar and double cream if you like. Or you can just eat them.

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