Friday, 18 September 2015

Cakes! Ginger and Apple. But not in the same cake...

Farm shops

Friday is Nick's day off and today was an errand day. Prescriptions, broken glasses, haircuts, banks...  But after all that we did the rounds of farm shops.  Lunch at one, where the children could run around outside, and then shopping at New Close.  Of course we could have shopped at the first, but we love the second, they love our kids and it is still the best shop ever.  I am tempted to see if we could live on just the groceries they sell there, alongside their meat, and Riverford veg (we've been Riverford customers for 10 years and love them still).  

Buying local (or from a supermarket which we're sure of) has become more important to us over the decade we've been married.  I can't really explain a lot of it, but I do know farmers shouldn't be losing money on feeding us, just as a carpenter shouldn't lose money in his job, or anyone else.  I've no idea where this puts me politically or economically, but I'm glad we're able to do it because we have a local shop which sells meat the way we want to buy it:  VERY local, animals which were cared for well in life, and direct from the farmers, with no middle man.

Tomorrow, we  head to beautiful Alnmouth in the Northumberland, home of my favourite beach.  And Alnmouth Priory.  A large group of the older folk from church are spending the day there and Nick will join them.  The children and I will lunch with everyone, but will either hit the beach or the famous Barter Books in Alnwick (depends on the weather).  The lovely ladies love my cakes, and there are a couple I have been meaning to try, so I made them this afternoon, and have just had a slice of each so I can report back here!

Gluten-free Sticky Ginger Loaf

The first was waitrose's Sticky Ginger Loaf.  This is a gluten-free recipe and I've been very excited about making it.  I have to say, it isn't quite as good as I was hoping.  I also burned the top.  The recipe does talk about covering it but I lost track of time.  If you are gluten-free and love ginger and like less sweet cakes, this is for you, but just watch the top!  I'd probably also turn the temperature down to 160C.  

You'll find the recipe here.

Gluten-free Apple Fritter Traybake

This is even better than the last apple cake.  The original recipe was from a facebook post, and I have made it.  But my poor husband didn't get to try it since he is the wheat-free one. I prefer to make a cake in its original form before trying it gluten-free so I know what it is meant to taste like, but today was the day for the experiment.  I reckon converting plain or self-raising flour to Dove's Farm self-raising GF flour and ground almonds, and adding an extra egg does the job in converting cakes, so I did that.  And it's yummy!  (I'll post the original too when i find where it came from, for all you wheat eaters). Oh, and it's not as faffy as the list of ingredients suggests.


Cake mix

120g butter, melted
240g Dove's Farm Self-raising Wheat-free flour
130g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
4 tsp baking powder (make sure it's wheat-free)
360g milk*
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
5-6 small eating apples, peeled, cored, chopped into small pieces

Cinnamon topping

230g butter, softened in the microwave 
200g caster sugar
2 Tbs wheat-free flour, as above
1 Tbs cinnamon


240g icing sugar
5 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract


Heat oven to 170C, line an A4 sized, 5cm deep baking tin

Put all the cake ingredients into a bowl, APART FROM THE APPLES, and mix together.  Pour into the tin, then sprinkle the apple chunks evenly over the cake mix.

Mix the topping ingredients together then blob all over the top of the apples.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.  Leave to cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the glaze ingredients.  When the cake has been cooling for about 20 minutes, pour the glaze over the cake.  It doesn't need to cover it like an icing, and it sinks in to the cake.

Cool completely and cut into 24 pieces.  Then try not to eat it all at once.

* if you weigh your liquid it is more accurate.  If you weigh it straight into the mixing bowl you save washing a jug.  What's not to love?

The original recipe is here

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