I thought I'd share with you all one of my favourite cake recipes - it is, of course, a Chocolate cake, and is from Alice Sherwood's Allergy-Free Cookbook. I couldn't find it on Waterstones' website, but it is available from various sellers on Amazon and Ebay.
I have a few food allergies, namely egg, all tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, and something in mustard although I'm not sure exactly what - perhaps mustard seeds themselves, although this particular allergy is a relatively new discovery for me so I know little about it. All my other allergies I have had since childhood, and therefore I'm used to having them and living with them, I hardly think about them and checking food labels when I'm out shopping is just something I do automatically. I've never really felt like I've been missing out on any food, and me not being able to have dessert in restaurants for example seems to bother other people I'm dining with more than it does myself.
However, every now and again I'll see a particularly lovely looking cake in a cafe or smell some yummy pancakes, and I'll wish I could just go and buy some! That's where Alice Sherwood's Allergy-Free Cookbook comes in - it's a fab little cookbook with a great range of allergy-friendly recipes (she caters for egg, nut, gluten and dairy-free diets, each recipe adaptable to suit your requirements) including the desserts I sometimes find myself craving. Even though this is an allergy cookbook, I think it's the perfect starter cookbook for anyone, as the range of recipes it contains is really great (breakfasts, soup, bread making, desserts, and many other meals), and isn't overwhelming like other great big cookbooks can be when you're just starting to venture into cooking from recipes, and don't know where to start with them! I love so many of the recipes inside, but my favourite and most used one is her chocolate cake (:
The reason I love this recipe so much is that it doesn't contain all the weird replacement ingredients which are hard to find that you can often come buy when searching for an egg-free cake recipe - no xanthan gum or strange egg-replacer mixes! All ingredients used are easy to come by in your local supermarket and don't make trying to bake an egg-free cake seem like an ordeal (:
Another reason I like this recipe so much is that lots of people who have tried it and who are not allergic to egg, have told me that it tastes exactly like a regular cake - and some have even gone as far to say they prefer it to ones containing egg! If that doesn't say it's a great recipe, I don't know what does!
So, onto the cake... you will need:
- 170g Plain Flour
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 4/5 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- 23g Cocoa Powder
- 1-2 Pinches of Salt
- 225ml Milk (you can use any fat content milk, Soya milk or even Water if you prefer - I used Whole)
- 50ml Corn Oil
- 3/4 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
- 3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
If you want to add butter icing, you will also need one small tub of slightly salted butter, at room temperature, and some icing sugar. Plus any any decorations you want for your cake (:
This is actually half the original recipe, so that's why some of the amounts are a little weird! It's meant to be enough mixture to split between two cake tins, but as I only have one tin I used less.
The equipment you will need are:
- Mixing Bowl
- Cake Tin
- Wooden Spoon
- Fork (optional)
- Knife or Spatula
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F, Gas Mark 4). Sieve all of the dry ingredients together into the mixing bowl (flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder & salt). Once they are all in, mix together with the wooden spoon. They should go from looking like this...
... to this:
Step 2: Measure out the wet ingredients into the jug (milk, corn oil, white wine vinegar & vanilla extract) and mix together. The Corn Oil will always separate out though so I just give it a little mix each time before adding it to the dry ingredients. It should look like this:
Step 3: A bit at a time, add the wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients. Ensure they are completely combined and stir until smooth. The mixture you end up with will be quite wet and runny, but don't worry - it's meant to be like this!
Step 4: Grease your cake tine with either Corn Oil or Butter, or alternatively line with a baking sheet.
Step 5: Pour the cake mixture into the tin - because it's so runny you should not need to even it out with a spatula. The place in the center of your preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes. If your cake tin has a removable base, place a tray on the shelf below it just in case there are any drips.
Step 6: Once your cake is baked (see the photo at the top of the page!), take out of the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring to a plate or wire rack if you have one.
If you are going to ice your cake, allow it to cool completely before you do, otherwise your icing will just melt off! I didn't measure out my icing, but I just put about 2/3 to 1/2 a small tub of slightly salted Lurpak spreadable butter at room temperature into a mixing bowl. I then sieved over and mixed in icing sugar until I thought it was right (:
You can use a wooden spoon to combine the butter and icing sugar, but I prefer to use a large fork as you can 'mash' together the two ingredients, which makes making the icing a much quicker process (:
As long as it looks like this and tastes good, it should be fine (:
Step 7: Now's the time to add any food colouring you might want to your icing - I chose pink (: just a couple of drops unless you want seriously intense colour! Now spread it over your completely cooled cake using a knife or spatula.
Step 8: Add any additional decorations that you may want - I went for Chocolate Hearts and Red Writing Icing.
|Yeah I know I'm not the greatest cake decorator... haha.|
Step 9: Serve and Enjoy!
As it's Valentines, I went with that theme for decoration (: the heart shape of the cake is just coincidental however - it's the only cake tin I own so every cake I bake is that shape! This is such a lovely cake recipe and it's great for any time of year, I hope you try it out for yourself and enjoy it as much as I do (:
What's your favourite kind of cake? Have you baked anything in particular for Valentines this year?