As my gluten-free baking journey continues I am making cakes that I would not only enjoy, but that would put a smile on the face of those who want to have ago at making some gluten-free baked delights.
Part of the joys of baking for me is playing around with different flavours and I have often been told that being able to make cakes taste and look good is not only a skill, but an art.
One flavour combination that has worked well for hundreds of years is orange and chocolate. There is something about the sweet chocolate that marries so well with the sweet, tangyness of the orange. In fact, I would have to say that chocolate oranges were once one of my vices once upon a time, and when Terry’s put their trade mark ball of chocolate into a bar it was an even better treat.
But like so many people, adjusting to a gluten-free way of life means small sacrifices. At Christmas, my sister and I used to get them in our stockings and I will always remember the excitement as we unwrapped the square box and revealed the blue box and the orange gem in the middle of it.
This is my tribute to that small blue box and orange delight, in a cake. It received wonderful comments and praise from my taste testers… “Best cake to date. That’s all.” It made me smile and I hope that it does the same for you!
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
250g Gluten free self raising flour
300g baking margarine
230g caster sugar
50g coco powder
4 medium eggs (2 eggs per 150g of flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons for xantham gum
1 teaspoon orange extract or essence flavouring
150g icing sugar
50g coco powder
1 teaspooon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cold water
100g soften butter or cooking margarine
For this recipes you will need to make two flavours of mixture. I shall start with the orange cake mixture.
1. Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 or 180 oC. In an electric mixer or using a hand-held electric cream 150g margarine and 150g caster sugar until pale in colour, light and fluffy.
2. Then add the orange extract and xantham gum and whisk until mixed in. Once mixed in, add 2 eggs, one egg at a time and whisk in, it might look like it’s curdling, but keep on mixing.
3. Once all the eggs and flavourings are added, mix in 150g of flour. Add all the flour at once and mix on a high speed for no longer than 20 seconds – do not over mix. If all the flour is not mixed in with egg and butter, don’t use the mixer, finish it off by hand. If you over mix the flour I have found that it makes the cake too dense and you will not end up with a light and fluffy cake. The secret, I think is not to over mix the flour.
5. Put the mix aside and now make the chocolate cake mix using the above instruction. Instead of mixing in 150g flour you mix in 100g flour and 50g coco powder. For this mix, DO NOT mix in orange flavouring – just xantham gum and eggs in step 2.
6. Put the cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray. Using a spoon, spoon in alternative spoonfulls of mixture into the cupcakes cases. You want 2 spoons of each mix in alternatively.
7. Place the cupcakes into the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes on gas mark 5 or 180 oC. The cakes will be done when they are golden in colour, you prick them with a stick and there is no mixture on the stick and when you touch the center the cake springs back at you. If you need to bake it for longer, do so, but keep checking it. Once baked, leave in the tin to cool slightly and then place on to a cooling rack.
8. Once the cakes are cooled, make the butter icing by mixing the icing sugar, coco powder, butter, vanilla extract and water until a smooth consistency. Using a piping bag and a star nozzel pipe the icing onto the top of the cakes. Set aside for the icing to set slightly and then enjoy… but if you are anything like me, it’s a pointless watching them, when you could be eating them.
Enjoy and happy gluten-free baking 🙂