About me

After being diagnosed with a long list of food intolerances seven years ago, I was forced into getting more creative in the kitchen.

For me, the best recipes are those which are easy to prepare and deliver heaps of flavour, perfect for sharing with friends and family without having to single anyone out because of a specialised diet.

My love for cooking and adapting recipes for my own dietary requirements has given me the incentive to share tips with others who also live with restricted diets.

I hope you find a bit of cooking inspiration from my blog. Please feel free to comment and post any questions...

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Great British Birthday Cake Bake Off!

Like most of the country, Tuesday nights in our house means an hour of oo-ing, aah-ing and sometimes a little drooling in front of the TV.

The Great British Bake Off is well under way, filled with innuendo and euphemisms over sticky fingers and plump buns, it's both educational and a good giggle.

After the landlord recently splashed out on a new all singing, all dancing television, bells and whistles inc. We were able to witness Chelsea buns and walnut whips in 3D!!

The immediate post gbbo temptation to bake has resulted in numerous loaves of bread and scones, but today, my mission was to bake a Nigella Lawson inspired Venetian carrot cake.

Despite a passion for cooking, I am somewhat of a nervous baker. Perhaps it's the fact that once you have mixed all your ingredients together, it's a case of saying a little prayer and hoping that the oven will take care of your dish and make the magic happen. Throughout my baking past, the magic has occasionally been lacking.

Mary Berry would have been mortified by my treacle tarts.

But after reading Nigella's "How to be a domestic Goddess", my faith was restored and a friend's birthday created the opportunity to fish out the scales and have a go at a wheat and dairy free carrot cake that my sister bakes for me every time I visit.

For my big sister's version of the Venetian carrot cake:

  •  Grate 3 large carrots and soak up the excess water by pressing down on the carrots with kitchen towel. 
  • In a pan, mix 2 large handfuls of sultanas with a glug of dark rum and a good splash of fresh orange juice, then set aside.
  • Whisk 120ml olive oil with 150g caster sugar. Once light and fluffy, whisk in 250g ground almonds, the zest of a lemon, the sultanas, grated  carrot, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
  • A mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds are an optional addition to the mix, they add another texture and provide a good source of nutrients to the cake.
  • Pour the mixture in to a pre-prepared cake tin and place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 mins. Once the top has browned slightly,you can turn off the oven and allow the cake to rest until cool. 
The cake will not rise by much, so don't worry if it still looks a little short, you can always whisk together a dairy free butter cream topping with a dash of rum and lather this on top with a spatchelor to add height.

My cake is currently resting, preparing to be doused in icing and sprinkled with citrus strands and glitter. Fingers crossed for rave reviews, I think the silver fox Mr. Paul Hollywood would be tempted to take a bite!