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Sweet Chicory & Golden Sultana Cake – Freestyle!

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A few weeks back, I was challenged on Facebook to “freestyle” a recipe posted in the Telegraph’s website for a Sweet Chicory & Golden Sultana Cake – I thought yeah that looks great, how can I make it taste & look as good, but lower the sugar content and of course make it gluten-free and cow milk free.  While I wouldn’t call this particularly low GI in my opinion my version is a massive improvement on the original recipe, in terms of how healthy it is – and don’t worry it’s got the “yum factor!”  Here is what I did:

Ingredients:

225 g golden sultanas – (I went organic here but up to you)

600 ml english breakfast tea (I’m partial to a bit of organic Clipper tea, I used 2 bags)

2 white chicory roughly chopped (my local supermarket didn’t have red and only sold packs of 2)

160 g goat butter (For dairy free option, I would use coconut oil instead)

2 large organic free range eggs

2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (health food shop)

1 tbsp maple syrup

105 g Doves plain gluten-free flour (this is the flour blend: Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize & Buckwheat)

140 g ground almonds

1 tsp cinnamon (you know I’m partial to this – it tastes great, but also apparently it helps slow the rate at which sugar enters the blood stream)

1 tbsp psyllium husks (this is sold in health food shops & some supermarkets more on that later) and about 2 floz water

pinch Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp vitamin C powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Glaze:

1 tbsp St Dalfour apricot jam (this brand is fantastic as they just use fruit and no sugar so completely natural!)

gold leaf (optional – it is very expensive & just looks pretty)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven 150C

I used a 12 cup mini cake tray, with loose bottoms (Lakeland sells them online) I greased this with a little goat butter. Now down to business:

1) I brewed my 600ml of tea in a measuring jug I let it steep for 3 minutes before removing the tea bags (I used 2).  I then added the sultanas to soak for 20 minutes.

2) As in the original, I fried the chopped chicory in about 40 g goat butter for about 10 minutes until sweet & soft. I then used a slotted spoon and put the chicory onto kitchen paper and set aside.

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3) I drained the tea soaked sultanas – saving the tea in a cup for later.  I put the sultanas in the frying pan with the rest of the goat butter and added the coconut sugar.  I cooked this down gently until is was like dark caramel – only took a couple of minutes. I then set it aside to cool a bit.

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3) I then put the Psyllium husks in a small bowl and added about 2 fluid ounces of water and gave it quick stir – it instantly goes gel like.  In the same way that I use Chia seeds to get a gel like consistency to give a bit of bounce to my bread recipe; Pysllium husks work well in gluten-free cakes not to mention, adding a healthy dose of fibre.

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4) In a large bowl I mixed the plain GF flour with the ground almonds, psyllium husk gel, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  I made a well in the middle and added the 2 eggs along with 4 tablespoons of the tea that I set aside earlier – I felt it needed a bit more than the original recipe stated. I then used an electric whisk to whizz it all together.

5) Next I added to the bowl the sultana mixture, and the chicory, along with the maple syrup and gave it another whizz with the whisk.

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6) Finally I added the vitamin C and the bicarbonate of soda – and whizzed away for 20 seconds or so!

7) Once the mixture was spooned into the greased mini cake cup tray, into the pre-heated oven it went.  I found they were ready in 35 minutes as I was doing mini cakes.  I’m sure if you used a full-sized cake tin as in the original recipe it would take about an hour.

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8) Once out the over I gently (using oven gloves) pushed them out the tin from the bottom.  Then very carefully used a sharp knife to gently lift the metal discs off the bottom.  I then placed them on a cooling rack to cool completely before starting on the glaze.

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Glaze time:

9) I confess I ate one of the cakes before glazing and it was delicious – and in my opinion perfectly sweet, but for an additional bit of gloss it does look and taste pretty good with the glaze on too! I gently warmed the Dalfour apricot jam and then brushed each cake.  I used tweezers to tear bits of gold leaf off for decoration as suggested in the original recipe – but to be honest while it looks pretty it doesn’t really add anything flavour wise – is extremely expensive and rather fiddly – so I would skip this unless you are having the Queen over for tea – or taking pictures like me! 😉

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