Unlike some who share my need to steer clear of gluten and dairy, I would rather simply go without baked fare, rather than subject my tastebuds to the various bread and cake concoctions which now nestle on our shop shelves. Those I have tasted seem simply dry, as heavy as a sumo wrestler and about as visually appealing. And have you seen the amount of preservatives and other strange additional ingredients which are necessary to make these goods palatable? Baking is a precise artform and so why mess with time tested recipes? No, it is enough for me to create cupcakes for others and to take the pleasure in the measuring, creaming and icing. To smell freshly baked baguettes whilst buying my coffee. Until today.
Perhaps it was the sunshine, the satisfying fug of the cake baked for friends or the realisation that life is too short to agonise over the thought of eating a few extra calories. Whatever the reason, temptation stretched its talons and firmly gripped me. Surely it is possible to make something approaching tasty with alternative ingredients?
I consulted various websites and finally opted for Gluten Free Girl. Her lemon oil cookies seemed harmless enough (and not overly calorific) and so I started converting US measurements, adapting ingredients to my taste and threw a few in of my own. Rather than cookies however, the ensuing mixture was more akin to that of a cake or muffin batter, and so I poured it into individual cake cases. Are they a biscuit? A cake? Of that, I'm not sure. The ground almonds ensure a frangipane like taste and moist texture and the lemon essence masks the strange taste I simply can't get used to of soya flour. I'm not sure that I'll be making these every week (my hips will be very glad of that statement), however more of them may end up in my stomach as opposed to the bin, than I had anticipated. So here they are. Biscuit/cake/Lemon Whatevers.
4tbsp soya yogurt
4tbsp olive oil
slug lemon essence (or limoncello)
rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
360g rice flour
120g gram flour
240g ground almonds
240g golden caster sugar
1tsp gluten free baking powder
handful or so of dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 180C / gas 4.
Measure the yogurt and oil into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the egg, lemon rind, juice and essence. Mix well.
Combine all the dry ingredients and fold into the wet ones until combined, adding the cherries towards the end.
Spoon into cake cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes until set.
Rest for five minutes in the tin then remove onto a wire rack to cook.
Bite, chew and swallow - along with any preconceptions about alternative baked goodies.