Carrot and Walnut Cake (Gluten Free)

Carrot & Walnut Cake (Gluten Free)

My mum’s tried and trusted recipe for gluten free carrot cake is always a winner! Hands down the finest example I have tasted, a zingy citrus drizzle keeps the cake super moist whilst lots of chopped walnuts add great texture.

This cake is sandwiched and iced with orange cream cheese frosting and topped with a few whole pecans, but any thick frosting will work well!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

For the Sponge: 100g Walnuts (Toasted and Chopped), 200g Gluten-Free Plain Flour, 175g Soft Dark Brown Sugar, 200g Grated Carrot, 2 Large Eggs, Juice and Zest of 2 Clementines, 150ml Sunflower Oil, 1tsp Xanthan Gum, 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda, 100g Sultanas, 3tsp Ground Cinnamon

For the Drizzle Syrup: Juice of 2 Clementines, Juice 1 Lemon, 75g Soft Dark Brown Sugar

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line two 8″ round baking tins.

2) Beat the eggs, sugar, clementine juice and zest and oil together in a large bowl. Fold in the (sifted) flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon to make a smooth batter.

3) Into the batter mixture, fold in the carrot, walnuts and sultanas.

4) Divide the mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins (I usually weigh them).

5) Bake in the middle of the oven for around 35 minutes – or until a metal skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

6) Meanwhile make the syrup by combining all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat. Heat to dissolve the sugar but do not boil.

7) When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and pierce each cake several times with a metal skewer. Pour the syrup over each cake. Allow to cool in the cake tins.

8) Once cooled, remove the cakes from the tins. Sandwich the cakes with your favourite icing – saving some for the topping and top with a few pecan nuts.

Enjoy!

A Tasting of Pork

A Tasting of Pork

Devising a recipe for pork for a weekend supper left me with too many options – I wanted to cook the delicious, tender belly but could not compromise on succulent fillet or a little black pudding for extra richness.

In an attempt to create a tasting of pork, I have paired prosciutto and sage wrapped fillet with slow cooked belly, crisp black pudding, crackling, apple purée, carrot purée, mini fondant potatoes, beetroot crisps and diced apple. The apple cut through the richness of the pork belly and the earthy flavour of the beetroot and sage paired excellently with the spicy black pudding.

I give the recipe for the slow cooked pork belly (sous vide) and apple purée below – which would make for a great sunday lunch if accompanied by roast potatoes and gravy!

A Tasting of Pork

Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Apple Purée
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1kg Pork Belly (Bones Removed, Skin Removed for Crackling)
25g Unsalted Butter
2 Garlic Cloves (Bashed)
2 Thyme Sprigs
Small Handful Fresh Sage
1kg Granny Smith Apples
Juice 1/4 Lemon
Zest 1 Lemon
Nutmeg
50ml Water
Salt & Black Pepper

Method:

1) For the pork belly, season with salt and pepper and vacuum pack in a sous vide bag with the garlic, butter, thyme and sage. Cook in a water bath at 82C for 12 hours.

2) Meanwhile, make the apple purée: peel and core the apples and chop into medium sized pieces. Place in a large saucepan with the water. Bring the apples to a simmer over a medium heat, reduce the heat and cook the apples for around 1 hour or until no pieces remain and the mixture resembles a purée.

3) Pass the apples through a fine sieve. Season with a little salt and add the lemon juice and zest. Grate over a generous amount of nutmeg and stir the mixture to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve or chill and reheat.

4) Remove the pork from the vacuum bag and pat dry. Fry in a large frying pan over a high heat until the belly is nicely crisp. Cut into equal slices and serve with the apple purée.

Enjoy!