Saturday, 12 October 2013

GBBO Bake Along - Week 8

The leaves are turning, winter coats are being aired out and the pumpkin spice latte is back in Starbucks. It must be Autumn! My favorite time of year has finally arrived.
A couple of years ago I discovered the deliciousness that is a pumpkin and I've never looked back.

Time for a showstopper!!

This is my own recipe and it is completely gluten free. There is a lot of chat in the media and also in the scientific community about the level of gluten we (as a society) now eat. The level of processed food available has completely changed our diets. When I was at university I got stuck in the typical lifestyle, including eating terrible food for 3 whole years. I felt constantly awful (and had terrible skin and hair).
I cut as much refined gluten out of my diet as possible just over a year ago and I can honestly say I don't miss it and have never felt better in myself. I'm not saying cut it out completely (who can live without bread?) but like all things, moderation is the key.
Gluten babble over...

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake

250g pumpkin
75g sultanas
250g ground almonds
150g golden caster sugar
125ml olive oil
1tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a square 20x20cm tin with baking parchment. 
Grate the pumpkin (with skin removed) and then lay it out on a couple of sheets of kitchen roll to soak up as much moisture as possible. 
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and oil until creamy and well mixed. Then add in the vanilla extract and eggs. Whisk until the mixture looks like cake batter. As there are no other rising agents in this cake, the more you whisk here the higher the rise will be. 
Finally, carefully fold in the ground almonds, grated pumpkin, sultanas, lemon juice and spices. 
Gently pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 

When its removed from the oven allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes in the tin and then remove and cool on a wire rack. Fyi, this cake doesn't rise much so don't panic if you don't see much change when you are oven watching. 

For the decoration....

Using 2 different sized round cookie cutters cut out a small circle for every large circle. This recipe will make 6 mini pumpkin cakes. 
Then using some pumpkin jam (or jam of your choice) sandwich a small cake on top of each larger cake. 
Roll out rounds of orange fondant icing and cover each mini cake. You'll find that the cake is so moist that you won't have to crumb coat. 
Using the handle end of a spoon create an indent from the top center of the cake  down each side. Don't bother trying to get each indent perfectly distanced, they look a lot better when they are higgledy piggledy (technical term). 
I then used a leaf plunge icing cutter to cut out the leaves from green fondant. I also rolled up lengths for the vines and a tiny bit of brown fondant for the stalks. 

The showstopper challenge on GBBO called for a slightly larger cake but for us 'not in a baking competition' folk having that much cake around is just plain dangerous! Hence the mini cakes.
I hope that you all have a lovely weekend, I'm off to make soup with the leftover pumpkin!

Happy Baking!


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