Sunday, 13 May 2012

More Gluten free goodies

I have been a bit pre occupied with one thing and another lately so I have not had the chance to blog my latest gluten free baking forays. Last week was my  last ever Birthday! I have decided it will be the last one ever so that I don't have to face the change to the first digit of my age. I am quite happy with the 3 and don't really fancy the 4. Everyone I know who is over 40 says it's no big deal, but from this side of the precipice it looks huge and I am not sure I want to cross the gap in less than a years time!

As the only baker in the house I had to make some kind of Birthday treat and because we were visiting Gemmy it had to be gluten free. Gem also has a lactose intolerance to go alongside her Coeliac disease and  was recently complaining about not being able to eat banoffee pie. This set me thinking about the great recipe for Banoffee cheese cake in Delia Smith's winter collection and how it could be converted to accommodate Gem's dietary requirements. The conversion was easy, what I didn't bank on though was the supermarkets not having half the cheese cake ingredients on their shelves. So a bit more tinkering and finally a banoffee cheesecake was produced.

Delia-ish banoffee cheese cake with toffee sauce

For the base:
2 oz (50g) pecan nuts
4 oz (110g) gluten free digestive biscuits
1½ oz (40g) melted butter

For the filling:
3 medium-size ripe bananas (8 oz/225g peeled weight)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 large eggs
12 oz (350g) mascarpone cheese
1 x 200 g tub fromage frais (8% fat) or 150g of natural fromage frais with 0.1% fat mixed with 50mls of lacto free cream
6 oz (175g) caster sugar

For the sauce:
2 oz (50 g) butter
3 oz (75 g) soft brown sugar
2 oz (50 g) granulated sugar
5 oz (150 g) golden syrup
5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream lacto free
a few drops of vanilla extract

For the topping:
3 medium-size ripe bananas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400ºF (200ºC).

Begin by toasting  the pecan nuts. Place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 7 minutes until lightly toasted or, if you watch them like a hawk, you can toast them under a grill. Chop them quite small. Put the biscuits in a polythene bag, lay them flat and then roll them with a rolling pin to crush them coarsely. Tip them into a bowl and add the melted butter and the nuts. Mix them well then press all this into the cake tin and pre-bake the base in the oven for 10 minutes. Now lower the temperature to gas mark 2, 300ºF (150ºC).

For the filling, first blend the 3 bananas and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth, then simply add all the rest of the filling ingredients. Blend again then pour it all over the biscuit base and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside to cool slowly until completely cold; this slow cooling will stop the cheesecake cracking.

To make the sauce, place the butter, sugars and syrup in a saucepan and, over a very low heat, allow everything to dissolve completely. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in the cream and vanilla extract and stir until everything is smooth, then add the rest of the chopped pecan nuts. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely before pouring it into a jug ready for serving.

When you are ready to assemble the cheesecake put the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a bowl. Slice the remaining bananas at an oblique angle into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices, and gently toss them around to get an even coating of juice. If you like you can spoon a small circle of sauce into the centre, then layer the bananas in overlapping circles all round it. Serve the cheesecake cut into slices with the rest of the sauce handed round separately

The weekend turned into a bit of a cake-fest as Gem made me a Gluten free chocolate Birthday cake with  giant chocolate buttons which was lush! She has promised me the recipe so I will post it when I get it!

My  amazing Birthday Cake made by Gem

On returning to the back of beyond we got a rather large present with our usual egg order from Lavender Cottage; The largest hen egg I have ever seen! It weighed in at a whopping 122g, literally double the weight of a normal egg and I feel sorry for the poor hen who laid that without pain relief!!!
super sized egg!

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