Month: December 2015

Vegan gluten free chocolate cake

I made this cake recently for my reluctantly vegan daughter-in-law. She was attending the same birthday party I made the Thomas the Tank Engine for. That cake was gluten free but did contain buttermilk and eggs. I just didn’t want her to feel left out. I remembered the vegan chocolate cake on the BBC’s Simply Nigella – it seemed the perfect solution. This second cake was so quick and easy to make, slipped in between doing the fondant icing decorations for Thomas. So that everyone at the party could try it, I made the cake gluten free as well as vegan. Everyone at the party did try it – tentatively eating tiny slivers. Then their expressions changed to surprised smiles. ‘I’ve never tried anything vegan before. This is actually really good’, they said. They wanted seconds. I got asked for the recipe. Below is my adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake original recipe. Make sure for the icing you use coconut butter and not coconut oil. for the icing: 60ml cold water 75g coconut butter (not coconut …

Gluten free Thomas the Tank Engine cake

A few weeks ago my daughter asked me to make a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for her toddler’s second birthday. She knows how I love doing birthday cakes. I thought I would browse YouTube to get some ideas. I didn’t ask her to send me the usual email reminder – after all how could I forget something like that? Between her house and mine my 70-year-old memory went AWOL and I didn’t make a note in my Outlook. I was really busy for a few days and then I totally forgot all about it. I don’t know what to do about this sort of thing. Just jump off a bridge now? Eat more Brazil nuts? The party was on a Saturday. The day before she said, ‘It’s a gluten free cake, isn’t it? So everyone can eat it?’ I nearly said, ‘What cake?’ and then it all came flooding back while I froze in terror. Luckily the shops were still open. By the time I got back to my kitchen it was 7:00pm. I …

Fruit cobbler

An email newsletter from Smitten Kitchen reminded me about cobblers. I hadn’t made one for … decades! My husband has to watch his cholesterol levels. A few months ago he started losing weight for no apparent reason. His trousers sagged and he notched his belt in to the last hole. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease some years ago, and when he mentioned the weight lost to his neurologist, the answer was, ‘Sometimes people with Parkinson’s lose weight rapidly. Sometimes they gain weight.’ Go figure. Every time I look at him I want to stuff him with calories. But of the low cholesterol kind. This recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s cobbler. It work well with cholesterol-friendly coconut oil instead of butter. It works with wheat or gluten free flour. It works with dairy or non-dairy milk. It has no eggs, so vegans like my daughter-in-law can eat it. It has nice healthy fruit in it. The crust is crispy on top and soft underneath. Take it out of the oven and tap it with a …