Last weekend was my local coeliac group’s Christmas meal. It’s only the second time I’ve been but I’ve discovered any meeting is always a fun and festive affair. After a three course meal there is a short interlude where we listen to guest speakers and then it’s onto the wonderful English tradition of afternoon tea, which can mean only one thing – CAKE!
I’m very lucky in that my local group seem to be great food lovers (like myself) and whenever we all get together there is always a vast array of cakes, biscuits and buns all baked by fellow members for everyone to share around and enjoy. Not only is it a sugar rush experience of being able to eat everything on the table, but it’s a fantastic way of picking up some new recipes.
I kept changing my mind of what to bake for the occasion but in the end decided on a cranberry and orange cake. Fresh cranberries are finally available in the shops again – hurrah! – so I wanted to make the most of them. Cranberry and orange is a classic and very festive flavour combination so seemed ideal for the event.
I roughly blitzed the cranberries before stirring them through the cake mix as I wanted little speckles of cranberry studded throughout the cake rather than whole berries. This made it look very pretty when sliced, the cranberries all glossy and red like little gems. Topped with a drizzle of orange glaze and a ring of dried cranberries this makes for one simple yet very tasty cake.
There is no photo of a slice as I didn’t want to cut into the cake before I took it to share, but I’m pleased to say it went down well with the munchers. I actually made it dairy free as well as gluten free as I know some members have to avoid both and I wanted to ensure it would be safe for everyone to eat. I’ve come away with a delicious recipe for a super moist carrot drizzle cake, which I’m sure will be making an appearance on this blog at some point in the future.
Fresh Cranberry & Orange Cake
195g gluten free self raising flour
180g unsalted butter or dairy free margarine
180g caster sugar
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
75g fresh cranberries, blitzed into small chunks
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground ginger
100g royal icing sugar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
A few dried cranberries to decorate
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line the base of an 8inch/20cm springform tin.
Make sure the butter is very soft. Place the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger and eggs into a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
Add the orange and crushed cranberries and mix again to combine.
Spread into the tin and bake for 45 minutes.
Leave to cool for 20 minutes in tin before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar and orange juice together gradually until you have a smooth thick paste.
Spread on top of the cooled cake and decorate with a ring of dried cranberries.