Endless summer cake – gluten free

This is just a regular butter cake that I decorated for fun, but I had to share.
Adventurer Stacey was coming home after a European summer, and we were joking that she had a summer at home, then one away, and was coming home for another summer.  So I welcomed her home with some Turkish Delight, and a cake to poke a joke at her endless summer.

Endless summer cake (gluten free butter cake)

Endless summer cake (gluten free butter cake)

In addition to the butter cake ingredients below, I decorated it with some blue jelly (it ended up looking green when placed over the yellow icing), some white chocolate feet that I moulded previously, and I had some cake decorations that were in the shape of beer cans and a cocktail umbrella.  As well as the icing, I tinted some coconut yellow to emulate sand.

 

Basic butter cake:

125g butter;

1/2 cup caster sugar;

2 eggs, beaten;

1/2 cup milk;

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free SR flour.

Icing:

125g butter

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free icing sugar (sometimes icing sugar mixture contains starches, so check the pack)

Up to two tbs lemon juice, depending on consistency of icing sugar;

Yellow food colouring.

Decoration:

Yellow food colouring;

Shredded or dessicated coconut, start with half a cup and see whether that is enough for your cake;

Blue jelly;

Whatever decorations you fancy, I made feet from white chocolate in a feet mould, all I did was melt the chocolate, scrape it into the mould and then let it set, I also had some candles in the shape of beer cans and a cocktail umbrella.

Method:

Make up the jelly as per packet directions.  Allow to set.

Preheat a fan forced oven to 160 celcius (180 if not fan forced).  Cream the butter and sugar, gradually add the eggs and mix well.  Alternate the milk and flour and mix until batter is smooth.  Pour into a prepared square cake tin and bake for about 35-40 minutes – or until a skewer inserted in cake comes out clean.

When cake is out of the oven, rest in the tin for about five minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool – it will need to be cool before you ice it, or the icing will go runny.

To make the icing, cream the icing sugar and butter, add in enough yellow food colouring until the icing is the colour you want, then add the lemon juice as required to get a spreadable consistency.  Spread over the cake.  Mix the coconut and yellow colouring until you get the colour you want, then press into the icing over most of the cake while the icing is still soft.  Leave a little hollow for the “water” (jelly) towards one side of the cake – don’t cover the whole cake with coconut. Turn the jelly out onto a board and chop up finely, you want it smaller than cubes, but not mush.  Place into the hollow so that it is relatively level with the coconut “sand” then decorate with whatever you have chosen.

Detail of chocolate

Detail of chocolate “feet”

Chicken and cheese meatballs – gluten free

This is quick and easy to do in the microwave, you can serve it with vegies, or a nice salad (try the creamy pasta salad for example).  It makes 12 medium sized meatballs and should serve 4.  I like the combination of chicken and cheese, but if you prefer you could do it with a beef mince, or even try a turkey mince.

Chicken and cheese meatballs

Chicken and cheese meatballs

500g chicken mince;

1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs;

3 finely chopped spring onions;

2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (substitute with 1 tbsp dried parsley if you don’t have fresh);

1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce;

1 beaten egg;

60g hard cheese (try a sharp cheddar) cut into 12 cubes;

Gluten free plain flour for dusting your hands;

440g can gluten free condensed tomato soup;

1/2 cup water.

 

In a large bowl, mix the mince, crumbs, onion, parsley, sauce and egg.  Dust your hands with flour and keep a bit more aside if required.   Divide mixture into 12 and form each around a cube of cheese to completely encase the cheese.  Arrange meatballs in a microwave safe container that has a lid.  Mix the soup and water and pour over the meatballs.  Cover and cook on medium for 20 minutes, then remove cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Creamy pasta salad – gluten free

Creamy pasta salad

Creamy pasta salad

 

This is a lovely salad for the warmer summer months, and the red and green also lend it to a Christmas theme!  By using gluten free pasta and gluten free mayonnaise, it is easy to make this gluten free.

 

Salad ingredients:

1 packet gluten free pasta (340-360g) – cooked;

3 spring onions, chopped finely;

3 stalks of celery, chopped finely,

1 red capsicum, chopped finely;

3 hardboiled eggs, shelled & chopped roughtly.

Dressing ingredients:

1 cup creamy gluten free mayonnaise (buy a good quality one – you will taste the difference);

2 tablespoons seeded mustard from a jar;

2 tablespoons fruit chutney;

1 tablespoon white sugar;

2 & 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar;

1/2 tsp vegetable salt.

Method:

Combine the salad ingredients in a very large bowl.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate jug and mix well.  Combine the two and mix well.  Put in the fridge for at least an hour as the warm pasta and eggs will make the dressing a little runny, and you need it to chill and thicken a little before serving.

 

Done!

Turkish delight – gluten free

Recently, my daughter, Adventurer Stacey, came home from more than six months overseas.  Turkish Delight is one of her favourite sweet things, so instead of just buying the chocolate coated variety, I thought I would have a go at making it.  It is a sticky exercise, but it does taste much better than the commercial version – and I don’t particularly like Turkish Delight!  I made the mistake of putting some of the finished product in a jar though, it will absorb some of the icing sugar overnight, so in hindsight if I make it again, I will store it in a flat container.  Adventurer Stacey didn’t mind though, she just dipped into the jar with a fork whenever she wanted a piece, no complaining there!

 

Turkish delight in the jar

Turkish delight in the jar

 

You will need two large heavy based saucepans for this, a sugar or confectionery thermometer, and a square (metal) cake tin.  Spray the cake tin with olive oil spray and line it with baking paper, making sure there is overhang, you will need something to grab on to peel the paper off later.

Turkish delight - gluten free

Turkish delight – gluten free

 

Ingredients:

 

Olive oil spray,

4 cups caster sugar,

4 cups water,

Juice of one lemon – strain and discard all the pips and flesh,

3 tbs powdered gelatine,

1 tsp cream of tartar,

1 cup gluten free cornflour,

2 tsps rosewater essence,

A few drops of red food colouring,

Sufficient icing sugar mixture (gluten free) to roll the cut pieces in, and to dip your knife – start with a cup, you might need two.

 

Prepare the cake tin and set aside.  Place the sugar and half of the water in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat, do not stir any more as you could burn yourself severely.  If crystals start forming above the level of the water, brush down with a pastry brush dipped in water.  Allow to bubble gently for about 25 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 125 celcius.  Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

While the sugar is cooking, mix the gelatine, cream of tartar and cornflour in the other pan.  Use a whisk or a fork, and mix in a little of the water to make a smooth paste.  Add the remaining water and make sure there are no lumps.  Towards the end of the cooking time for the sugar, put the powder mixture on the heat, and cook, stirring all the while for approximately five minutes, until the mixture boils and thickens (it will be like a very thick custard, so if you don’t keep an eye on it, lumps will form).

Gently pour the sugar mixture into the cornflour paste, stirring.  If it starts to separate, whisk vigorously, but take care not to splash yourself with the sugar.

Place back on a low heat, simmer, stirring occasionally.   It should take about an hour for the temperature to rise to 110 celcius, or until the mixture becomes a light golden colour.  If the temperature is just short of 110 (I only got mine up to 106), take it off the heat if the colour starts going too brown, as it is cooked.  Add the rosewater, and colour to taste (it should actually only be pink, but I overdid it and mine was quite red).  Pour into the prepared pan.  Be careful again, as the pan will get hot.  I set my pan on a cutting board to allow it to cool enough to put in the fridge.  Once in the fridge, let it sit for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Now comes the sticky bit.  Turn the mixture out onto a cutting board which you have lightly dusted with icing sugar.  I turned mine upside down, and peeled the paper off the bottom, which was now the top.  Lightly dust the top of the slab with icing sugar.  Put the remainder of the icing sugar in a bowl which is deep enough to dip your knife into, but also wide enough for you to get tongs into.  I found that dipping the knife into sugar made it easier to cut the mixture, as it is very sticky.  Use as sharp a knife as you have (I used a filleting knife) and cut the delight into cubes, dropping the cubes into the sugar a few at a time (don’t crowd the bowl as they will stick together) and shake until  they are covered, using tongs if you need to make sure the pieces are coated on all sides, and remove to a plate.

If you are serving shortly, you can leave on a plate, otherwise store in a flat container so you can separate the pieces when you need them.  You will get quite a lot from this mixture.

 

Having made this once, I did like the jelly texture, so I am thinking of other flavours to make it in, and if I have the patience, wondering if the finished product would be not too difficult to coat in chocolate, I will keep you posted if I give it a try!