Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, often genetically inherited, in which the sufferers are intolerant of gluten. Celiac disease is caused by an abnormal reaction to gliadin, which is a gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. The only cure is abstinence from gluten, which means that a whole new method of eating has to be learned.
It can be said that if celiac sufferers avoid flour, they will be fine. Although this is simplistic, it is not far wrong. But celiac sufferers have birthdays and celebrations the same as anyone else. And that means they may want a cake now and then, even while avoiding flour.
It is possible to bake without flour and there is a whole range of products on the market for gluten-free alternatives. However, for various reasons, the products may not be viable alternatives: they may not be available locally; or they may be priced beyond your budget. For many people, adapting regular recipes has to be the answer. For those who wish to adapt mainstream recipes, I have provided a few recipes below.
Rice Pudding Cake
Despite its name, it is a firm and heavy moist cake, and it is full of flavor. It is firm enough to cut into large slices. I did not develop this recipe it was given to me over twenty years ago by a friend in Western Australia. Her daughter was gluten intolerant. It is still one of the nicest gluten-free cakes I have ever tasted.
3 cups cooked rice
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup demerara sugar
2 medium bananas, mashed
2 apples, finely chopped or grated
1 pear grated
500g (1 pound) cottage cheese
2 cups mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup almonds or brazil nuts, roughly chopped grated rind of one large orange
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
Heat oven until 2200 C, 4000 F
Combine everything and mix well, and place in a greased bundt tin or a fluted ring tin to give the hole in the center. Bake for about half an hour until firm and cooked through. When a skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Cool in the tin, refrigerate for a few hours, and then serve with cream.
Flourless Black Forest Gateaux
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or simply dusted with icing sugar. To keep this recipe totally flour free dust the tin with cacao.
4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a jar of Morello or Sweet cherries in natural juice.
1 Tub of thick whipping cream.
Preheat oven to 3000degrees F or 1500 degrees C.
Grease an oblong Swiss roll tin, or a jelly pan and dust with cocoa powder. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water, but do not let the bowl touch the water. When the chocolate is melted, add the butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Place powdered sugar or cocoa powder on a piece of kitchen paper and place the cake on it. Drain the jar of morello cherries and whip the cream until it holds its shape; then add the cherries. Place on top of the cake and roll up like a roll. Top with grated chocolate and serve with cream.
Healthy Fruit Cake
This recipe makes an excellent cutting cake. To make a 11/2 lb cake in an 8″ tin:
1 large banana, as green as possible
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 eggs 100 ml olive oil
4 oz (100g)granulated sugar
1 table spoon of black treacle/ molasses
8 oz (200g)gluten free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
1 level teaspoon of ground ginger
1 level teaspoon of cinnamon
8 oz (200g) mixed dried fruit
several glace cherries green and red
Preheated oven, 350°F or 180°C
Beat the banana and carrot to a smooth puree with the olive oil, sugar and egg in a food processor. Add the flour and beat in. Add the treacle, spices, and raising agents and beat in. Add the fruit and beat in. Pour the mixture immediately into a deep 8″ cake or 2 lb loaf tin lined with a layer of non-stick baking paper. Bake for 11/4 to 11/2 hours.
Chocolate Almond Gateau
110g/4oz best-quality dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids)
2 tablespoons white rum 110g/4oz whole almonds
110g/4oz butter, preferably unsalted
110g/4oz caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra, to mix with the egg whites
3 eggs, preferably free-range, separated
For the chocolate icing:
110g (4oz) best-quality dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids)
2 Tablespoons white rum
110g/4oz unsalted butter
You will also need 2 x 18cm/7in sandwich tins.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line the base of each of the tins with greaseproof paper. Brush the bottom and sides with melted butter and dust with a little rice flour. Melt the chocolate with the rum in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in a low oven. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the almonds. Bring back to the boil for 2-3 minutes and then test an almond to see if the skin is loose. Drain the almonds, peel and discard the skins. Grind the whole almonds in a food processor until they are slightly gritty.
Cream the butter and add the sugar. Beat until pale, light and soft. Beat in the egg yolks, one by one. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the extra tablespoon of sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form, then add the melted chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture. Divide the prepared almonds into four portions. Add one portion to the creamed mixture. Fold in a quarter of the egg white, followed by more almonds. Fold in the remaining eggs and almonds alternately until they have all been added. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and make a hollow in the center of each cake. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The sides should be cooked but the center still a little unset. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tins; them remove them from the tin. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate with the rum in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in a low oven. Whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk occasionally until cool. If the icing seems too runny, put the bowl in the fridge and allow to firm up. Whisk to lighten and then use. When the cake is completely cold, fill and ice with the chocolate mixture. (If you want to cover the sides and pipe a border around the top, make 11/2 times the quantity of icing.) Decorate with flaked almonds and crystallized violets.
Tia Maria and Chocolate Cheesecake
Rice does not contain gluten and the Asian food stores have rice cakes which are gluten free.
125g (4oz) rice cakes
50 g (1 1/2oz) butter, melted
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
11/2 tablespoons hot water
125ml (4oz) cream, whipped 375g
(12oz) cream cheese
1 tablespoon castor sugar (powdered sugar)
200g condensed milk
1 tablespoon of orange zest
100 ml Tia Maria or a liquor of your choice
60g (2oz) dark chocolate, melted
Mix the crushed rice cookies and melted butter and press on to the base and sides of your chosen container.
Dissolve the gelatin in hot water, and let stand. Blend the cream cheese and the sugar, add the condensed milk, and the liquor. Whip the cream until it holds its shape and fold into the cheese mixture, fold in the gelatin. Melt the chocolate either in the microwave on half power or in a bowl over hot water. Make certain the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water as it will be grainy. Add the orange zest and then add to the cheese mixture. You can swirl it in to give a marbled effect of combine it to look paler like coffee. Pour the mixture into the crust and chill for a few hours. Serve with cream.
Orange Almond Cake with Orange Sauce
A moist and light orange flavored cake that can be served alone with a light yogurt for afternoon tea, or add the orange sauce for a decadent dessert!
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups white sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup butter
4 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 10 inch springform pan with cooking spray, and dust with rice flour.
In a large bowl, whip egg yolks with 2/3 cup of the sugar until thick and pale. This will take about 5 minutes with an electric beater, and it is ready when the beater is taken out of the batter and it leaves a trail. Stir in the rice flour the orange juice, the orange zest, and then fold in the almond meal and cinnamon.
In a separate glass or metal bowl, with absolutely no trace of fat, whip 3 egg whites until they hold a stiff peak: they will not incorporate any air at all if there is fat or egg yolk in the bowl. Fold into the almond mixture until well blended. Pour into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the orange sauce, cream together the butter and 2 cups of white sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the cream, and place the dish over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir in orange juice and zest. Whip 4 egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the orange sauce. Spoon over the cake and serve immediately.