Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Toffee-Topped Almond and Rhubarb Cake - Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Recently, I had a minor day procedure, and even though I only live two blocks away from the hospital, I was not permitted to walk home or leave alone.  My friend Craig saved the day and picked me up so that I was allowed to leave.  To say thank you, I made him a cake all for himself. 

As Craig is gluten and dairy intolerant, his cake had to be gluten free and dairy free.  I was pretty excited, as this gave me a chance to use my scrumptious new book, Honeybuns Gluten Free Baking by Emma Goss-Custard. Honeybuns is a UK bakery that started in Oxford but is now based in Dorset.  One flick through the delicious looking pages of the Honeybuns book, and I knew I had to have it in my library.  The recipes in Honeybuns are not dairy free, but it doesn't take a genius to make them that way.

For Craig, I chose the Toffee-Topped Almond and Rhubarb Cake (p21 Honeybuns).  How could I not - it has rhubarb cooked two ways, oodles of caramel-like brown sugar and  almonds.  Yum!

Although you need to prep the rhubarb before you can make the cake, it is fairly easy and quick to make.  So that I could taste the end result, I made myself a mini cake:

And the verdict? Delish!  Unfortunately, I did not have any toffee on top of mine, but otherwise it was a replica of Craig's cake.  Because the cake contains polenta and almond meal, it has both texture and crunch, and the polenta gives the crumb a lovely golden hue.  The rhubarb adds moisture and flavour, and the brown sugar gives a glorious caramel flavour to the cake.  There is also rhubarb on top of the cake in the recipe, but because I didn't want to make the cake soggy to give to Craig, who obviously wouldn't be eating it straight away, I left it off the top.  However, there is plenty of rhubarb in the cake itself.

 To make this cake with my adjustments, you will need:

Baked rhubarb

100g rhubarb cut into 5 cm lengths
25g brown sugar
1 tablespoon brandy

Toffee Rhubarb

75g dairy free spread (I used Nuttelex)
70g brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon golden syrup

100g rhubarb cut into 5cm lengths


225g dairy free spread, melted
3 eggs
140g ground almonds
70g polenta
70g sorghum flour (I just used a commercial gluten free flour mix)
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
140g brown sugar
140g chopped toasted almonds (I left these out)
1teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Toffee almond topping

55g roughly chopped almonds
90g white sugar

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper, spray with non-stick cooking spray and dust with rice flour.

For the baked rhubarb, put the rhubarb onto an oiled or lined baking tray, sprinkle with brandy and bake for 20 minutes, stirring half way through.  Remove the rhubarb from the oven and allow it to cool, but leave the oven on and reduce the temperature to 170 degrees Celsius (I didn't reduce it).

To make the toffee rhubarb, melt the dairy free spread in a saucepan, and add the sugar, golden syrup and rhubarb.  Stir until a toffee sauce forms, then simmer for around 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft but still maintains its shape.  Take off the heat.

Break the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and add all the dry ingredients, the extracts, the melted dairy free spread and the toffee rhubarb and baked rhubarb.  Beat with the paddle attachment until well combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for an hour.  Unmould the cake onto a cake board or plate. 

Make the almond toffee topping by putting the almonds and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved and turned golden, and the almonds are coated with the liquid.  Pour the toffee over the top of the cake and allow to cool and set before serving.


Kari said...

This cake sounds divine! I bet you'll have a happy driver any time you want one after this thank you present :-) I hope you're all recovered after the procedure too - some of this cake no doubt would have helped with healing too.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

What a wonderful and sweet way to say "Thanks" - this cake sounds amazingly delicious - I am very serious rhubarb and almond lover and this recipe sounds wonderful to me!
Hope you are all well now and feeling good!

Margaret said...

YUM!! This looks wonderful.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a lovely sounding cake! The layers of rhubarb, polenta and toffee sound divine :D

Johanna GGG said...

sounds amazing - so many things I love in this cake - though I have found polenta can be a bit crunchy in a cake but I think there is less in this cake than when I have tried it.

hope your procedure was a success and you recovered quickly. glad craig could help you get home - the cake is well deserved