In March I had to cut gluten out of my diet. It isn’t the first time, as a teenager I had to eliminate it in order to help control acne and dermatitis but it was steadily reintroduced back into my diet and seemed to have no huge detrimental effect for nearly ten years. However, after being diagnosed with IBS and an emerging ulcer, I was referred to a dietician who has helped to identify what was causing an issue.
Thankfully it isn’t too tricky of an adaptation to make and amazingly the transformation in my health was so rapid that it is most definitely worth it!
Of course, I do love to bake – a classic gluten-fest. So I’ve set about testing and trialing new recipes to replace some of my old firm gluteny favourites. I’ve previously blogged about the science of replacing gluten in baking – my favourite addition is currently ground almonds as it lends itself to both a lovely consistency and retains flavour well.
This fresh lemony figgy cake could well be used as pudding as it sliced well and was insanely moist. You can see from the photos that the figs sink during baking, you could put one or two more in but I like that the sweet gooey bite in each slice is balanced by the lemon – I’ll keep experimenting and let you know if I find a solution to the sinking! A day or two after baking, I cut the remainder into bite-sized chunks, topped with whipped cream and chopped strawberries as a sweet canape. Delish!
Lemon and Fig Cake (GF)
An easy gluten free lemon and fig sponge cake that is perfect for afternoon tea.
- 175 g unsalted butter softened
- 175 g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs lightly beaten
- 3 lemons
- 125 g gluten free self raising flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- 6 dried figs halved
- 150 g white chocolate melted
- 2 tbsp finely chopped citrus peel
Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180°C). Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, followed by the finely grated zest of 2 of the lemons and the juice of ½ a lemon.
Fold the flour and ground almonds into the butter mixture, then spoon into the tin. Place the halved figs, seed side up onto the top of the cake mixture, spaced evenly.
Bake for 40-50min or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10min, then gently tip on to a wire rack to cool.
Melt the white chocolate over a Bain Marie. Carefully pour onto the centre of the cooled cake - spreading with a palette knife to cover the top and allowing the chocolate to drizzle down the side. Sprinkle the chopped citrus peel into the chocolate whilst still melted. Place in the fridge to allow for the chocolate to set.
Slice and serve with a cuppa.
Recipe NotesTo make this nut free: replace the ground almonds with additional gluten free self-raising flour. To make this dairy free: replace the butter for a dairy-free alternative. Swap the white chocolate for dark chocolate.
Hope you enjoy this, it went down well with non-gluten avoiding friends too! If you have a good gluten-free recipe, please do share it with me. You can find me on Instagram or Twitter.