Claire Ptak’s gluten-free kumquat buck­wheat cake

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page -

Serves 6-8

200g un­salted but­ter, soft­ened, plus ex­tra for greas­ing

100g brown sugar

150g golden caster sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 tsp vanilla ex­tract

5 eggs

1 medium ap­ple, washed and grated

100g ground al­monds

250g buck­wheat flour

2 tsp bak­ing pow­der

For the top­ping

300g caster sugar

150g wa­ter

300g kumquats, thinly sliced

25g un­salted but­ter

1 tbsp golden caster sugar

Ic­ing sugar, for dust­ing

Creme fraiche, to serve

1 Grease a 23cm-di­am­e­ter cake tin with a lit­tle but­ter and line it with bak­ing pa­per, then pre­heat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

2 In the bowl of an elec­tric mixer, cream the but­ter, both sug­ars and the salt, un­til very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs (one at a time). The mix­ture may ap­pear cur­dled, but take no no­tice, it will be fine. Mix in the grated ap­ple, fol­lowed by the ground al­monds.

3 In an­other bowl, whisk to­gether the buck­wheat flour and bak­ing pow­der. Add to the but­ter sugar mix­ture and mix to com­bine, but do not over-mix. Scoop the bat­ter into the pre­pared cake tin and smooth the top.

4 Next, make the top­ping. Put the caster sugar and wa­ter in a small, but heavy, saucepan over a medium heat. Mean­while, slice the kumquats as thinly as pos­si­ble and re­move any large seeds with the tip of your knife. Drop the slices into the syrup once it has come to the boil, and cook for 10 min­utes. Us­ing a slot­ted spoon, re­move the kumquat slices and loosely dec­o­rate the top of the cake with them. Re­serve the syrup.

5 In a small saucepan, melt the but­ter over a medium heat, adding 2 tbsp of the kumquat syrup. Pour this evenly over the dec­o­rated cake.

6 Bake for 50-60 min­utes, or un­til springy and set in the mid­dle. Let the cake cool be­fore dust­ing with ic­ing sugar and sprin­kling with the re­main­ing 1 tbsp of golden caster sugar. De­li­cious served with creme fraiche and ex­tra poach­ing syrup.

Claire Ptak is chef-owner of the Vi­o­let Bak­ery in Lon­don’s Dal­ston. Her new book, The Vi­o­let Bak­ery Cook­book (Square Peg), is out now

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