Reunion Carrot + Mango Cake | Dairy + Gluten Free

This one is for my dear friend Marine who for health reasons has had to change her diet and is no longer able to eat dairy or gluten. She lives on the beautiful island of Reunion (but hopefully back in London soon!) so I wanted to celebrate the tropical flavours of her home land whilst making it suitable for her new dietary restrictions.

It’s essentially a pimped up carrot cake, the pimping coming from the mango puree that gets mixed into the batter - It makes the cake so moist and fruity and ensures that the flavour carries right through the cake. The natural sweetness of the fruit also means that there isn’t need for too much added sugar, which is always a bonus.

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‘Reunion’ Carrot + Mango Cake

Ingredients;

300g Gluten free plain flour 1 tsp Ground cinnamon 1 tsp Gluten free baking powder 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 3 Medium eggs 190ml Rapeseed oil 150g Soft brown sugar 200g Carrot, grated 210g Mango puree (I blitzed a can of tinned mango slices in the food processor) 100g Chopped mango, fresh or tinned 100g Pecans, chopped

To decorate; 3 passion fruit 150-200g Icing sugar Coconut flakes, toasted Zest of a lime Handful of pecans, chopped

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

  2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl then set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and oil together then add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, grated carrot, mango puree, chopped mango and pecans and fold in gently until just incorporated, be careful not to over mix.

  4. Tip the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1hr 10 - 1hr 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Check after an hour and pop a bit of foil over the top if it’s browning too much. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

  5. Pass the pulp from the passion fruits through a fine sieve so you are left with just the juice. Sieve in the icing sugar and stir to create a fairly thick but pourable icing. The amount of icing sugar you need will vary depending on how juicy your passion fruits are.

  6. Once the cake is completely cool pour over the icing, letting it drip down the sides a little then scatter with the coconut flakes, lime zest and pecans.

Tip; You could also make this as a sandwich cake, simply split the batter between 2 20cm tins and bake for around 35 minutes - I haven’t tested it this way so this baking time is a guesstimate, use your intuition and check on it after half an hour or so. Fill with buttercream or a nice fruity jam then ice the top as per the recipe above.

Banana Bread | Livia's | Vegan + Refined sugar free

Another bit of recipe development and styling work for Livia’s (formerly Livia’s Kitchen) from a few months ago. I was asked to develop 3 vegan and refined sugar free recipes as part of a collaboration with Boots, this banana bread being a personal favourite.

Although I am not vegan myself I really enjoy the challenge of creating plant based recipes. Baking without dairy, eggs or refined sugars requires you to approach the process in a completely different way and discover new ways to replicate the flavours and textures that these ingredients bring to a recipe.

If you can’t get your hands on the Livia’s Brownie Nugglets simply sub in some more dark chocolate.


Banana Bread (Vegan + refined sugar free)

Ingredients;

3 Overripe bananas 60g Coconut oil, melted (or Rapeseed oil) 80g Coconut sugar 100ml Almond milk (or other plant based milk) 200g Oat flour 1 tsp Baking powder 65g Pecans, chopped 125g Vegan dark chocolate (I use Bournville) 2 packs Raw chocolate brownie Nugglets, chopped in half

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

  2. Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl, leaving a few larger lumps. Add the coconut oil, coconut sugar and almond milk and mix together.

  3. Add the oat flour, baking powder, 50g of the pecans, 100g of the dark chocolate and 1 pack of raw chocolate brownie nugglets and fold together gently until just combined.

  4. Tip into the prepared tin and scatter over the remaining pecans, chocolate and Nugglets. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and risen.