My weekend was all about sunshine… and strawberries!
Strawberry time is now in full swing over here in the UK… what with the sunshine finally out in the skies and the Wimbledon tennis on the TV there's just no denying it! I love any opportunity to get outside spend time in the sunshine (or even rain) and in particular spend time with friends just relaxing… Something many of you know I am notoriously bad at doing.
At the weekend I was invited to a barbecue, obviously I was going to be bringing desert (amongst a few other bits and pieces including veggies burgers) and so strawberries were on my mind and in my mouth pretty much the whole of last weekend.
|Some of the goodies that were brought to the party (yes there was quinoa...and samosas...I love samosas and even though I don't eat much wheat I caved in for these!)|
I also had another challenge- I wanted to create a strawberry themed desert cake that was also totally sugarfree- even agave, coconut sugar and maple syrup were off limits- as I would usually use a little of one of these alongside stevia. One of the ladies coming to the barbecue is very sugar intolerant as well as chocolate intolerant (shock horror) and so I really wanted to be up to create a non-chocolate and sugar free cake that she could enjoy along with everyone else!
So, this is what I came up with loosely based on my banana blondie recipe and using as much fresh fruit and fruit purees as possible as the main sweetness then bumped up with stevia. I was careful to get the balance right so that the stevia didn't overpower and taste odd. To assist with the rising I actually added just two teaspoons of coconut sugar as when I tried a similar recipe a short while ago it sank a bit when it came out the oven and I wasn't sure whether this had anything to do with the total lack of sugar… may well just be coincidence! P.s if you omit the tiny bit of sugar it may well be ok and even if it does sink it's still good, just denser!
I served this up warmed through with a tofu based strawberry cream/mousse so that the cake became even more dessert-like. Perfect for a garden party carrying on into the evening hours... I know I certainly went back for more! Whilst you're serving your strawberries and relaxing with your friends why not have a little extra fun and play this bingo game* while watching the tennis. Summer time bliss!
Recipe: Strawberry dessert cake
2 bananas- pureed
1/4 cup sugar free strawberry jam
Scant 1 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup coconut oil- melted (or oil of choice)
2 tsp vanila
30 drops vanilla stevia (I tend to use NuNaturals
1 cup apple juice (or other fruit juice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 heaped tsp baking soda
2 tsp unrefined sugar (optional add in- see note)
1 1/2 cups white spelt flour (or GF flour- if so I would use a mix of buckwheat, ground almonds and starch)
1 cup chopped strawberries- for filling
1/2 cup chopped strawberries, sprinkle of coconut and vanilla bean- for topping.
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 tbs coconut oil
vanilla stevia to taste
Blend the wet ingredients together until smooth. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then add the wet mixing gently but well. Stir through a cup of chopped strawberries in the final strokes.
Spoon the mixture into a round of square cake tin approx. 8" diameter. Smooth the top and press the remaining strawberries in along with a dusting of coconut and pure vanilla bean powder- optional but yummy!
Bake at 180C for approx 30-40 minutes- I needed to lightly cover with foil after 25 minutes to prevent the top from becoming too brown before the centre had cooked through. Check with a toothpick for done-ness. Note: it is a fairly dense moist cake anyway, but cook for as long as possible to maximise 'cakiness'.
To make the 'cream' simply blend the ingredients together well and chill in the fridge for an hour to thicken up for a more mousse like dessert. You can omit the coconut oil if you want to go for a creamy drizzle. Note if you had some beetroot you could add a tiny amount to intensity the pink colour without it coming through in the flavour (I didn't have any beetroot!)
*Note: This post is in association with Ladbrokes Bingo. The strawberry dessert recipe is all my own creation and was due to be posted exactly as it is regardless, it just happened to tie in nicely with the some extra Wimbledon fun. Enjoy :-)
For further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.
For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.