There’s something about this delectable Almond, Pear and Chocolate Cake that screams ‘coffee shop cake’. It’s super moist, whilst the delicate almond and pear flavours marry beautifully with the dark chocolate. Dare I say it but it’s one the best cakes I’ve baked and it’s gluten free too.
To make this cake gluten free I’ve used Free From Fairy Self Raising Flour, which is the brainchild of Vicki Montague aka the Free From Fairy. I’ve been following Vicki’s fantastic blog of the same name for years. So, I’m delighted that Vicki has kindly agreed to an interview.
Hi Vicki. Tell me about yourself and your blog Free From Fairy.
Thanks for having me Julie! I live in Devon with my gorgeous husband and two kids and adore the countryside and fresh air. I started the blog five years ago as a repository for my free from recipes that I had created for my wonderful daughter ‘Roo’. I’ve had Irritable Bowel Syndrome for around 20 years and am always on the search for a ‘happy tummy’.
What drove you to start writing your blog in the first place?
I wanted somewhere to keep all my free from recipes after my daughter was diagnosed with egg and milk protein allergies at 9 months and then coeliac disease (necessitating a strict gluten-free diet for life) just before her third birthday. At first it was so that our family and friends would understand what they could feed her when she went there. However, I quickly realised that many other people were finding it useful.
Tell me about your range of wholegrain gluten free flour blends.
When baking gluten-free, a blend of flours is required to substitute for wheat flour. Single gluten-free flours do not work well on their own. I love baking and know that making food from scratch is always healthier than buying it. However, when it came to baking gluten-free food I quickly realised that almost all the flour blends on the market were made from white refined flours that were based on rice (which contains arsenic and is in almost all gluten-free food).
I started experimenting with creating my own blend of flours that avoided rice whilst utilising some of the incredible tasty wholegrain gluten-free flours on the market. After 23 different blends I came up with one that fit all my criteria…I could use it in all my baking and cooking and it was made from a majority of wholegrain flours with no rice in sight! After discussing it on my blog I quickly realised that there were others out there like me…who wanted to be able to bake wholesome gluten-free food. I therefore brought the flour to market and launched it in July 2016. In October I brought out a self-raising version too that contains some incredible double acting raising agents. Often gluten-free bakes can be a bit flat so I experimented with lots of different raising agents until I came up with the best combination to aid with rise!
What’s your favourite all time blog recipe?
Oh my gosh. If you mean one of mine then it changes all the time! My latest one is always my favourite until the next one I create! On that basis this gluten-free and vegan bread recipe must be my favourite at the moment!
Where do you find your recipe inspiration?
Pinterest, blogs and the Flavour Thesaurus, my favourite ever book! I spend lots of time planning things in my head, looking around at other recipes and then suddenly it all comes together and a recipe emerges. These days, because I’ve baked and cooked so much, almost all my recipes work first time.
Do you have any advice for my readers on going gluten free?
For whatever reason you want to eat a gluten-free diet please consult your doctor first. Once you remove gluten from your diet you will likely become more sensitive to it and it’s really important to be eating it in order to be tested for things like coeliac disease (which is an autoimmune condition with serious long term implications if undiagnosed). Request that the doctor tests you for coeliac disease if you think you react to gluten. It is a simple blood test but would help to rule out that condition. If you want to know more about it visit Coeliac UK’s website.
Thank you so much Vicki for sharing your story. Vicki is testament that if you really believe in something, you can achieve your dream. I’m so impressed with Vicki’s range of gluten free flour, and I think you will be too. You can follow the Free From Fairy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. If you wish to purchase the Free From Fairy Gluten Free Flour, you can from the online shop.
Here’s the recipe for my gluten free Almond, Pear and Chocolate Cake.
- 175g Free From Fairy self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100g ground almonds
- 175g unsalted butter (softened)
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 medium Conference pears
- 150g dark chocolate (check it's gluten free)
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 25g flaked almonds
- Pre heat the oven to 160ºc Fan.
- Grease and line the base of a round deep 20cm cake springform cake tin. (the cake is quite tall, make sure you use a tin about 10cm deep).
- Peel and chop the pears into 1cm cubes.
- Chop the chocolate into similar size chunks.
- Put all the ingredients except the flaked almonds into a bowl and mix well.
- Pour into the prepared tin, then top the mixture with the flaked almonds.
- Bake for 1 hour, then cover with foil and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven, then allow to cool for at least an hour before removing from the tin to cool completely. Best eaten within 2 days of baking.
PIN ME FOR LATER
Until next time, happy baking.
I was sent the Free From Fairy Plain and Self Raising Flours free of charge for the purposes of this review and recipe. I have not been paid or sponsored for this blog post.
This recipe is one of many delicious recipes from the Free From Gang that celebrate the autumn harvest. Below is a list of #FreeFromHarvest recipes from fellow bloggers also taking part in the challenge. More recipes will be added soon.
Intolerant Gourmand – The best ever gluten-free & dairy-free apple crumble
Easy Peasy Foodie – Peri Peri Chicken (Nando’s Copycat)
Glutarama – Beetroot Brownie Cake
Mummy Tries – Beetroot: Three Tasty Recipes
Easy Peasy Foodie – Easy Vegetable Korma
Intolerant Gourmand – The Best Pumpkin Risotto
Free From Fairy – Sensational Sausage Stuffed Marrow