Gluten-free baking can seem like the biggest faff in the world, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve spent years trying out gluten-free recipes to make sure my family and friends who are intolerant to gluten can eat them. When I started out years ago the flours available produced very inconsistent results and recipes were limited. Now there are so many recipes about using a huge range of exciting ingredients, and readily available flour blends give great results.
This Gluten-Free Chocolate Beetroot Bundt with Hibiscus Glaze is adapted from a basic recipe (from BC Good Food) that I’ve made loads of times, and I can honestly say you won’t be able to tell that the cake has no gluten in. The batter is rich in eggs, beetroot and oil, and wet enough to avoid the common gluten-free cake issue of being overly dry and crumbly.
And the best thing about this cake? It is insanely simple yet infinitely adaptable. If you can eat gluten, make it with regular old wheat flour. Want to add a load of dried fruit and seeds and make breakfast muffins? Go ahead! Make a loaf cake to eat in big slices with custard? Sure thing! Make tiny individual cakes and top with whipped cream and fresh berries for fancy afternoon tea? Of course!
Hibiscus flowers have a lovely fruity, earthy flavour. I first had pomegrante flowers in tea in Egypt on holiday as a teenager, and completely loved the flavour. I’ve wanted to make a cake with them for a while. Here the hibiscus compliments the beetroot and give the glaze this incredible vibrant pink colour. You can often buy them from health food shops and Middle Eastern supermarkets, but if you can’t get them there or online, use pomegranate juice instead.
The cake itself is made in a food processor in a slightly offbeat way, ending with pouring in vegetable oil like you’re making mayonnaise. This method means the recipe is very little effort to make, just some weighing and button pressing.
I’m intrigued to see if the recipe would work with roast pumpkin/squash/sweet potato or even apple sauce. I’ll report back when I do, and if you give it a try I’d love to hear how it goes! In the meantime, go ahead and make this cake for your friends. Whether they can eat gluten or not, I guarantee they’ll love the taste!
Recipe: Gluten-Free Chocolate Beetroot Bundt with Hibiscus Glaze (adapted from BBC Good Food)
Ingredients – cake
175g cooked beetroot (NOT in vinegar – that would be bad.)
3 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
100g cocoa powder
250 caster sugar
200g self-raising gluten-free flour
1tsp gluten-free baking powder (please check the label! I have a separate tub for when I’m baking gluten free just to make sure there is no cross-contamination)
200ml vegetable oil
Ingredients – glaze
1 cup hibiscus flowers (approximately 50g)
2 cups water (if you don’t have American measuring cups, just use a small mug. As long as the ratio is roughly 1:2 flowers to water by volume you’ll be fine)
Pomegranate arils, to decorate
- First make the hibiscus syrup for the glaze. Put the hibiscus flowers and water in a pan. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and leave to brew for a few hours. Strain out the flowers, then heat again to reduce to about half the volume. Leave to one side for later.
- Now pre-heat the oven to 170C. Grease a small bundt tin thoroughly.
- Put the beetroot into your food processor and blitz until it is broken down. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse a few times to combine.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa. Give it a quick whisk to combine it.
- Add the flour mix to the food processor and mix until it’s combine.
- Now add the oil as the processor is running in a steady stream, like when you’re making mayonnaise. The mixture with turn glossy and a little thinner.
- Bake for approx 40 minutes. Check after 25 mins and if the top is browning too quickly cover with tin foil.
- Leave to cool, then turn out of tin and trim to leave a flat bottom.
- To make the glaze add icing sugar to the hibiscus syrup until you have a mixture that is thick but will still run down the side of the cake, like thick lava.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cake and sprinkle over the pomegranate arils.
Note – if you want to double this recipe, make it in two batches. A double batch of the mix will totally overwhelm your food processor. Bad times!
For muffins, bake for about 25 mins. For a loaf tin or solid cake, 40-60 mins.