Welcome to the "later than it should be" round up from the August Pinnies & Petticoats Aberdeen Cake Club meet. I'm going to use the kids going back to school as the excuse for my tardiness. The theme for the month was Gluten Free Bakes and we had fantastic guest speakers from JG Ross and Pulsetta. I was at a 40th Birthday at the start of August for a friend who has a gluten intolerance and she had an amazing cake. Could I possibly recreate it?
After a bit of investigation I found out that it was a Norwegian Kransekake. This is a traditional celebration caked baked for Christmas or any sort of celebration (birthdays, weddings, christenings etc). Elizabeth who blogs at Elizabeths Kitchen Diary pointed me in the direction of the recipe for her Bestemor's (Grandmother's) Kransekake. First challenge faced was that I didn't have the required mold. No worries I'd improvise.
The instructions stated that I had to blanch and grind my own almonds. I queried this with Elizabeth but she said definitely no shortcuts allowed so the ground almonds went back on the shelf. I did cheat a wee bit in buying ready blanched almonds and getting Foodie Loon to do the hard labour with the mouli grater. The next bit reminded me of making playdough for the kids. Heating it up in a pan until it came together in a ball of dough. No vast quantities of salt or garish food colouring required on this occasion.
The dough chilled overnight in the fridge before I rolled it out into sausage shapes and formed my ever decreasing circles with the help of a ruler. Not quite the perfection I would have got with a mold but not too squiffy. After baking it became clear that there was no way I could assemble and ice my creation and get it to cake club in one piece. Apparently in Norway they have special boxes to transport them. I didn't have one of those either. So off to Pinnies & Petticoats with my almondy rings and a piping bag of icing. As always a fantastic selection of cakes and bakes awaited and I reckon anyone not in the know would have been very hard pressed to tell that they were all gluten free.
Orange Cake with Youghurt & Passion Fruit
Mini Apple Crumbles
Carrot & Ginger Squares with Lemon Icing
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Creme Fraiche and Summer Berries
Chocolate & Beetroot Cake
Chocolate Layer Cake
Scottish Macaroon Bars, Lemon Cake
Peppermint & Chocolate Macarons & Strawberry Macarons
Bundt Cake with Lime Icing
Olive and Rosemary Drop Scones
Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam Meringues
White Chocolate & Marshmallow Brownies
In the end I was somewhat rushed in my assembly and my Kransekake had a serious lack of decoration. There was definately a wee bit of Leaning Tower of Pisa about it. Please do not scroll up to see what I was aiming for. Despite this I was really happy with the taste and texture and received lots of positive feedback. I saved the bottom ring for my Norwegian friend A's birthday and even she gave it the thumbs up.
Time for our special guests Dianne from JG Ross and Karsten from Pulsetta to take to the floor. I had heard about Pulsetta and knew that they produced Gluten free Bread and Rolls made from Peas and Lentils but didn't really think they had anything to offer me as I don't follow a GF diet. My preconceptions were shattered. In addition to being gluten free their innovative products are naturally nutritious, fill you up for longer, contribute to your five a day and are free from all major food allergens. Alas the VIPeas who boy met at Taste of Grampian didn't make it along to Pinnies & Petticoats.
Some surprises from JG Ross too. We learned what "craft baker" means (made by hand using traditional methods and skills) and also that the North East's favourite Buttery has less calories than a Mars Bar (181 compared to 280). Plenty of tasters on offer and some goodies to take home. I really enjoyed my Pulsetta chilli roll the next day for breakfast warmed through and topped with melted goats cheese.
Our next Pinnies & Petticoats is our first birthday! Can't believe its been one whole year since I turned up to meet a bunch of strangers with only my cake pops for protection. Its been a fantastic cakey adventure with lots of friendships formed and calories consumed along the way. Here's a round up of the meet ups I've blogged (unfortunately I missed the July Picnic one when I was on holiday)