You often find gluten free cakes laden with ground almonds to provide a moist and tender crumb that can often go missing when using grain-free flour blends. But given how many people out there are allergic to nuts, and also to other foodstuffs, reducing our use of allergenic ingredients as a whole is something we are constantly working to do as a business.
And as part of our inclusive eating philosophy, we pride ourselves on offering a number of products that don't contain any of then major allergens we are required to highlight the use of by law. I often used to joke about our nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, no soy bakes pointing to an empty plate... But now we have a number of delicious recipes ranging from incredibly virtuous to utterly indulgent that naturally don't contain dairy, eggs, nuts, animal products, cereals or soy.
**Pats self on back**
This recipe is one of my favourites, a best-seller on the markets and really versatile too. Inspired by mochi, those lovely gloopy, gelatinous balls of Japenese delight, often also found as a chewy pastry-like coating to ice-cream balls. Yum!
Our cakey version is great as it is but also makes a great celebration / layer cake, or if you cut it up into little pieces is a killer addition to a fancy sundae or edgy trifle. It has a crusty edge and slightly chewy, gooey middle and is so easy to make I'm kind of embarrassed to share the recipe.
Matcha Mochi Cake
Makes 1 8-inch tin (16 squares)
275g sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour - available from Asian supermarkets)
275g unrefined cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp matcha powder
A pinch of salt
60g melted coconut oil
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk (take care to buy organic / sulphite free coconut milk - check what, if any, stabiliser is used. Ideally find a brand that uses guar gum or no stabiliser at all, and look for highest coconut content you can find)
5 tbsp aquafaba (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas - again use organic to avoid nasty preservatives)
Desiccated coconut for dusting (I'll say it again... use organic or you will likely find it's been preserved with sulphur dioxide - another allergen!)
Preheat the oven to 160C
1. First grease an 8-inch square tin well and coat with desiccated coconut over the bottom and up the sides. This is important as it will stop the cake from sticking to the tin.
2. Melt the coconut oil and mix with the aquafaba and coconut milk.
3. Weigh the flour, sugar, matcha, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and mix well.
4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well to form a smooth batter without any lumps.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and scatter over more coconut.
6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown, risen and starting to crack and pull away from the sides. The cake will still be quite wobbly when it comes out. You may need to turn the oven down to 150C halfway through if the coconut is getting too brown.
7. Allow to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes until set enough to remove.
8. Carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack completely.
9. Once cool, cut the cake into squares ready to serve.
This keeps for a few days in an airtight container - but if you eat it fresh you can enjoy maximum crustiness vs. gooeyness in the eating!