Lemon ginger cake

Lemon ginger cake by Carol Kearns

Lemon ginger cake by Carol Kearns - Credit: Carol Kearns

Known as The Cake Lady when a mature student at Norwich University of the Arts, Carol Kearns of Wymondham combines a love of baking with a talent for illustration

When baking cakes to raise funds at university, I found that a number of people asked for dairy-free or gluten-free options. I met the first requirement by baking courgette cake - the recipe for which appeared in September’s magazine - but gluten-free presented more of a challenge. I came up with a very nice chocolate cake made with ground almonds rather than flour but I thought I’d take the opportunity to devise something both gluten and nut-free for my series of 2lb loaf tin cakes, particularly as gluten-free flours are becoming more readily available.

Indeed, I’m currently working on illustrations for a range of gluten-free flours for a Halesworth-based business called Hodmedod. The company sources and sells British-grown pulses and grains, and its latest venture is a range of flours milled from quinoa, dried peas and fava beans (a variety of dried broad bean). The people at Hodmedod always send me samples of the produce for my illustration work, so I took the opportunity to use the fava bean flour to devise a lemon ginger cake that, while gluten-free, still tastes absolutely delicious.


Lemon ginger cake

Makes 8-10 slices:

150g fava bean flour

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3 tsp gluten free baking powder

2 tsp ground ginger

150g light soft brown sugar

150g soft butter or baking margarine

2 large eggs

150g raw sweet potatoes (peeled weight), coarsely grated

For the icing:

100g icing sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp lemon extract

Juice of half a lemon

Yellow food colouring (optional)

1 piece crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped

You will need:

A 2lb/900g loaf tin

Non-stick liner or butter and greaseproof paper

Wooden or metal skewer

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark four.

2 Lightly grease and line the loaf tin, or pop in a liner.

3 Place all the ingredients (except the sweet potato) into a bowl, sifting the flour, baking powder and ginger in together. Beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer for two minutes, then fold in the grated sweet potato.

4 Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake for about 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

5 Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a cooling rack.

6 When the cake is cold, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon extract and just enough of the lemon juice to form a soft smooth paste.

7 Spread the icing across the top of the cake with a palette knife, allowing some to run down the sides, and then sprinkle the crystallised ginger along the top.

Hodmedod is offering a 15pc discount to EDP Norfolk magazine readers this November and December. Just enter the code CAKELADY15 at the check-out when ordering from their online shop, www.hodmedods.co.uk