I think I was a teenager the first time I tasted red velvet cake and I remember thinking that it was out of this world because I love sweet cake that’s topped with cream cheese frosting. There’s just something about the contrast between sugary-sweet sponge cake and smooth, creamy and ever so slightly tart cream cheese frosting that really rocks my little world.
Sometimes at the weekend I like to make something a little bit more special for breakfast than the usual toast, porridge or cereal that I would usually have during the week. There’s something really nice about having the luxury of time on a Sunday morning to make a batch of syrup-drenched fluffy pancakes or a stack of french toast and take it back to bed with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
The other day I was contacted by the publisher Modern Books and asked if I’d like to review a copy of Calm Belly Cookbook by the Norwegian low FODMAP writer Cecilie Hauge Ågotnes who runs the website Low FODMAP Blog. I jumped at the chance to have a read of Cecilie’s book and got my copy a few days later. Now, hand on heart, I promise I’m going to write an honest, fair and balanced review of the book. Yes, I have included Amazon affiliate links to the book, but it’s entirely up to you as to whether or not you’d like to use them.
The other day I was in Lakeland when I spied a box of silicone flowerpot baking pots and a set of leaf-shaped icing cutters and I couldn’t resist buying them to make a summer-themed bake. I’ve written before about the fact that you can use edible flowers to decorate your cakes, so I figured I’d pillage my hanging baskets and cottage garden to find some lovely blooms to adorn these beautiful little cakes.
The chocolate cake itself is made from my chocolate muffin recipe because it’s always a reliable bake, is seriously tasty, and keeps moist for days. In fact, I genuinely think that this is my go-to chocolate muffin recipe from now on because they are soft, light, moist and incredibly fudgy and you certainly can’t tell that they’re gluten-free and contain sweet potato.
I debated about whether I should remove the flowerpot muffins from their moulds before serving them, but I decided that the visual impact comes from the silicone flowerpots, so I just kept them in them. I did however, remove the cakes from the flowerpots after they’d been baked to make sure they weren’t stuck inside them before I put them back in, just so they came out easily and the person who was trying to eat them wasn’t faced with having to try to remove their cake from the pot.
These flowerpot muffins look really impressive and taste fantastic, but they are actually a really simple bake to make because the flowerpots and leaf cutters do most of the work for you. The cake sponge is rich, chocolatey and moist, the cocoa icing is creamy and smooth, and the green icing leaves really enhance the natural beauty of the edible flowers. I think anyone would be thrilled to receive one of these celebrations of summer, don’t you think?
140g peeled raw sweet potatoes (cut into small chunks)
60g brown sugar
35g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)
35g chopped peanuts (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
50ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50ml rice milk
1/4 tsp salt
For the chocolate icing:
200g icing sugar
Around 1 tbsp of water (but depends on how thick you want the icing to be)
A pack of ready to roll green icing
A selection of edible flowers (click here for a comprehensive list of edible flowers)
Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F/Gas mark 5.
Prepare the sweet potatoes and cook them on a plate in the microwave until they are soft. Put the cooked sweet potato in a large mixing bowl, mash well and leave to cool.
Once the sweet potato is fairly cool, add all of your wet ingredients and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
Divide the mixture between the 6 silicone flowerpot baking pots and bake in the oven for 30-35 mins or until a skewer pushed into the middle of one comes out clean. Leave to cool.
To make the icing, slowly stir the water into the icing sugar and cocoa to blend the icing together (you can make it as thick or thin as you like) and once you’re happy with the consistency pour it over the chocolate muffins.
Add your edible flowers and serve.