If you're anything like our dear friend, Berdene Burger, then gluten is not your friend. You've probably said goodbye to many of the nice things in life, like cake and a variety of alcoholic beverages, it just seems like gluten sneaks into everything!
However, you totally don't have to; Berdene has set out on a quest to ensure that she will have her cake, and eat it too, and today we get to share that journey with all of you:
When I recently found out that I had celiac disease, it felt like my life was over – goodbye to bread and pasta, so long beer and au revoir cake, my dearest friend.
When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), the small intestine is damaged. So, it can be pretty serious if you don’t eat the right stuff. You can imagine my delight when I found out that a gluten free diet is becoming increasingly popular (thank you, Millennials). I set out on a quest and found some delicious ideas for gluten free treats.
The first one I’ll be sharing is truly something special! I mean, who doesn’t love a refreshing and bubbly gin and tonic? This recipe combines the legendary drink with some rice flour to create a deliciously soft and moist cake with a wonderfully boozy aftertaste. If you’re baking on a nice and hot summer’s day, be sure to have some extra gin and tonic – in a tall glass with some ice and blueberries. I used the mouthwatering Inverrroche Classic gin – a gorgeously home-grown beauty with delicate fynbos nuances.
*Note: most of the gluten free ingredients should be available at health shops or pharmacies.
110g salted butter, soft
110g caster sugar
110g rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 limes, zest finely grated
30ml tonic water
125g of caster sugar
4 limes, juiced
two sprigs of thyme
15ml tonic water
15ml tonic water
5 ml vanilla essence
1 lime, juiced
85g of icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm diameter bundt tin.
- Mix the dry ingredients and lightly beat the eggs, lemon zest, gin and tonic. Combine the two mixtures and lightly whisk until smooth and fluffy. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes (double check with a skewer just to be sure it comes out clean).
- Prepare the syrup by adding all of the ingredients to a saucepan. Stir gently until the sugar is melted and the sauce is reduced to a sticky syrup. Remove the sprigs of thyme.
- When the cake is deliciously golden, remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Give it a few pokes with the cake skewer and pour over the hot syrup.
- Mix the icing ingredients together and drizzle over the cooled cake. Decorate with some fresh thyme and enjoy with a tall glass of gin and tonic.
More about Berdene: I grew up in a home where food was one of the key cornerstones of the family. My mother raised us in the kitchen - always drawing pictures of recipes so that we could bake, learn and cook on our own from a very young age. When I was done with high school, I completed degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing, as well as Psychology, Criminology and Research. I've always enjoyed a passion for the art of telling stories and soon found that film served as the perfect platform for modern day storytelling. I've been working as a film and television producer since 2012, but nothing beats the creative story that unfolds with a good quality spatula and a bold sense of adventure.
Producer and Director by day, whizz in the kitchen by night; Berdene's gluten-free journey started when she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2016. The new challenge only inspired her to experiment more, and her delicious dishes are proof of her perseverance and love of food.