Friday, 23 September 2016

Vegan and Gluten Free Orange and Almond Slices

I almost didn't label these 'Vegan and GF', as doing so seems to strangely put people off. I can see the logic though, as historical notions of dietary restricted foods often conjure the image of bland and insipid 'fake' foods with the texture of either a bathroom sponge or a cardboard box. 

These days however, with such an array of alternative ingredients available to the home baker there really is no need to fret. Creating delicious, delightful and even downright decadent treats is not only achievable but in many cases even easier than using the more traditional components we are all used too. 

So even if you are a vegan virgin why not give this recipe a try? You never know you might just like it. ;-)

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 45-50 Mins
150g Soya Yoghurt
200g Golden Caster Sugar
The zest of 1 Orange
The juice of 1/2 an Orange
200g Ground Almonds
2 heaped tbsp Oat Flour
1 heaped tsp GF Baking Powder
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2tsp Almond Extract

300g Icing Sugar
The juice of 1/2 an Orange

Time to get our bake on! Preheat the oven to G4 and line a smallish rectangular baking tin with baking paper. 

Add the soya yoghurt to a large mixing bowl and beat in the sugar. Now, when adding the yoghurt just try and make sure you use the thick creamy part not just the watery layer on top! Add the orange zest/juice to the yoghurt and mix well to combine. Add the ground almonds and oat flour, give it a quick mix, then add the baking powder, cinnamon and almond extract. Mix with vigour until you are left with a consistent batter. You could also try ground hazelnuts instead of almonds or replace/leave out the cinnamon but I personally think the combination works rather well! 

Spoon the mixture into your baking tin and even to the edges. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 45-50 mins, until dark golden on top and springy to the touch. When you are happy the slice mixture is baked remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin.

Once cool carefully remove from the tin and peel off the paper. I slice into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife at this point as I find it leaves a tidier finish, but you can ice the whole lot in one go if you prefer. 

Mix together the remaining orange juice with the icing sugar. Add a little at a time until you are left with a thick, glossy icing. You can add a touch of water if you don't have enough orange juice, but be careful not to leave your icing too thin. Generously spread the icing over each slice and you are done. Nom nom nom! 

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