Baking with Glucose – Lemon Almond and Poppy Seed Cake or Biscuits

Pure glucose powder, usually sold under the commercial name of dextrose, is an answer to many difficulties, when the recipe or texture of the baking product demands dry, crystallised or powdered sweetener, and using any refined or natural sugars is not an option. For several years, when developing sweet recipes, I was limited to use honey as the only sweetener tolerated by the person, for whom this blog was created. Simple review of honey components gave me an idea that I might be able to use pure glucose in some baking recipes. I tried it, it worked, and now when I have a questionable recipe, with expected problems with honey during baking, I always opt for glucose powder. This time it was the turn of my take on lemon almond and poppy seed cake, one version of which, baked with honey, was the first recipe created for this blog. Today it is glucose based lemon almond and poppy seed batter, baked in a shape of half size small loaf cake or as soft semi-sphere biscuits.

The recipe has a very short list of ingredients, it is similar to that of orange almond and poppy seed cake, so it is grain and dairy free. The main difference from other recipes of lemon and almond cakes, is that cooked lemon puree is used instead of lemon juice and zest. I use lemons from our own lemon tree, they can be considered organic and I use them straight from the tree. This time I had to quickly utilise them, after strong winds left many lemons on the ground. I cook my lemons, starting from cold water, sometimes it takes at hour to boil them until they are cooked and soft, but last week only 40 minutes were enough to make lemons soft and ready. In most my recipes I use 100g of thick lemon puree, I store lemon puree frozen in individual plastic zipped bags, and use it whenever I am baking lemon cakes, either gluten free, or grain and dairy free. Contrary to cooked orange puree that can be used on its own, lemon puree has to be diluted by either apple, pear puree or blended fresh banana. The choice of dilution fruit depends on the type of the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 100g cooked lemon puree
  • 100g fresh blended banana
  • 160g glucose powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g almond meal
  • 60g poppy seeds

extras (optional)

  • coconut oil to grease the tray
  • sliced almonds for decoration
  • glucose powder for dusting

Preparation:

Please forgive an excessive use of step by step photos, I wanted to make this unusual recipe preparation clear.

  • place organic lemons in cold water, reach the boiling point and cook lemons until they are soft
  • take lemons out of water, cut in halves
  • let them reach room temperature
  • take rough parts and pits out
  • blend to get coarse puree, finish blending with a stick blender to achieve fine texture
  • do not use juices at first, but keep them ready if puree appears to be too thick, I used all parts, with juices included

  • line small loaf tin 10cm x 20cm (measurements at the top) with loaf liner, grease semi-sphere baking tray with coconut oil

  • blend banana slices, make sure that their weight is 115-130g, you will need 100g blended banana flesh

  • add 1/3 of glucose powder to 2 eggs, beat them until fully combined and eggs start to become pale
  • add another 1/3 of glucose powder, beat until it is fully combined
  • add the rest of glucose, the mixture will increase in volume and become very pale colour

  • add blended banana flesh
  • whisk for 2-3 minutes, the mixture will become nearly white and will increase in volume some more

  • add lemon puree (fresh or defrosted), whisk the mixture again
  • transfer the wet mixture into a wide bowl, it is easier to combine wet and dry ingredients in a wider bowl, while whisking is better done in high bowls

  • mix almond meal and poppy seeds
  • add dry ingredients to wet, using a whisk combine them together

  • the texture of the batter will depend on banana ripeness, the best result is with not overly ripe bananas
  • if baking individual biscuits, use pasty bag for nicely shaped and uniformed bake
  • transfer batter to a lined loaf tin, or greased circle tin

  • use wet fingers to make batter surface flat
  • use spatula to squeeze all batter from pastry bag

  • use sliced or slivered almonds for cake decoration
  • bake in preheated to 160C fan forced fan, 25-30 minutes for biscuits, 60 minutes for full size loaf cake, 40-50 minutes for low small loaf cake
  • let biscuits rest in a tray for 5 minutes, check that they can be turned inside the tray, take biscuits out with a circle move
  • place them on lined with baking paper wire rack, for a hard crust return them in a warm, switched off oven, and them let them cool there

The cake can be sliced while still warm, but it will taste better the next day, when all flavours have settled, and lemon flavour would be more vibrant and pronounced. Both the cake and biscuits can be dusted with glucose powder.

From the quantity of ingredients in the recipe you can bake 2 trays (24 soft semi-sphere biscuits), 1 regular size loaf cake (tin 10cm x 20cm) or 2 low height loaf cakes, more like slices. These low cakes are an ideal small gift for a festive season, when you visit any family with grain and dairy dietary intolerance. Regular sugar can be used instead of glucose powder. The texture of the batter with regular sugar will be not as thick.

The cake can be stored for several days at room temperature, still staying soft and moist after 3-4 days. In hot and humid conditions better to store the cake refrigerated in a container with a tight lid.

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