One of several responses to my Spring Newsletter (on the gut microbiome) was do I have a good gluten-free chocolate cake recipe! Well I do – as it happens –  and although it’s not ideal fodder for our beneficial gut flora, there’s nothing wrong with a little festive indulgence!  So I’ve decorated this one with an Easter theme.

Pre-heat the oven to gas 4 or 170 degrees. Grease and base line x2 cake tins, 8″ diameter.

Tip: I like to take a pack of butter out of the fridge the night before, so it’s room temperature when I make the cake, it creams so much better. Likewise the eggs – if you keep them in the fridge.

You will need: a hand electric mixer, 250 g butter, 200 g castor sugar, 4 large eggs, 75 g cocoa powder (I love ‘Green & Blacks’ organic one), 75 g ground almonds, 75 g self raising gluten-free flour (Dove’s), 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp xantham gum, a glug of almond milk (cow’s will do just as well).

Method: Crack the 4 eggs into a jug and lightly whisk with a fork.  Sieve into a bowl the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and xantham gum, then stir in the ground almonds till thoroughly mixed together.  Using the electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar in a separate large bowl. When light and fluffy, gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, keeping the electric whisk going. Once incorporated, gently fold in the dry ingredients, adding a glug of milk till it’s a smooth dropping consistency.  Divide between your 2 tins, spreading the mixture flat.  Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins.  Before removing from the oven, you can test if it’s done by gently pressing the surface of a risen cake, if it springs back – it’s cooked.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool, before sandwiching together with the chocolate cream – below.

Chocolate Butter Cream: 120 g softened, or room temperature butter, creamed with a heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons of icing sugar. Remember to sieve the icing sugar. Spread a little on both sponges to sandwich them together, reserving a little of the chocolate cream to spread in the centre of the top, to make the nest – which you can decorate with grated chocolate, and mini eggs.

Bake-Off! Eat your heart out!