Monday 19 March 2018

Indy Power: It's a slice of genius


Victoria Sponge
Victoria Sponge

Indy Power

Mix up a classic Mother's Day sponge cake - but with a clever gluten- and diary-free twist.


This is my plant-powered twist on the classic, and it's perfect for Mother's Day.

Gluten-free, dairy-free & vegan

For the sponge:

Chickpea water from 2 x tins of chickpeas

375ml maple syrup

600g ground almonds

120g gluten-free oat flour

2 tsp baking powder

For the jam:

125g raspberries

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp maple syrup

For the 'cream' filling:

150g coconut yoghurt

2 tbsp maple syrup


First, make the sponge. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Add the chickpea water to a large bowl and use an electric whisk until stiff peaks form, about 5-6 minutes.

Then continue whisking while pouring in the maple syrup.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

With the whisk on medium speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet.

Grease two 8in cake tins. Divide the mixture between the tins.

Bake for about 50 minutes until the edges are coming away from the tin. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.

While the sponge cakes cook, make the jam by blending all of the ingredients in your blender. Leave it to sit for a minute, then blend again. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set it aside.

When the cakes are cool, make the 'cream'. Add the coconut yoghurt to a large bowl with the maple syrup and whip using an electric mixer, about 5 minutes, until light and airy.

Spread a layer of cream, then a layer of jam on one cake and place the other cake on top.


I’ve been flying through tins of chickpeas lately and the actual chickpeas themselves aren’t the reason — chickpea water is my latest obsession. If you’re vegan or can’t eat eggs, then I’m sure you’re already in on the ‘flax/chia egg’ trick, but chickpea water, or ‘aquafaba’, is another clever swap for eggs in baking. Here I’m using it in place of egg whites for gorgeous lightness (you’ll see what I mean when you taste the cake!) and it helps bind the mixture. There are loads of ways to put it to use that I’ve been experimenting with lately, so I’ll have some more recipes for you soon. Once you’ve used the liquid, use the chickpeas to make hummus or add them to stews or salads.


For the last few years, I’ve been making my own oat flour (a Vitamix is amazing for this!) as I haven't really seen it available in shops. Recently, however, I’ve been buying Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour (from selected health stores) and it’s so handy if you’re short on time or don’t feel like cleaning an extra appliance. Oat flour is one of my favourite nutritious swaps for regular flour because it has more fibre and protein, but it also has a gorgeous oaty flavour that I love. If you’re planning a leisurely breakfast this weekend, check out the vegan oat pancakes on my website.


The quick chia jam for the filling in this recipe is something I make all the time. It’s amazing on sourdough toast with some nut butter and it’s the best topping for overnight oats or porridge. You can use whatever berries you like and it lasts in a jar in the fridge for about two weeks.

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