I set myself a challenge the other week after finding out that a friend at work has a very strict diet. It was a birthday lunch and she had brought in the cake (from a well known bakers). Everyone was tucking in except for her. She was nibbling sunflower seeds. Now, I'm partial to the odd sunflower seed too but for a birthday celebration????! On asking, I found out that her diet has to be gluten, dairy and sugar free so cakes are out of the question. Knowing that I was on the birthday cake rota next I was determined to find a way around this so I called on the worldwide expertise of Violet's Pantry, the forum filled with all my cookery gurus....and this was the answer!
Gayle recommended this recipe from Rose Elliot's Low Fat, Low Sugar.
1/2 Butternut squash
100g rice flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
Grated rind of one lemon
1 egg white
150ml soya or rice milk
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to gas mark 6 200c/400f Remove the seeds from the squash and put cut side down onto a baking tray and bake for 45-60 mins. Cool and scoop the flesh away and mash. Leave to cool. Put the flour, bicarb and lemon rind into a bowl and mix together. Whisk the egg white, soya milk, lemon juice and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients along with the butternut squash. Mix quickly to a smooth, thick consistency and put large tablespoonfuls into paper cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm in middle.
I left out the lemon and added a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in addition to the teaspoon of vanilla essence. I was pleased with how they looked after they'd been cooked but felt that they tasted a little bland and that the lemon would be good. I longed to sprinkle a little icing sugar over them but that would have defeated the object!! However, they went down really well when I took them in which made it all worthwhile.