Danielle Copperman's gluten-free blondies

Danielle Copperman's gluten-free blondies

Danielle Copperman is the founder of food, travel and lifestyle blog Modelmangetout.com and quinoa based breakfast brand Qnola. Also a full time model, Danielle splits her time between fashion shoots, recipe development, writing, editing and running her business. An advocate of a gluten-free diet, Danielle will be sharing exclusive recipes with us each month, all made using entirely natural ingredients.

Gluten is not necessarily a problematic ingredient for everyone, but Danielle's recipes are more about embracing natural, nourishing ingredients instead of nutritionally substandard gluten-free fillers common in modern-day foodstuffs, for example, buckwheat instead of refined white flour.

This week, a delicious gluten-free cake recipe: 

Courgette Pistachio & Lime Cake

50g ground almonds
3 eggs
200g grated courgette
100g coconut palm sugar
100g pistachios (roasted & ground) plus extra crushed for decorating
150g buckwheat flour
50g soft coconut oil
50g coconut yoghurt OR 50g coconut milk (solid, top half of the tin)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Zest of 3 limes
Juice of 1 lime

Frosting ingredients: 
1 large avocado (approx 220g)
150g coconut yoghurt
50 - 60g honey or agave to taste
50g coconut oil
Zest of 1 - 2 limes (depending on how zesty you want it)
Juice of 2 limes

1. Preheat the oven to 140c.

2. Roast the pistachio nuts for 10 minutes and leave to cool. If you’re short on time, you don’t have to roast the nuts however it adds a great flavour to the finished cake.

3. Turn up the oven to 170c - 180c.

4. Grease and line a 20cm (8in) cake tin.

5. Once your pistachio nuts have cooled, place into a high-power food processor and blend into a fine flour.

6. Add the ground almonds and buckwheat flour to the pistachio flour and pulse for a further 30 seconds, or until fine and fully combined.

7. Add the oil, sugar, eggs, lime juice, coconut yoghurt/milk and vanilla extract and blend on a medium setting for a further minute.

8. Fold in the courgette, lime zest, bicarbonate and baking powder until the mixture is fully combined.

9. Spoon the mixture into your lined cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 40 - 45 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

10. When the cake is cooling, start on your frosting. Scrape the flesh from the avocado thinly with a knife, as you would a block of butter (this will help to avoid lumps!) into the small bowl attachment of your food processor.

11. Add all of the remaining ingredients and pulse on a high speed for 1 - 2 minutes, until smooth. If you have a regular size bowl, this will work equally well - simply scrape the sides down during blending for the smoothest result.

12. Once your cake is completely cool, ice the top of the cake with the frosting and decorate with the extra crushed nuts.

Gluten-free foods: what you CAN eat... 

Danielle Copperman's gluten-free recipes

Gooey Vanilla Banana Blondies
(makes approx 12 - 16 servings)

80g cacao butter
120g coconut oil, room temperature and soft
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
210g banana, broken by hand
200g coconut palm sugar
200g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tbsp vanilla powder OR ½ tbsp bean paste OR seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Handful raw or dark vegan chocolate chunks (we like Willie’s Cacao, Ombar, Maza and Hu Kitchen)
Handful chopped cherries
Handful chopped nuts
Handful berries

1.Line a square or rectangular baking tin (around 10 x 8 inches) with baking paper and grease the paper with a little coconut oil. 

2.Start by melting the cacao butter in a saucepan. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the the vanilla (paste, powder or seeds) and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut oil, 160g of broken banana, sugar and eggs until thick and creamy and until the banana is fully combined.

4. Add the cacao to the egg mixture, then gradually add the flour, whisking by hand or with an electric whisk.

Continued below...

5. Lightly mash through the additional 50g banana, keeping it quite chunky to add texture. 

6. Add any optional extras, such as chopped cherries, berries, nuts, raw chocolate chunks and stir until combined. 

7. Pour into your greased baking tin. Make the blondies about 2cm thick, as they will rise a little. If they are too thick they will take longer to cook and won’t be as dense and gooey.

8. Bake at 180 degrees in a fan oven for 30 minutes.

Danielle has created an exclusive menu for boutique hotel the Sanderson in honour of Fashion Month. Available until 30th September, the Wake Up Well menu has been designed with seasonal, nutritious ingredients to keep you energised and alert. Check out her Instagram page @dcopperman