For the cakes
- 150g white quinoa
- Pinch of salt
- 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 100g light soft brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g ground almonds
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder (most baking powder is gluten-free)
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
For the topping
- 70g icing sugar
- 20g toasted flaked almonds
- Rinse the quinoa in a sieve. Put it into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and plenty of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until tender and swollen. Rinse with cold water to cool, then drain really (really!) well, leaving it in a sieve while you carry on preparing.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease the bases and sides of each compartment of the mini loaf tin with a little butter.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the vanilla extract, quinoa, ground almonds, poppy seeds and baking powder. Stir in half of the lemon zest and most of the juice, reserving 1 tablespoon for the icing.
- Spoon the mixture into the holes in the tin and level the tops. Stand the tin on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, in case a little mixture seeps out. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cakes are set and golden. Cool for 15 minutes, then turn out carefully and cool completely.
- To make the topping, mix the icing sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of the reserved lemon juice to give a spreadable consistency. Spread onto the cakes and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest and almonds.
Tip: When grating zest from lemons, only remove the coloured part – the white pith has a bitter taste.