A few weeks ago, for my birthday, I decided instead of no cake (as usual, since I can’t have wheat) I would have three cakes. One made of flowers, one made of sushi (with rice instead of cake, and sushi toppings instead of filling and frosting), and one made from a modified version of the Gluten Free Girls’s muffin recipe. My sweet non-gluten-free girlfriend Ally made all three for me (well, bought the flower one). The muffin cake was good, but a bit dense since it was as large as a cake and the recipe was for muffins – and doesn’t have gums, like xanthan, since I can’t tolerate those. The frosting was amazing! Strawberry whipcream. Yum. The best cakes I have had in years.
Tonight I had one even better.
I love the internets. We are always learning so much from each other! Shauna of Gluten Free Girl posted a cake recipe as part of the Gluten Free Rally, a large group of food bloggers that pick a food and use the power of the ratio in baking. She talks in this post about the things she’s learned from others that lead to this recipe, the best gluten free cake I have ever had in my life.
I pulled out my flours and decided on gluten free oat (apparently they aren’t all GF), millet and sweet rice and weighed them in the right ratios. Besides cardamom, I added some cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, then ran that in the mixer with the whisk to fluff them up. I didn’t want to use baking powder as it has corn starch in it. I made my own by mixing baking soda and cream of tartar, and felt very proud of myself. This was cooking from scratch!
I creamed the butter and sugar, or at least I tried to. I was using organic sugar, but it was a bit coarse and just wouldn’t cream. Frustrated, I almost gave up. But I thought of Julie and powered on – I scraped out the uncreamed disaster and started over. The butter was cold, so I beat that in the mixer for awhile first to get it loosened up and soft. I added in regular sugar, a bit sad at the taste, which wasn’t nearly as good as the organic stuff. It still didn’t cream that well. I think it was the cheap grocery store butter, albeit organic.
Apparently this is an “emulsification” and so adding the eggs already beaten and in small one tablespoon amounts keeps the emulsification, which translates in to later fluffiness of cake. Then adding the milk and flour a bit at a time and alternating also keeps the emulsification. In my mixer it was like a huge fluffy blob. It was weird. But cool.
I scraped it into a buttered springform pan, and put it in the oven. It was only supposed to take 30 minutes, but when we checked the top with a wooden chopstick (no toothpicks in the house) it was like soft jello. Uh… I forgot to mention that besides the weird non-creaming butter-sugar issue, we didn’t have any milk, so I used watered down cream. I was very worried I had screwed this whole thing up.
After an hour, it was finally done. The 15 minute wait for it to cool was excruciating. Finally we removed the cuff and cut into it. The crumb was so springy! So like “real” cake! Then we bit into it… Oh. My. God. It was scrumptious. It almost had a crust on it that was sugary and slightly caramelized. The cake was moist and crumbly in that perfect cake way. Ally said it was the best homemade cake, wheat or non, she has ever had.
We ate the entire thing in 24 hours. Third time was the charm. Fabulous gluten free food. Some might argue that you cannot live on cake. I say they haven’t had this cake.