Friday, July 8, 2011

Gluten Free White Cake

I don't do cakes. I never have. In my mind, cakes and cupcakes are always a total disappointment. The presentation lures me in, with its fancy frosting and picture perfect display but it's just that, a facade, like an empty promise. The actual taste always lets me down. It's either way too sweet and dense or so dry you wish you could rewind and choose the brownie instead. And it goes that if I won't eat it I surely will not bake it. Well, I broke that rule this past holiday weekend. Seriously, you can not avoid cakes for the fourth. Apparently the most respectable way to show your patriotic spirit is with a red white and blue cake. What really wore me down was the presentation. I wanted to be the one to show up to the party carrying a cake worth envying. So there I was in the kitchen hours before a big party attempting my very first gluten free cake. How did it turn out?

Gorgeous and tasty if I do say so myself. I don't even like cake and ate two slices. The crumb was excellent and the taste was perfectly delicate without too much sweet. The key to seeing this one disappear is not telling all the guests how much butter you used because that will shake the faint at heart. Cakes aren't as scary as I thought so maybe I will become a fan yet.

Gluten Free White Cake

  • 1 cup milk, room temp
  • 3/4 cup egg whites, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (I used amaretto flavored organic syrup)
  • 2 cups rice flour minus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch plus two tablespoons
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  • In a small bowl, combine milk, whites and flavoring. Mix until blended.
  • In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, powder, salt and xanthan gum with an electric mixer. Add butter and mix at low speed until it is no longer powdery, but looks like crumbs. Add milk mixture and beat until combined, scrape sides down once and beat again.
  • Pour batter into pans and bake for 22-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick at 22 minutes and adjust your time accordingly. The toothpick should come out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool slightly so the cake comes away from the sides of the pan, about 3-5 minutes. Invert cakes onto a plate then again onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
inspired by classic white layer cake recipe from the best recipe by cook's illustrated

This pretty cake was frosted with two sticks of butter and about a pound of powdered sugar. Whoa! Don't see that very often in this kitchen. Funny thing is that the original cake and frosting recipe this is adapted from called for over one pound of butter. That is one of the awesome things about cooking gluten free. You can use way less butter! Who knew? Well, I guess I did and now so do you!

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