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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday Recipe - Gluten-Free Easy Sponge Cake

I never thought Gluten-free and Easy could be in the same title, especially not for cake. Most of the recipes I looked at required weird ingredients or special mixes or something else strange or a tricky baking method. This one is fairly simple. It does take almond flour and rice flour, but both of those are pretty easy to find these days. It's based off one I found in an old cookbook that used ground almonds and lemon zest and had really bad directions. The first time I tried to do this, I ended up with a burnt on the bottom, flat, giant hockey puck. I changed things up and made a much more delicious cake the second time around.

The cake makes one 10-inch round thick enough to split and use for a 2-layer cake. We filled it with a couple of different things, but feel free to go hog wild and do whatever you like in your cake. This would make an awesome strawberry shortcake dessert. Just sayin'.

Gluten Free Easy Sponge Cake

7 eggs, separated
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. rice flour
1 t. vanilla or almond flavoring

Pre-heat oven to 325°. Spray a 10-inch spring-form pan or 2 8-inch cake pans. Make sure you get the corners and bottom really well. Set aside.

Separate the eggs. Be careful not to get egg yolk in with the whites. Set the yolks aside.

Beat the egg yolks until they are very light yellow and fluffy and thick, this takes about 3-5 minutes. Don't underbeat at this stage. Add sugar and salt and beat again. Stir in flours and flavorings. Set aside.

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, 3-5 minutes. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. You want to keep as much air as you can. Stir gently just until you can't see large puffs of egg white. I use a rubber scraper to stir, lifting up from the bottom to the top. The thicker egg yolk mixture tends to settle to the bottom while the whites are on top. You want to get them mixed evenly throughout but don't go overboard on stirring or you will lose your air, which is what makes this cake rise.

Scoop batter gently into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, just until set and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Use a thin knife to loosen the cake from the sides, then turn out onto a serving platter and let cool completely.

Frost and decorate like any other cake.

Note: this cake is more chewy and sponge-y than a normal cake, more like an angel-food cake. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut it.

If you want to fill the cake - 
After it is completely cool, use a long serrated knife to split it into two layers. Carefully remove the top layer, spread on the filling, then replace with the top layer.

Suggestions for fillings:
peach-rhubarb jam (homemade and delicious!)
berry pie filling (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc)
lemon curd
chocolate mousse
pretty much anything you'd fill a regular cake with