I do like a baking challenge, but this gluten free, dairy and egg free cake really challenged my baking skill and knowledge to the max.
Earlier this week a good friend of mine emailed me and asked where he could buy a dairy and egg free cake. My response was that I was not sure and I don’t think I have ever seen a dairy free cake.
Using my baking knowledge and after a little bit or research I knew how to and what to substitute the dairy ingredients for. I email back and said that I would be up for a challenge and I would make them the cake – would they mind if it was gluten free as well? They replied no. After deciding on a flavour, I was set and ready to bake. I had one shot to get this right and everything was crossed.
Making the mix was an experience, and I kept checking that I had not forgotten anything. It’s been a long time since I have been so meticulous when checking the ingredients and re-reading the recipe. Putting all the dry ingredients in the bowl first and then adding the wet, I mixed it all together and the mixture was very liquid. I was conscious of not wanting to over mix, but I also wanted to give it some air… most cakes need air to rise, I was really worried about the rising of this cake. With my cake tin lined I prayed that this would turn out OK as I placed it into the oven.
The cake took 40 minutes to bake and whilst it was baking, it was rising much to my surprise. The colour was good and it felt light as I took it out of the oven. It smelled good. I noticed that as it was starting to cool it was deflating, not sinking, but losing the height that it had built up in the oven. I was getting worried. I carried on and put the lemon drizzle on the cake and let it cool.
As this cake was for a friend to take to work, I did not have the chance to taste the cake. The feedback that I got was that it was ‘really tasty’ and that it had ‘lots of flavour.’ Other comments included, ‘the taste and consistency (very moist) reminded them of Shrove Tuesday.’ The worst of the comments if you like were that the cake ‘reminds me of lemon flavour batter from a Chinese restaurant.’ So, mixed reviews and I find it very weird that I have no idea what the taste nor the texture is like. Maybe there is too much lemon in the cake and a cake that is made with totally different ingredients to normal cake mixtures needs less flavouring in order not to overwhelm it.
I am going to re-make this cake as I have an idea about how to get the height into it and instead of using vegetable oil as the fat I am going to use vegan/dairy free margarine. I reckon that it should be possible to cream the vegan substitute to butter and the sugar. This should get some air into the cake which will help is rise and keep it’s height when cool.
But if you fancy having ago at making this cake the recipe is below.
Pre-heat your oven to 200 oC or gas mark 5. You will need an 8×8 loose bottom baking tin, lined with grease proof paper on the bottom and the sides sprayed with a little bit of vegetable oil.
For the cake:
200g gluten free self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
5 tbsp vegetable oil
3 medium lemon’s rinds zested or grated
1 cup (american) cold water
For the lemon drizzle:
3 medium lemons, juiced
2 tbsp caster sugar
For the lemon icing:
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 table-spoon lemon juice
1. In a bowl add all the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt and grated lemon zest and mix together.
2. Add the vanilla extract, vegetable oil and white wine vinegar to the dry ingredients and mix together.
3. Add the water and mix together and then put the mixture into your lined and greased baking tin.
4. Place into the center of your oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake will be done when it is a golden colour and when a skewer is put into the cake and comes out clean. Put the cake, still in its tin, on a cooling rack and using the skewer prick the top of the cake several times.
5. To make the lemon drizzle put the lemon juice and sugar in a pan and heat up. The glaze will be done when all the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and using a spoon, spoon all the lemon juice over the cake while it is still warm. The holes help the juice sink into the cake.
6. Leave the cake to cool for about 20 minutes and now removed the tins sides, and leave the cake to cool completely.
7. When the cake is cooled completely, gently remove the bottom of the cake tin and the baking paper. You might have to turn the cake over to do this. Turning back the right way, place the cake onto a serving plate. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice and drizzle onto the cake. The cake is ready for serving.
Happy gluten free, dairy and egg free baking 🙂