COTM: Simply Gluten Free

Buttered Crumbs has been gluten free for two weeks now, it’s not too bad so far, though I am missing my favourite snack foods.

Everybody needs a simple go-to recipe for a cake that can be whizzed up quickly for any occasion. For most of us it would be the humble pound cake or Victoria sponge, though I prefer my own version http://www.butteredcrumbs.co.uk/?p=190 So I’ve been doing some experimental baking with gluten free flour.

Nowaday’s most supermarkets will stock at least one gluten free flour mix. Typically made up of rice, maize, tapioca and potato flours. I followed my own recipe, substituting Dove’s Farm GF flour for regular wheat flour. It was easy to use, rose well, browned evenly and tasted nice. The problem with GF flours is a tendancy to be dry and gritty, the cake wasn’t dry but it did have an unusual texture and a lack of “bite”, just sort of disappearing in the mouth rather than giving you a good chewy mouthful! Mr Crumbs enjoyed it, myself and Small Boy felt it was fine but not amazing but Eldest Son who is very sensitive to food  texture wasn’t keen at all.

Trying again, I used a 50/50 mix of ground almonds and potato flour. The result was a lovely rich tasting cake with a satisfying texture, definitlely not a sponge cake, but equally simple to make. I filled it with whipped cream and raspberry jam and everyone was happy. A word of caution, the cake is very fragile while hot so let it cool down in the tin for 20 mins before trying to take it out (carefully!)

Simple Go-To Gluten Free Cake

  • 4oz (120g) ground almonds
  • 4oz (120g) potato flour (available from health food shops like Holland and Barret)
  • 1½ tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 6oz (180g) butter
  • 6oz (180g) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3floz (90ml) milk

Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Grease and line one large cake tin or two sandwich tins. Pre heat the oven to 170°c (150 fan/gas mark 3)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.

Sift together the potato flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Gradually beat into the mixture, alternating with the milk, until all the flour and milk is incorporated into the mixture.

Divide between the cake tins and bake for around 20 minutes or until a dark golden brown on top. The cakes are not spongy to the touch so you will have to use a skewer poked into the middle to see if they are cooked through. If you’re using one big tin, check after 20 mins and cover the top with baking paper if it’s getting too brown before the middle is done.

Cool in the tin for 20 mins then very carefully turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Fill and decorate as required.

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