Friday, November 19, 2010

Gluten Free Sponge Cake for Dons

The other day my mum came over for dinner which was the perfect chance to whip up something for dessert. Dons is gluten free and her most favourite thing in the worked for dessert is sponge with cream and strawberries. My mum also loves it so I thought I would give it a go. I have only ever made sponge once before but as we all know, the key is to whip in as much air as you can and then try not to deflate it when you add the flour. In this case the flour component was cornflour. I was a bit worried as sometimes cornflour can leave a bit of a powdery taste in you mouth. However I needn't have worried after all. The sponge itself was delicious. It was very easy to make although I think having a Kitchen Aid (my most favourite kitchen tool as I use it ALL the time), makes the whole process much easier. The other thing the recipe said to do was to drop the tin as soon as it comes out of the oven from knee height onto the floor (this is also something our grandmothers would have done). I dubiously tried this and I think it really does work. The reasoning behind it is to 'shock' the cake into not deflating anymore than it needs to. 

The only problem I had was my tin sizes. The recipe says to use 2 x 21 cm tins which I did use but my mixture was very airy and rose well almost spilling over the side. As well as  that it didn't deflate all that much which made the sponge cake very very tall especially once you added the whipped cream and strawberries.

Hmmm a bit overfull

Next time I'll use a 23 cm tin...

Very tall still even after the 'drop'

Regardless of how tall the cake looked  once they were joined, it still tasted really good. When I whipped the cream I added some vanilla extract and a bit of icing sugar which worked really well with the light sponge and the ripe strawberries.

Terrible photo but it had to be done quickly as they were all waiting to tuck in
Of course it had icing sugar on top so for anyone who remembers or has seen the wonderfully kitsch and endearing Australian movie called 'The Castle' will remember the bit that the mum (who like to do a bit of home craft) presents to the dad her sponge cake. He asks what she has that on the cake to which she says 'icing sugar'. He says why would anyone eat at a restaurant if you kept getting food like that everyday. And I guess that's true really!

Anyway here is the recipe:

Gluten Free Sponge Cake (from Jo Seagar 'It Easier Than You Think')

1 c sugar
3 Tbsp water
4 eggs separated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Oven to 180 C. Grease 2x 21 cm tins (next time I'll go for 23 cm) and line the base.

Put the sugar and water into a pot and dissolve the sugar then bring to a boil.

Beat the egg whites until stiff then slowly drizzle in the hot sugar and water mix while the mixer is running. Then beat really hard. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients and then carefully fold them into the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared tins and bake 20 mins. As soon as you take the tins out of the oven drop them from knee height square onto the floor. Cool in the tin.

Serve with whipped cream and strawberries in the middle and yes, dust with icing sugar.

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