I have been collecting a few gluten-free/flourless cake recipes for a little while now, but it wasn’t until I had a few interviews in regards to my job applications that I really felt like giving them a go. I guess I was hesitating because of the oven troubles at our last house, and getting to the interview stage has made me feel confident and adventurous again. I also realised that I could pick a simple, classic sort of cake which could be saved even in the event of some great disaster, and use that as my test run for cakes in our new oven. Plain cakes, vanilla cakes and tea-cakes are brilliant for this. Even if they burn, even if they’re misshapen, you can still use them for so much! So I flipped through my cookbooks to see what I could find.
I discovered a Victoria Sandwhich cake recipe which seemed to be just the thing I needed. But I didn’t have the brown rice flour needed as the base for the cake, and I was hesitant to use only regular rice flour as a substitute. As to me regular rice flour is more for use in biscuits than in cakes. But I did have a little gluten-free plain flour left over. So I used the last of that up, added a couple of grams of regular rice flour to the mix, and then dusted the cake tins with a little more regular rice flour. I messed with this recipe a lot, as I knew I could use it no matter how it turned out. And to be honest a part of me was hoping it would end in disaster so that I could make a trifle, heh heh. But the end result was that I had two little cakes that were soft, fluffy and unbelievably delicate. Not too bad!
But what I will do is post up the original recipe, with my substitutes in brackets, as I myself want to find some brown rice flour and give the original a go, but I also want you all to see that even if you do terrible things to this recipe, it still seems to forgive you! Happy eating!
Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook Series: 200 Gluten-Free Recipes
Victoria Sandwhich Cake
Serves: 6-8, Prep: 15-20 mins, Cook: 20 mins
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g brown rice flour (I used 170g gluten-free plain flour and 5g regular rice flour), plus extra for dusting
- 175g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp gluten-free baking powder (I used 2 tsp and 1/4 tsp bi-carb soda, but I used the bi-carb simply out of habit. I don’t think it had too great an effect on the cakes overall.)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp milk (I used about 3 tbsp, but I would recommend experimenting with less.)
- A few drops of vanilla extract (I used 1/4 tsp)
Filling and Topping
- Jam, preferably berry flavoured.
- 300ml thickened cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Optional Extras: chopped berries that complement your choice of jam, e.g. strawberries if you chose strawberry jam.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C (I put mine on 160C fan-forced), and grease and line two 18cm cake tins. As a rule of thumb I put a circle of baking paper on the base of my cake tins after greasing and dusting them. It makes the cakes easier to remove in my opinion.
- Place all the ingredients in a food processors and whizz until well combined, or beat the mix until light and fluffy.
- Spoon the mixture into the two tins, and then bake them for 20 mins, or until golden brown all over, the cakes have shrunk back from the edges of the tins a little, and skewers inserted into their centres come out clean.
- Turn these cakes out onto wire racks to cool, removing the baking paper circles – if you used them.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, combine the cream, vanilla and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until the cream is somewhat firm, so that it will hold it’s shape when spread, but is not stiff.
- Spread the top of one cake with jam and cream, then place the other cake on top of that and cover it with jam and cream as well. Or just sprinkle it with icing sugar if you prefer, and then serve.