Things have been very busy here in the ‘Make Your Cake’ household so I haven’t had a chance to post here for a while. Our 22 year old daughter married a lovely fellow two weeks ago and it was a fabulous day. The groom’s mother organised a special, nut-free wedding cake to be made as my daughter has life-threatening nut allergies. With that taken care of we still needed cake for those of us with gluten intolerance and egg allergy. The maid of honour also needed dairy-free so it was my task to make some gluten, dairy and egg-free cupcakes. I decided to go back to my good old chocolate cake recipe, then I iced it with some ready made icing. The icing is made by Orchard and is gluten-free as well as egg-free so it was perfect for the job. I decorated the cupcakes with pre-made icing flowers. The flowers do contain egg, but those of us with egg allergy just removed them before eating. Please note though, that the two of us with egg allergy have a typical adult egg allergy, so the slight chance of encountering egg allergen from the flowers on the top before we removed them was not an issue. If I was providing for a typical child with an egg allergy I would not even put the flowers on the top. One of these days I will have a fiddle with the Orchard icing to see if I can make some flowers myself. I was really pleased with how they looked.
The chocolate cake tastes fabulous when using coconut milk (or cream) as the ‘milk’ component. However, there are a few tricks with this cake. I often get asked for the recipe but a couple of people have had troubles reproducing the cake. When I ask if they have changed the recipe in any way I get two responses. Firstly, they have reduced the sugar. Yes, it is a lot of sugar in the cake, but it’s not one that we eat every day, and the amount of sugar really does make a difference to the final product. Secondly, they use a different gluten-free self-raising flour. What then happens is that the cake rises really well in the oven, only to collapse later and become really dense. There is a reason for this. Often, some manufacturers put too much raising agent in the flour. Initially this produces very big bubbles in the cake, but then they collapse.
For some reason, manufacturers seem to put extra raising agent in some gluten-free self-raising flours. I’ve also seen many gluten-free recipes which call for self-raising flour and then extra baking powder. In my experience this causes the mixture to overflow the cake tin, or the collapsing effect I’ve just mentioned. From experience, I can tell you that the best gluten-free self-raising flours that don’t have this problem are the Orgran and Aldi ‘Has No’ brand of flour. For other flours, they have their uses. The extra raising agent makes them fantastic for pancakes/pikelets and scones and damper. Melinda’s SR flour is my stand out choice for pancakes/pikelets for example. It gives the very best pikelets, although those with soy allergies need to avoid it. A friend who tried my chocolate cake recipe used White Wings SR flour and found it causes the dense cake and I’ve had a similar experience with the Woolworths brand.
Of course, you can always use plain flour and then add baking powder and experiment to find the right combination. The rule I always learned was that for every 1 metric cup of flour (150 g) to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Next up…..a Blueberry Cake.