Friday 20 June 2014

Foodie Friday - Mummy Lou's Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake

In my family for as long as I can remember we've always had a bit of a tradition of Sunday tea. Not necessarily a full afternoon tea but now we normally have something a little bit special usually involving a homemade cake or a dessert made be either me or Mummy Lou. Over the years we've had every from flapjacks, to fruit cakes, to trifles, mousses and crumbles but one cake always does seem to win it - the humble Victoria Sandwich Cake.

I say humble but this cake is the basis for so many wonderful creations, you can fill it with fruit and fresh cream, cream and Nutella, butter cream and jam or you can add any colour or flavouring you like to make something special. Since I went gluten and wheat free baking became a bit of a challenge, the normal sponge cake recipe just doesn't seem to work anymore so Mummy Lou put her inventors hat on and had a play, finally producing some which isn't quite the same but something that is equally tasty.

This sponge isn't anywhere near as light as the traditional one but since gluten free cakes tend to be quite dry and crumbly, the addition of the ground almonds adds a lovely moist texture to the cake which helps keep it fresher for longer. My favourite version of this cake has a bit of citrus edge so may I present Mummy Lou's Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake.

Mummy Lou's Gluten Free Lemon Sponge Cake

For The Cake 
6oz Butter At Room Temperature 
6oz Sugar
3 Eggs At Room Temperature
4oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
2oz Ground Almonds
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tbsp Milk
Zest of 1 Lemon

For The Butter Cream

Zest Of 1/2 A Lemon
Juice Of 1/2 A Lemon
6oz Butter At Room Temperature
12oz Icing Sugar 

For The Cake 

1. Preheat your oven to around 175°c - then grease and line two sandwich cake tins - I'm using silicone ones here but I've still used an extra bit of silicone liner to make sure they come out clean.

2. Put your butter and sugar into a large basin

and beat preferably with an electric mixer until smooth, combined and paler in colour.

3. Beat your eggs in a small bowl and add the milk to the eggs.These fabulously yellow yolked eggs are courtesy of my uncles chickens :)

Then beat this mixture into your butter and sugar

4. Sieve your flour, add the lemon zest, almonds, baking power, and xanthan gum

Then slowly beat that into the rest of your mixture , a little at a time. until it's all combined.

5. The mixture will be a little thicker than normal but it should still drop easily from a spoon - if it's too dry add a little bit of extra milk.

6. Put your cake mix into your cake tins, don't worry too much about it being perfect this mix does spread out quite a bit.

7. Pop them into the oven for about 25 minutes until they're springy to the touch and golden, you can always pop a skewer in if your not sure, and if it comes out clean they're done. Leave them to cool completely preferably in the tins before decorating

For The Lemon Butter Cream

1. Sieve your icing sugar into a mixing bowl

2. Add your butter and some of the lemon zest and beat - you do need an electric mixer for the best results. Gradually add some of the lemon juice to taste - you don't want the butter cream to be too thin so you might not need all of it, and of course it depends on personal taste.

3. Beat, beat and beat as though your life depends on it - I have heard that you should whip butter cream for around 7 minutes for best results but if your using a hand mixer this is nigh on impossible without some serious arm ache! As soon as it's paler in colour and light and fluffy though it's done. 

4. This recipe makes enough for the centre and the top of an average sandwich cake. Of you could half the recipe if you just waned to put it in the middle.

We've decorated our cake with lemon jelly sweets and lemon zest but you can do what you like x 

This cake is indulgent enough with butter cream but we've also had it filled and topped with lemon curd and fresh cream - definitely naughty but nice!

If lemon isn't your thing you could use lime or orange zest, or you could leave it out completely and just use the basic recipe to make a plain Victoria Sponge.

I'm definitely going to experiment with this basic recipe a bit more and maybe try a chocolate variant and also to see if it works for cupcakes, so I'll keep you posted x  If you have any questions on this recipe or any questions with regard to gluten free baking please leave me a comment or send me a message and I'll get back to you x Thanks for reading x 

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