Happy New Year!
It’s 2016. Wow! Another year already.
I have no idea how time goes so fast, but here we are again…… celebrating the progress of past to present and looking ahead to the future and all that it may bring. To all of you who read my posts, I hope 2016 brings you love, good health, happiness and peace…….. and of course loads of great food! Thank you for your continued support and the time you give to reading about my experimental gluten free culinary antics. I am genuinely touched that you visit my blog….
If you are anything like me, Christmas and then New Year always trigger a period of reflection and nostalgia. This includes getting sentimental about food. As Miss GF gets older and I become more proficient at developing gluten free translations of favourite dishes, I look further back into my memory for unexplored foodie delights from my childhood. This bake really is a trip down memory lane for me……. and one which I was so ready to share with my daughter.
I always remember as a child loving the slightly sticky, bouncy, spongey texture of Angel Cake. It was a cake which we didn’t have often, but when we did, it was so tempting that I would return for slice after slice, particularly loving its unusual texture as much as its sweet flavour.
Made with whipped egg whites and no fat, it had an amazing pillowy texture, quite like marshmallow in cake form……
I have wanted to create a gluten free replica for ages……. My opportunity has come with a load of egg whites left over from various Christmas dishes, including custards and brûlées which used only egg yolks. With a pot of 5 large egg whites languishing in the fridge, this was the perfect excuse for angel cake experimentation.
Using as a template the original recipe from my mother’s old Good Housekeeping cook book (from way back in the 70’s), this recipe stays as true to the original as possible, but replaces wheat flour with a carefully blended and balanced combination of easily available gluten free alternatives. I was so excited as it came out of the oven…… it smelt exactly as I remembered.
Traditionally baked in a large border cake tin, the Angel Cake is unusual in that you leave it to cool inverted, tin still intact. Once cold, it drops out of the pan with just a little encouragement. This gluten free version needed only slightly more encouragement than I remember and came out perfectly intact.
Although I admit I very slightly over-baked it (by about 5 minutes) and allowed it to go a little darker than I would have liked, it tastes exactly as it did when I was 10……. Soft, squidgy and slightly tacky in texture…… almost pure white and mallowy on the inside…… sweet with a vanillary backdrop. I can be happy with this bake…… it is just as it should be…….. and Miss GF loves it too!
So next time you have egg whites going wanting, this cake may be just the thing…..
I am sharing my gluten free Angel Cake with :
Love Cake with Ness at Jibber Jabber. The theme for the New Year is an inspiring ‘Waste Not’. This cake would not have been made without those surplus egg whites.
The No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.
pinch fine sea salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
5 large egg whites
140g caster sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Weigh and mix together the flours, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar. Set aside.
- In a clean, large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Add 2 tablespoons (30g) of the sugar to the bowl and whisk again until smooth and glossy.
- Sift the flour mix into the bowl and add the rest of the sugar and the vanilla extract. Lightly and quickly fold all the ingredients together until fully combined.
- Pour the mix into an ungreased springform border cake tin and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overcook, or the sponge may become a little dry.
- Invert the cake tin onto a wire rack (leaving the cake in the tin) and leave to cool completely.
- When cold, run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin to release the cake (if it doesn’t fall out in its own), open the spring, invert and remove the border of the cake tin. If the cake does not come away from the remaining base, gently use a knife or silicone spatula to ease it from the tin (it will feel quite springy).
- Depending on the shape of your tin, you may choose to serve the cake inverted or turn up the right way. Decorate as you wish.
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