Do you believe in cake elves? This week I came home to find they had visited my house! Tucked safely behind a plant pot, under a dry, sheltered overhang, they had left us a large box……. contained within was a carefully packed, delicious, gluten free, home-baked chocolate cake, courtesy of Sponge.
How excited were we?! Being gluten free (even with the amazing advances in commercially available gluten free bakes), it is a rare thing to find good cake without having to make it ourselves. Much as we love to bake at GF HQ, there are times when I just want to be able to buy a decent cake…… one that is sizeable enough to feed plenty of mouths, doesn’t fall apart when picked up or go stale within hours, tastes as good as it looks and is made with ingredients that fit its decadent expectation.
I think we may have just found it! Sponge is a small company based in Norfolk, who have been specialising in cake-making for sixteen years. Starting life in a cafe, the company expanded and evolved into an on-line business in 2009, to make their cakes available nation-wide. They provide a whole range of wheat-based cake, but also (and this is where is gets exciting for us gluten-avoiders) no less than FIVE home-baked gluten free sponges (with plans for more soon).
Made with free-range eggs and real butter, you can choose from Chocolate, Carrot, Victoria and Apple Crumble. Or if you are dairy free as well, you can opt for their Elizabeth cake (which is fruited with apricots, sultanas and lemon oil)……. All are available in 7 or 10 inch size, as well as mini cakes or a large ‘sharing’ cake with a quarter-size each of four flavours included. I have my eye on an Apple Crumble cake next!
Sponge also knows how important it is for us to feel safe when eating their cakes. All their gluten free sponges are prepared with extra care to ensure avoidance of cross-contamination……. baking on a specific day separate from gluten-based bakes and making sure baking areas and equipment are cleaned and sterilised. They have a reassuring understanding of gluten-safety and with plans to expand their range, hope to establish space and equipment exclusive to their gluten free baking.
We received a generous 7 inch gluten free Chocolate Sponge to try. It came beautifully packaged and when unwrapped, looked and smelled mouth-wateringly tempting. The sponge layers were deep and the cake was tall, with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream and all lovingly-finished with a sprinkling of chocolate shavings across the top. This is no factory-produced cake…… it is every inch home-baked in appearance and tastes as good!
The chocolate sponge is soft, moist and light with a good chocolatey flavour. It has a smooth texture (which would suggest a balanced flour blend….. in this case rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat) and is not over-sweet (which is so often the case with shop-bought cakes). The buttercream is rich and creamy with a good chocolate hit and ample sinfulness.
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I was kindly sent a chocolate cake from Sponge to try. There was no expectation that I write a positive review. As always, all views expressed are honest and are my own.
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