Yes I’m still alive, and here’s a recipe! (Gluten-free lemon layer cake)

Oh my, how the weeks fly by when you are busy. Sometimes it’s a blessing, other times… not so much. I haven’t had a day with nothing to do in quite awhile. But on a happier note, good things are going around and it’s nice to be employed and living in a beautiful place. And since I moved last weekend, I now have a new kitchen to play with – if I ever have the time! For now, here’s a recipe from a month or so ago…

~* Gluten-Free Lemon Layer Cake *~

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

 This recipe has a lot of steps, but it’s completely worth it. It works best if you make the cake and lemon curd the night before so everything has time to cool. Freezing the cakes overnight will help keep them from crumbling or falling apart during assembly (as some gf cakes tend to do). You don’t have to use greek yogurt here, but it adds tangy moisture to the cake. The lemon curd is absolutely fantastic- use it in any recipe for lemon tarts or with fresh scones! (put in link)

For the filling:

  • Zest from two lemons
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks (reserve whites for the cake)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen

For the cake:

  • 1 cup sorghum flour, plus more for dusting cake pans
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter substitute) cut into tablespoons, softened

For the icing (“seven-minute” recipe):

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Tip: when working with lemons, always use non-reactive cookware and utensils!

 For the filling: Soften gelatin by measuring 1 tbsp lemon juice into small bowl and sprinkling gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high hear, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolved and mixture is hot but not boiling.

Separate 6 large eggs, saving whites for the cake. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and egg yolks together, temper the mixture by slowly pouring hot lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, and then return the mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heat-proof spatula until mixture reaches 170 degrees. It should be thick enough to leave a trail on the spoon and across the bottom of the saucepan. Watch out for sputters once the curd gets hot!

Quickly remove pan from heat and stir in frozen butter until melted; continue to stir until smooth. Pour filling though a fine-mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl – definitely don’t skip this step! A smooth curd is especially important when you’re using it as cake filling. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate till its firm enough to spread; at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two nine-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper (trust me, with a sticky gf cake you do not want to skip this step!)

Whisk together Greek yogurt, egg whites, and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing mixture, mix flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running at low speed, add butter one chunk at a time, and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no large butter pieces (like a scone or biscuit dough). Add all but ½ cup yogurt mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed till batter is pale and fluffy, about 1 ½ minutes. With mixer running at low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture; increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds
longer. Divide batter evenly between cake pans, even out tops.

Bake on center rake, rotating cakes halfway through, until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again; cool completely on rack. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze overnight if desired. (Freezing often improves gf texture)


Now, the fun part! To assemble: Mix chilled curd with spoon until spread-able. With a serrated knife, cut each cake into 2 even layers, taking care not to break layers. Brush off crumbs. Place bottom cake on cake plate/cardboard, and spread 1 cup lemon filling evenly on cake, leaving a ½ inch border around the edge. Gently add second layer, spread 1 cup filling on top. Repeat with third layer. Place fourth layer on top, smooth out any filling that has leaked out from the layers. Refrigerate while making icing.

For the icing: Combine all ingredients in bowl of standing mixer or large heatproof bowl and set over medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water (do not let bowl touch water). Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 160 degrees, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and transfer mixture to standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until mixture has cooled to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 minutes longer. Using a spatula, spread frosting on cake, starting with the top layer, working icing down the sides.

Cake can be refrigerated up to one day before serving, and be aware that once the marshmallow-y icing sets, you won’t be able to smooth out any nicks.

A perfect Spring-y birthday cake!

Advertisements

Happy Father’s Day (from a Blondie)

  DSCN7194   I have a small obsession with these.

DSCN7188

But they’re just so…compelling. All the chewy gooey-ness of a brownie but with a caramel, peanut-ey flavor. I might even venture that these are better than the chocolate version. Le sigh.

DSCN7199

I can’t think of a Father who wouldn’t like one of these; much tastier than a tie or a box of golf balls. And for a recent grad student looking for work, very cost-effective!

Click here for Blondie Recipe

  2

….from a Blondie

(bad joke)

Gluten-Free Chocolate-Peanut Butter Blondies

DSCN6956

These Blondies are very simple to make, and I would wager that most people have the ingredents to make them in their kitchen right now! They can be adapted to suit any culinary whim: you can add in dried fruit, nuts, chocolate or any variety of chips, chunks of candy, a splash of brandy, mint, coconut – anything!

Here I added in walnut, and swirled in a mixture of chocolate peanut butter, and they turned out to be pretty much the most amazing thing I’ve eaten in awhile – so amazing I barely had the chance to take a photo of the finished product!

DSCN6957

Gluten-Free Chocolate-Peanut Butter Blondies

Apapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Infinitely Adaptable Blondies

The lovely thing about this recipe? It can be made all in one pan without any appliances!

  • 1 stick Earth Balance Buttery spread (8 tablespoons), melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons coco powder

Pour melted butter over brown sugar, beat with a large whisk until smooth. Beat in egg, and then vanilla.

Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any walnuts or any desired additions. Melt peanut butter in microwave until pourable, mix in coco powder.

DSCN6950 Pour batter into greased 8 x 8 pan, smooth out. Drop peanut butter mixture on top, swirl into the top layer of batter with knife or toothpick for lovely, swirled effect.

DSCN6952 Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Cool on a metal rack before cutting. Try not to eat with a spoon in one setting.

DSCN6955The resulting Blondie has a wonderful caramel-like flavor from the brown sugar, with a soft and chewy texture that begs to be eaten warm. The chocolate-peanut butter on the top is a perfect touch – it adds to the complexity but doesn’t overwhelm the whole dessert or make it sickly sweet.

In other words, perfection.

Gluten-Free Dreaming Copyright 2011.