The perfect gluten-free Victoria Sponge

10 Jul

So, this has been one of those unreachable targets of mine. To create a gluten free sponge that wasn’t heavy and didn’t turn into lead after a couple of days. Well, thanks to my recent purchase of Xanthan Gum- my target has now been reached! Now I’d like to share it with you, so that you can share in the joy of homemade cake, free from chemicals. (Yes, Xanthan Gum is not as alien as it sounds! Read more here: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-xanthan-gum.htm )

Gluten-free Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

3 medium eggs
Soft margarine or butter
Caster sugar
Gluten-free self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp Xanthan Gum
3tbsp water

Why are there no quantities for the main ingredients? Because the secret to a good sponge cake is that you weigh your eggs (med eggs are usually around 2oz each). Then whatever they amount to, is the amount you need for the flour and fat.

1. Cream your fat and sugar together in a mixer (I have a Kenwood, so I attach the K-beater). The rule here, is to cream them until your fat goes pale. Though this rule works better with butter.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat in. Follow each egg with a spoonful of flour (taken from what you have already weighed out). The reason you add the flour is to stop the mixture from curdling.

3. Sieve in the remaining flour, baking powder and Xanthan Gum. Fold into the mixture. (Folding is a baking technique where you scoop from the side of the bowl and lift the mixture over what remains in the bowl. This way you don’t lose any of the air you have already incorporated). Make sure that you have included all the flour and there’s none left in the middle! Your mixture will seem quite gluey compared to a normal sponge mix, thanks to the Xanthan gum, but this is what will take the place of the gluten and help your cake rise. Add your 3 tablespoons of water now, as gluten-free flour is very absorbent.

4. Add your teaspoon of vanilla essence. (This will give your cake a nice flavour).

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven (Gas Mark 5) for 20-30 mins. (Time will vary according to your oven.

6. Leave to cool on a wire rack

When cool, you can decorate your cake as you wish. You can simply sandwich your cakes together with a little melted jam and sprinkle some sugar on top (either caster sugar or icing sugar). Or, make up a little water or glace icing- follow the recipe on the side of the Silver Spoon packet. It’s 4 oz icing sugar to one tablespoon of warm water. Then, add your decoration- hundreds and thousands or similar work well!

Most importantly, sit back and enjoy a large slice! 🙂

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