When someone I love has a birthday I bake a cake. It’s that simple. It would be so nice to be able to leave it at that, except I can’t… I’m a meddler, and a talker, and in general I can’t leave well enough alone. So, here goes…
I’m a big believer in having a homemade cake on a birthday. Is it as beautiful as a store bought cake? Probably not. Is it as tasty? No, it tastes better. That’s probably because it’s filled with love, not things to make it’s shelf-life longer. I also like to take requests so the birthday boy or girl gets just what he or she wants. So, when someone near and dear to me had a birthday a couple of weeks ago I was all set to bake the cake she asked for. The tricky part was that she would be eating it at our house and The Boy would be there too. So the challenge arose: make a gluten free birthday cake that would be good enough to pass as a regular cake so The Boy could eat it and the birthday girl would still be happy with the taste. My first thought was, I’ll admit, “lots of frosting”. Ha!
But in the end, even though I did put on a fair amount of the requested chocolate icing, the cake stood up well enough on it’s own that I found myself eating the leftovers from the kids plates and leaving the icing behind; and to me that’s the greatest compliment a cake can have. Well, maybe that and getting stuffed into the garbage disposal. What? I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but in mine, when I force a cake into the garbage disposal it’s because it’s so wicked good it’s mere presence drives me to distraction and I can think of nothing but eating the cake until it’s gone. Maybe that’s just me. But I suspect it’s not.
I can already tell that this recipe is going to be my go-to yellow cake. It’s moist, firm, has a good crumb, holds the frosting beautifully, and of course tastes so good you won’t miss the gluten for a second. It’s from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts and it requires no adaptation. Now that’s a good recipe!
- Whisk together the ECJ and egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Rest the bowl in a pot of simmering water on the stove and whisk continuously.
- Periodically test the mixture by rubbing a bit between your thumb and forefinger. When you can no longer feel sugar granules you know it is finished.
- Put the bowl back on the mixer and beat the egg whites until they have cooled and doubled in size.
- Beat in the butter a half of a stick at a time. When you hear a “slapping” noise you know it is finished.
- Quickly beat in the cocoa until it is just incorporated.
- Frost the middle and outside of the cake and then place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set the frosting in place before adding further decorations.
- Remove from the fridge at least 1 hour before serving so it can come to room temperature