Wishing the Aherns many more birthdays filled with (gf) lemon-raspberry cakes
Lemon cake filled with Pierre Hermé’s lemon cream, frosted with raspberry cream cheese frosting
My husband and I went to Vashon island yesterday, bearing this pretty pink confection for the Aherns. It was a joint birthday party for the whole family: Shauna, Danny, and baby Lucy, all born within about 2.5 weeks of one another. (It was just meant to be, wasn’t it?) A few weeks ago, I asked Shauna what her favorite cake was, and she told me anything with lemon and raspberry. I wanted to make a gluten-free cake for the party, and asked her for a few tips about gluten-free baking. Here are a few basic rules that are good to know:Shauna’s Rules for Gluten-Free Baking 1. Use more liquid (oil, egg, etc.) than you think would be necessary 2. A gluten-free baked good generally contains proportionately more fat 3. Use a blend of sorghum, sweet rice, tapioca, and potato starch (and sometimes, a bit of guar gum) to get the right texture
With these rules in mind, I wrote a gluten-free cake recipe. If you are a seasoned traditional baker like I am, the proportions to this recipe definitely seem “off”–you might think you would end up with an awfully greasy and leaden cake with so much butter and egg, not to mention the sour cream. But gluten-free batters react differently than traditional white flour batters in the oven–what looks like a runny mess in the pan will bake up beautifully moist, with a soft texture. In fact, many of the guests at the party last night commented that they couldn’t even tell that the cake was gluten-free, and the legendary Cakespy, Jessie Oleson proclaimed it: “the best gluten-free cake she’s ever had.” (High praise, indeed!)
So with that, I am pleased to offer you the recipe. I wrote it with love, because anyone (gluten-intolerant or not), deserves the very best-tasting lemon-raspberry cake on their birthday. Especially a family as sweet and dear as the Aherns.
Shauna’s Lemon-Raspberry Birthday cake serves a happy, cake-loving crowd
Ingredients: 1/2 cup each of sorghum flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch (all available at Whole Foods!) 3/4 tsp guar gum 1/2 tsp kosher salt 2 tsp baking powder 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 5 eggs 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice 3 tsp lemon zest 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract) 2 tsp Cointreau 1/2 cup sour cream
Method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, guar gum, salt, and baking powder.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Lower the speed to medium, and add the eggs one by one, mixing until combined after each addition. Add the lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and Cointreau. Beat in the dry ingredients, and then beat in the sour cream until the batter is combined. (Don’t worry if the lemon juice has caused everything to look a little curdled–this will happen.) The texture of the batter at this point is runnier than a traditional cake batter, and that’s exactly right!
Grease and line two 9″ cake pans and divide the batter between them evenly. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool, then unmold. The cakes need to be completely cooled before filling and frosting.
For the lemon cream, I use Pierre Hermé’s lovely lemon cream recipe. A half-recipe is all you need to fill the cake, and then the rest is leftovers for you to spoon into your mouth. Don’t be put off by the lengthy directions in this recipe–I never strain the zest out (though I use a microplane so the zest is extremely fine), and I don’t use the blender to whip extra air into the cream. Instead, I keep it in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisking ever 1-2 minutes as I clean up the kitchen. Incorporate the butter into the hot lemon mixture bit by bit, whisking after each addition. (This is the more traditional way of making lemon curd, and it works for this recipe.) It’ll thicken after about 15-18 minutes. But if you’re up for the task of doing it PH’s way, it will turn out perfectly as well!
For the raspberry cream cheese frosting: makes enough frosting for one 9″ cake Ingredients: 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 12 oz. cream cheese 1 1/2 cups icing sugar 1/4 cup raspberry jam 1/4 cup fresh raspberries 1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp Cointreau
Beat everything together until smooth, and apply liberally over the entire cake.
Posted: July 27th, 2009 under Uncategorized.