Monday, April 11, 2016

Gluten Free Raspberry Lamington Cake

You know when you make something so good you just need to get it out of the house? This cake was that. I have zero self control when it comes to cakes (and pretty much anything sweet), and I'm currently trying to cut down on my sugar intake before we go on holiday, two reasons having delicious fluffy sponge cake filled with cream and jam is a bad idea right now.

As we are about to go to the USA for a five week holiday I decided a family catch up was in order before we leave. I'm usually over-organised and ask family members to bring certain dishes, but this time I decided to make it a pot luck dinner and left the instructions at that. We ended up with three rice dishes and no meat. Not to self: being over organised is not always a bad thing.

GF Raspberry Lamington Cake

Onto dessert though, I had that sorted (as always), with a delicious gluten free sponge cake that I sandwiched together with Mother Earth Raspberry Jam. This stuff is seriously good, it tastes like the homemade kind, you know with actual raspberry seeds, made from real New Zealand fruit! The jam is  made in small batches using simple recipes so it's just like having a jar of mum's famous homemade jam, only it's available all the time!

I used to love raspberry lamingtons and haven't had one in years due to having Coeliacs. Luckily this cake comes pretty close to the real deal, it might even top it! I got compliments from non-gluten-free-eaters who had no idea it was even gluten free, I always say that's the best sign of gluten free baking!

I was a little nervous about making a gluten free sponge cake as not only was this my first attempt at a gluten free sponge, but it was my first attempt at ANY sponge cake. I know, it's a little embarrassing that I'm a baking blogger and at age 28 I still haven't made a plain ol' sponge cake!

The recipe I used was from Jo Seagar and it did sink a little in the middle after I took it out, but I simply filled the cake with delicious Mother Earth Raspberry Jam and a beautiful vanilla bean mascarpone cream and placed the other cake on top upside down. It didn't really matter how the cake looked in the end anyway as I ended up smothering it in delicious raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream and coconut. Just like a raspberry lamington, only better!

GF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington Cake
GF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington Cake
GF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington CakeGF Raspberry Lamington Cake

Gluten Free Raspberry Lamington Cake
Makes a two-layer 8" cake

Sponge Cake
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. water
4 eggs, separated
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1⁄2 cups cornflour, make sure it is gluten-free (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon baking powder, gluten-free
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2  cup Mother Earth Raspberry Jam for filling

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cream
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup cream
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla bean paste

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 ¼ cups  sugar
330g butter, at room temperature
¼ cup Mother Earth Raspberry Jam
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pink food colouring (optional)

2-3 cups desiccated coconut
¼ cup reserved merinuge (see buttercream recipe)
¼ cup reserved vanilla bean mascarpone cream
2 tsp. Mother Earth Raspberry Jam
Coconut ice crumbs (optional)
Fresh fruit and flowers (optional)

Sponge Cake
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line two 8" cake tins with baking paper and set aside.
  • Combine sugar and water in a small pot and bring to the boil until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.
  • Beat egg whites on the fastest setting until stiff.
  • Slowly drizzle in the hot sugar mixture with the mixer running on a low setting.
  • Beat on the fastest setting again for 3 minutes.
  • Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined. 
  • Sift together cornstarch, baking powder and salt and carefully fold these into the egg mixture. 
  • Pour into prepared tins and bake for 18-20 minutes. 
  • As soon as you remove them from the oven, drop the pans from knee height, square on the floor (this is a strange sponge making trick that 'shocks' the cake and stops it from deflating).
  • Immediately turn sponges out onto a wire rack or baking paper to cool upside down.

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cream
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix on a medium setting until mixture thickens. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Make sure your equipment is completely oil free.
  • Combine egg whites and sugar in a double boiler (making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water) and stir until sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  • Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment and beat on the highest setting until the meringue is thick and glossy, approx. 7-10 minutes.
  • Set aside 1/4 of a cup of meringue mixture to use later for decorating the cake (this is optional but makes for a nice toasted flavour if you choose to toast the meringue on top).
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter cubes one at a time on a low setting, making sure the butter is incorporated after each addition.
  • Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. 
  • Add the vanilla and Mother Earth Raspberry Jam and continue to beat on low speed until well combined.
  • Add pink food colouring if desired.

Cake Assembly
  • Place one sponge cake on a cake board on top of a lazy Susan.
  • Pipe a thick border of raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream around the edge of the cake.
  • Roughly spread the Mother Earth Raspberry Jam over the cake, making sure to spread it right to the edges.
  • Spread the vanilla bean mascarpone cream on top of the jam.
  • Place the second sponge cake on top of the first cake upside down, this gives you a nice flat surface to work with.
  • Roughly ice the cake with the raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, this is your crumb coat so it doesn't have to be perfect. 
  • Place the cake in a freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
  • Ice the cake with more raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Carefully coat the top and sides of the cake with desiccated coconut, sprinkling the coconut on and pressing down with your hands to secure it in place.
  • Make a small well of vanilla bean mascarpone cream in the centre of the cake and roughly spread this using the back of a teaspoon.
  • Drizzle extra Mother Earth Raspberry Jam on top.
  • Pipe small blobs of meringue around the outside of the cake and carefully toast using a kitchen torch (be careful the coconut doesn't catch fire!)
  • Decorate the cake as you please using fresh seasonal fruit, coconut ice  and flowers or whatever you have on hand. Enjoy your masterpiece! 

This post was made possible thanks to Mother Earth. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Cake recipe by Jo Seagar and icing recipe adapted from Handle the Heat.

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