Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gluten Free Savoy Cake (a classic french sponge cake recreated)

I have been reading a great book...okay so it's a cook book, but not any ordinary cook book!  A few days ago I was reading an old novel and in a dinner scene, it said they had Savoy Cake for dessert.  What is Savoy Cake?

So I Googled it!  I found this wonderful post by David Lebovitz for Gateau de Savoie.  Now, of course, this cake is not gluten free, but it sure looks YUMMY!  As I read the post, I was filled with a desire to read the book The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth (and to eat the cake!).  Since it was reasonably priced as a used book on Amazon, I took the plunge and bought it.  This book has the same tone as some of my favorite foodie blogs and shares a passion for food that I can relate to.  So now I feel inspired to share my passion and what I have learned in this crazy journey down the gluten free life path.

I did successfully convert the Savoy Cake to gluten free, and changed it about to suit my tastes.  We have been on a lime kick lately so I added lime zest and well, everything is better with whipped cream, so, while it is not as traditional, I did top it with whipped cream and fruit. This cake was so soft and tender, I couldn't believe it!  Don't be put off by the directions, they may seem a bit complicated, but are not that hard or time consuming.  I'm at a higher altitude so had to cook it an additional 10 minutes.
(printable recipe)

One 10-inch (27cm) cake, twelve to sixteen servings

Adapted from Gâteau de Savoie by David Lebovitz
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups (200g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup gluten free cake flour
*Cake flour recipe  2/3 cup superfine white rice flour  1/3 cup potato starch 1/3 cup tapioca starch ½  Tablespoon xanthan gum ½  Tablespoon psyllium husk
optional: Zest of one lime or lemon.  For a fruitier flavor you can use the juice of the lime in place of the boiling water.
Cooking Spray and additional powdered sugar for preparing the pan
1. Zest and juice the lime or lemon and set aside
2. oil a 10-inch (27cm) bundt pan and dust the inside with powdered sugar, then tap out any excess.
3. Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC.)
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the egg yolks with the sugar. Whip the yolks on high speed until thick and lightened in color. With the mixer running on high speed, dribble in the very hot water (or juice), a few teaspoons at a time, then add the vanilla. Continue whipping until the mixture has re-thickened and resembles soft pudding, holding its shape when you lift the whip.
5. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until they hold stiff peaks.

I don't have a separate mixer bowl, so I quickly scraped the yolk mixture into another mixing bowl and washed the mixer bowl and beaters.  If you do this, make sure it is completely clean, if there is fat from the yolks the whites won't peak.

6. Put the cake flour in a mesh strainer or sifter, and sprinkle the flour over the yolks, folding it into the yolks gradually as you sift.
7. Stir in the Lime zest then fold in one-third of the beaten egg whites until fully incorporated. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.

8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with perhaps just a few crumbs attached.
Remove from oven and immediately turn the cake out onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
*Serve with fruit and or whipped cream