I had the privilege of being used as a guinea pig for her experimentation with gluten-free baking. I gave her all the tips my inexperienced head held, and she gave me cake. First, about a quarter of a cake, iced and all, which I snacked on at work, and second, the remaining half cake, frozen and un-iced, to eat at my own leisure. Good deal, I must say!
I asked Selina to provide a few words around her experience baking the cake, and her being a bit of a novelist, I decided to give her a guest post spot! So, baking gluten free in her own words:
White Chocolate Mud Cake
With a wedding approaching in 9 months I wanted to try out a few different flavours of cakes. I had thought of a white chocolate mudcake as a lighter alternative to full normal-chocolate mudcake as the groom to be is not a fan. After a quick google search I came across this recipe - http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/07/white-chocolate-mud-cake-recipe.html and the instructions seemed relatively straightforward - and the picture looked yum. One major note is that I have at least one gluten-free friend [That's me!! - Sarah] who will be at said wedding and wanted to attempt both versions to compare. This recipe had been tried and altered for gluten free by an additional blog poster and I wanted to give it a go (not being a regular baker) I thought I may as well launch in and make my first cake in about two years and the first in my current oven.
Going Gluten Free:
After two trips to the supermarket and about half an hour contemplating gluten free flour/baking powder by myself and with Sarah, I had everything I needed. The original gluten-free conversion in the blog posted recipe above said that they replaced the flours with the same amount of bakers mix, I used Orgran Flour and Gluten Free Goodies Baking Powder. It also suggested mixing up macadamia nuts, but when I looked at the price I could not justify it. After discussing with Sarah about what the nuts do in recipe I went home with a couple of ideas. Another recipe which discussed converting a White Choc mudcake into gluten free used sour-cream to help in the mixture, but I wasn't quite sure how it would go in a different recipe (and I liked the look of the one I used more). In my kitchen I decided to put in an extra egg in order to provide a bit more stick.
Thoughts on baking/comparisons to standard mixture:
The GF mix was definitely a bit more eggy - and needed a bit more stirring to get to the right consistency (due to the extra egg), also not helped though because I forgot to put the milk into pot with everything at beginning and it took a bit to get in at end when mixture was warm :-). Taste wise the mixture pre-cooking (I'm a sucker for cake dough :-) and I always feel like if its nice when it goes it it's a good guess of how it will be at end) tasted pretty much the same as the standard mix. I should also note the gluten free mixture was overall a bit more runny and a small amount dripped out of bottom of my spring-form tin while in oven as my baking paper hadn't gone far enough up the sides.
I was warned that the finished product might look a bit more crumbly and brown than the standard cake, and this was correct. Once cooled half of the cake went straight into freezer and the other half was iced with ganache. My fiancé and I (both not gluten-free) had some of the gluten free version as it was first made and it tasted real good. I would say it tasted almost exactly like the standard one but not quite as 'muddy' - but my partner probably actually preferred it (seeing as he doesn't like the sticky-type mud cake feel).
Thanks Selina, for the cake and the post!. Here are my own comments, emailed to Selina after tasting the first yummy bit of cake:
Dense and pleasantly chewy (not dry or overly crumbly) - possibly because of the extra egg to hold it all together. Delicious ganache, and none of it too sweet! Very very moreish...... Now I have to resist scarfing it all down!!
Good stuff! (I was going to wait a little later before trying it, then I thought I'd better try a bit off the edge - as it was the outside bit that you said might be tough, I also had to try a little square from the middle!. The outside was a little chewier but definitely worth eating as well ;)
And here are my various photos of the cake:
This is the only piece of cake that made it home when Selina gave me the first quarter.
Look how yummy it looks - this is the (just under) half of the cake that had been frozen - I liberally iced it with white chocolate and sour cream icing.
I invited my mum over for tea and cake. The small pink bowl holds the leftover icing, which we later ate on pieces of 80% dark chocolate.