Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chasing the White Rabbit...or in this case, white birthday cake

I get the most requests from readers for an allergy-free birthday cake (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free) -- it's an especially tall order to remove all the key structural ingredients like eggs -- and harder still when you can't hide some of the substitution tastes behind chocolate!   As you may remember, I'd rather have chocolate than ANY other flavor, but over the years I've been testing out all kinds of white cakes, and am STILL not happy with the results.

Yesterday, for my Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!)  I made Rebecca Reilly's Basic White Cake recipe which is based on her gf mix.  I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free mix, based on garbanzo bean flour (with a mix of potato starch, sorghum, etc.),  which is usually neutral-tasting enough for most recipes, and performs well so that you can't tell the difference...except in this case.  The cake texture was heavy and dense, the bean taste came through, and as my sister pointed out, it tasted a bit like bread rather than cake.  I was disappointed because all of her other recipes I've tried have been great!  Ugh.  The technical part was fine because the texture was cakey, but the taste was just not there. Luckily I was worried enough about testing it on a real birthday so also made one layer out of her Chocolate Applesauce cake to make sure we had something nice, and it tasted great.  I used her 7-Minute boiled frosting (egg-based), flavored with espresso powder and a little coconut on top for decoration to hide my very poor cake decorating skills.

*sigh*.  I feel like Alice in Wonderland, chasing the White Rabbit around yet another corner!  However, in the story she eventually caught up to him, so I know I'll just keep running, and I'll get there.  :)

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