Sunday, April 5, 2009
I found this recipe by accident, and decided to try it out. I'm so glad we gave it a whirl, as it was very tasty. The above title will link you to the instructional video showing how to prepare the original cupcake recipe. I have made only a few small changes- I took out the flour and substituted my own gf blend, and used coconut milk instead of soy. In it's original form it is dairy, egg, and nut free. Now it is dairy, egg, nut, soy, and wheat free. But fully loaded on flavor. (She has an icing recipe to go with, but we did not try it out.)
The recipe calls for this to be cupcakes, and I did make a dozen cupcakes. I had quite a bit of batter left over, and only have one cupcake pan.... so I made a small 9" cake with the remaining batter. The cupcakes rose nicely, and I think the cake would have too, had it enough batter to do so. As it was, it made a delightful birthday celebration for all of the non-allergic cousins. (Picture coming soon.) This is one of the few egg free cakes with a texture that is not overly soft and crumbly, so I think it would have made a great layer cake. It was surprisingly firm and chewy, but not tough. I think if you wanted a more delicate crumb you could use a little less starch in the flour blend and make it more tender and delicate. For serving to littles, I prefer a cake that will stand up to finger feeding without leaving a crumb trail.
Here it is:
Strawberry Cupcakes/Birthday Cake
2 c strawberries
1 Tbsp berry jelly/jam
1/2 c plain coconut milk + 2 tsp lemon juice/vinegar* see notes
1/4 c spectrum shortening
1 1/2 c sugar
4 tsp EnerG egg replacer + 2 Tbsp warm water
2 tsp raspberry extract
3/4 c white rice flour
1/4 c brown rice flour
1/4 c amaranth flour *see notes
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom
Puree the strawberries and jam in food processor. Combine coconut milk and vinegar in small bowl and set aside. Combine egg replacer and warm water in small bowl and set aside. (This is not the ratio called for on the box. This will make a very thick mixture.) Attempt to cream the shortening and sugar. (I say attempt as there is not quite enough shortening to get creamy. Mix until it starts to hold together- this takes a few minutes. It will start to look like pastry dough with large coarse crumbs. Keep going, wait until the crumbs are very fine and starting to cling together.) Add egg replacer mixture and combine. Slowly add in the milk mixture. Add strawberry puree and raspberry extract. Combine well. Mixture will be thin. Whisk together dry ingredients and add to wet. Mix until combined, and then beat on high for one minute. Batter was thin, but not soupy. Transfer to cupcake pan or two 9" rounds. Bake 22 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool and frost as desired.
*I am currently obsessed with coconut milk. I used SO Delicious plain coconut milk from the dairy section, which is the consistency of regular milk. If you chose to use coconut milk from a can it will be thicker and you may need to add a bit of extra liquid to the recipe. Adding vinegar does cause it to curdle slightly, making buttermilk for this recipe. I have not had good luck with rice milk when trying to imitate buttermilk so I would not recommend it.
*I am starting to experiment with amaranth. It is not necessary here, but it does "lend a natural boost to the structure of gf baked goods and help them brown more quickly" (per Living Without magazine's review of gf flours) I thought that egg free cake could use some of that boost. I also tried to keep the flours used as white as possible to imitate not only a white flour cake, but to allow the pink hue of the strawberry to shine through. Kids are not going to eat something with a funky color. I chose potato starch as it gives a chewy mouth feel like an egg in the recipe would. Because of it's presence you can use less xanthan gum in the recipe. A touch of brown rice four is added because I find using all white rice flour tends to leave a slightly gritty texture, and I am not certain of how much amaranth could be tolerated in this recipe without leaving an aftertaste. I am happy with this blend in the recipe, but feel free to change it up.
Let me know how this recipe works for you and what changes you make so it fits your diet!