Last December, a friend told me about a new miracle gluten-free flour made by Domata. Although we’ve adapted pretty well to the gluten-free diet, I’d pretty much given up on baking because, without gluten, breads are like cardboard and biscuits are like hockey pucks. Forget waffles. I gave Domata a try, though, and was amazed by the results. We’ve been feasting on pizza, biscuits, and waffles — and now it is time to start trying cakes and pies.
A couple of weeks ago, I found a recipe for Lemon Layer cake from Jill at Hey, That Tastes Good!, a wonderful blog about gluten-free cooking. She, in turn, adapted the recipe from Epicurious. Although I liked the cake, the lemon curd and lemon buttercream frosting were too rich and too much lemon for my family, so I went back to the drawing board to create a version using chocolate filling and a whipped cream frosting.
Please excuse the slight port-side lean and notice how spongy the cake is! Angels should be singing and a light should be shining down from heaven on this cake:
First, find five organic eggs. Four of the yolks in the picture below came from the farm’s chickens. One came from the store. Guess which one? Rich color aside (take another look at the finished product above), organic eggs really do taste better.
Now, get cracking:
5 eggs, separated
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon (or 1-2 TB, to taste)
1/2 t xanthan gum (Domata already has some xantham gum mixed in, but I left this in to give it a little more oomph.)
1/2 t salt
Preheat oven to 325. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper, then lightly grease them (including the paper). Beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy, then sprinkle in 1/4 c of the sugar and continue to beat to stiff peaks.
Scrape the whites to another bowl, then beat the yolks and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in juice, and oil, then stir in flour mix and xanthan gum. Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mix to lighten, then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Divide batter between pans, smoothing the tops, and bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove using the parchment paper to racks to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the chocolate ganache:
16 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces. (You can used a food processor to do this.)
1 stick of butter
1 cup heavy cream
Place the butter in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the butter and cream together in a sauce pan, stirring constantly. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Lightly cover the bowl with wax paper and set on the counter to cool to room temperature.
Once the cakes are COMPLETELY cooled, use a serrated bread knife and cut each loaf in half. Layer the cake as illustrated:
Icing (adapted from Joy of Cooking):
Chill your mixing bowl and paddles. Assemble the following ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 TB granulated sugar
2 TB cocoa
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whip into stiff peaks. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and apply the icing.