Today was one of those days. No, not those days. Just a day where I misjudged. A day where I “should’ve known better”. A day where I was reminded that gluten-free baking doesn’t always turn out beautifully in my kitchen. Of course, I realize nobody’s perfect. Everything won’t score a 10 in our kitchen. This is an obvious fact of life. But I felt disappointed nonetheless.
See, Brittany wanted to make angel food cake. We’ve made it before (wow, that was almost exactly a year ago!), and it was delightful. Except now, I’ve exclusively baked gluten-free for months. There is no wheat flour in my kitchen. And yet, I went into my first-time-ever gluten-free angel food cake with nary a worry. I didn’t opt to follow my gluten-filled recipe and simply sub alternative flours. I found another cake recipe, and arbitrarily substituted flours, not giving adequate thought to how the combinations would turn out.
And then WHAM! I was hit by a bummer of a cake. But it was more than that. It was a disappointment for Brittany. Oh, of course, we’ve all shared turns making less-than-stellar dishes in the kitchen. It’s part of experimenting, and it’s part of the cooking process. We all have to learn that lesson. Today, we did. (I just hate when I personally feel it had a lot to do with a few flour substitutions I made.)
We won’t let this experiment get us down, however. Brittany and I have already been talking about what we can change. We’re already talking about what will be wonderful to try next time. The reasons for our tenacity are many: Brittany wants to make a cake she can be proud of. (Well, so do I.) For me, I also want to achieve that goal I set for myself with any gluten-free dish: to provide a dish that is every bit as good (or better!) as a “gluten-y” recipe, sans gluten. But most importantly, I want to teach our children to cook in the kitchen. Sometimes, the two goals cannot be achieved in a single task, but we’ll keep on trying to reach both!
So, I will share the recipe with you, in case anyone happens to have opinions/suggestions on the subject. And to make things perfectly clear; I don’t hold the recipe creator accountable for the failure on our cake! (that had more to do with my errors and substitutions - besides, Gluten Free Mommy is awesome!) I do know one thing. Next time? No amaranth flour. (as my husband remarked, it makes the cake taste kind of like a dish towel!) But I would still like to work to make it fluffier and lighter, as it was rather dense. Still trying to work on how to accomplish that. Maybe I’ll revisit my old recipe, we’ll just have to see!
Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake, adapted from Gluten-Free Mommy
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c sweet rice flour
1/4 c tapioca starch
1/4 c coconut flour
1/4 c amaranth flour
1 t xanthan gum
12 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 t cream of tartar
1/4 t salt
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and turn on. You will process the sugar until it becomes fine, nearly like powdered sugar. Separate egg whites in a stainless steel bowl and let them come to room temperature. In a separate medium bowl, sift gluten free flours, salt, xanthan gum, and 3/4 cup of of the sugar. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat until the egg whites form soft peaks. Beat in the other reserved 3/4 cup of sugar about 3 tablespoons at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold in flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time. Once the flour mixture is combined, fold in the vanilla and almond extract. Slowly pour the batter into a tube pan (preferably one where the inside lifts out) and spread the batter evenly. Run a knife through the cake to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top is golden and sides begin to pull away. Cool for 10 minutes. Run the edges of a knife along the pan and pull out the insert to the tube pan. Run a knife along the bottom of the insert and invert onto a cake plate. Serve with topping of choice!