Tag Archives: easy

Gluten Free Easy Sponge Cake

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GF Easy Sponge Cake, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Really, truly, honestly…. this is the best and easiest cake I have ever made. And… I can’t even count how many times I’ve made it in the last 6 months – it’s that good and that easy.

I started making a cake like this back at Christmas. I was actually experimenting while trying to develop a sweet treat that we could share with family for Zoe’s baptism. My Love is not a sweet-eater, but he does love fresh fruit. He also likes fresh cream cakes from the Asian bakery… alas, those are not gluten free and I wanted to participate in the sweet-noshing because I *am* a sweets-eater!

This cake went over smashingly with a HUGE range of gluten eaters – ages 4 – 78! Thus, in one swoop, it made itself part of my go-to recipe repertoire. I have even made this dessert while my Love was clearing the main course dishes. Oh yea. It’s a dream dessert: delicious, easy and gluten free.

But I repeat myself. Maybe I should just stop typing and get to the recipe, huh? Well… okay then!

Feel free to fill this with whatever makes your mouth joyful. We use freshly made whip cream, strawberries and blueberries. (Sometimes strawberries and fresh mint leaves, etc) and dust the top with a bit of powdered sugar. The cake is light and moist – so it will adapt itself to any number of fillings or occasions. I think will agree – make just one and you will be back for more! :)

Here’s the recipe – please do let me know what you think and how you fill yours! :)

Gluten Free Easy Sponge Cake
Makes one sponge cake (length of a jelly roll pan or full sized cookie sheet), serves plenty! (depending on the size of your slices.)
You can find a printable copy of this recipe here.

Ingredients:
8 eggs, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT flour!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract
1 teaspoon GF lemon extract
1 teaspoon GF almond extract

TOPPING:

freshly whipped cream
fresh fruit  (strawberries and blueberries)
powdered sugar (for dusting)

Directions:

  1. Separate the egg whites and the yolks.
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
  3. Beat the egg yolks until light yellow and creamy – about 2 – 3 minutes)
  4. Sift together powdered sugar, potato starch (not flour!) and salt.
  5. Add sifted dry ingredients to the beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the extracts.  Mix again.
  7. Using a spatula or spoon (not your mixer!), gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  9. Line a jelly roll pan or a full sized cookie sheet pan with parchment paper.
  10. Gently smooth the cake batter out to the length of your pan with even depth.  (My pan is 18″ by 13″ – and the batter is about 2/3 – 1″ thick).
  11. Bake the cake for 15 minutes then turn off the oven and open the oven door.  (I open the oven by cracking it open about 2-3 inches.)
  12. Leave the cake to cool in the oven for 5-8 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and cool.
  14. Gently lift the cooled cake up off the parchment paper just to loosen it from the paper.  Lay the cake back down on to the paper.  You will use the parchment to help you roll the cake.
  15. Top with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit slices.
  16. Have a piece of fresh parchment paper the length of your cake OR a serving platter that fits nearby.  Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake.  (I roll it so I have LONG cake (see picture) rather than rolling the short end and have a HUGE rolled cake.)
  17. Lay the cake on the fresh parchment or on your serving platter.  Gently lay a few pieces of fruit on top and dust with powdered sugar.
  18. Serve and enjoy! (We have served this with ice cream, macerated strawberries or whatever strikes our fancy/hits our budget point!)

Happy cake baking, everyone!
~Kate

Easy, cheap GF Caramel for your apples

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We picked up some delicious Jonagold apples this week. They are perfectly crunchy with a perfect balance of tart and sweet. Since they are not the sweet, sugary kind – and it is caramel apple season, after all, I thought I’d make a little caramel for my Friday lunch treat.

And since I’m still sick (good lord – please let this never-ending cold END soon!), I didn’t want to spend a lot of time babying and stirring some caramel, so I made caramel the way my mom used to make it for me. The “recipe” (really… there is but one ingredient – a can!) takes time – but you don’t have to stand around a monitor anything. Just set a timer and move on.

The beauty of this whole process? I was able to make caramel for my apple (or other fruit) slices more cheaply than it can be purchased, with less fat (if you use the low-fat version) and ALL of the ingredients are identifiable! Wahoo!

So, here’s to you, Mom. Thanks for teaching me how to play in the kitchen and make easy caramel. I remember the first time we made this and I wanted to open the can to see the process because I just couldn’t believe it would work. I swear this is the recipe that taught me to have a bit more faith and patience than any other. After all, without anything to do and no visual that it was working? It was certainly an act of faith!

Give this a whirl when you get some tasty apples this season, you won’t shell out the big bucks for the caramel at the market again.

This makes a perfect treat for lunch or your take-along meal.  Just put a couple tablespoons in a small container and bring with your apple slices.  It’s also super kid-friendly (what caramel recipe isn’t?) too.  Consider it a cheap way to encourage more apple consumption in your house.

Now…if the “apple a day will keep the doctor away” adage is true…. just MAYBE I’ll get over this bug soon too!  Bring on the apples!  I’m ready for my health to return with a sweet treat to boot!

Easy, Cheap, Gluten-Free Caramel
Ingredients:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (use low-fat for half the fat!)

Directions:

  1. Peel the label off the can and place it in the bottom of a deep pan. Fill the pan with water until it covers over the top of the can by at least an inch.
  2. SLOWLY bring the pot to a boil and lower to a simmer.  (My mom wrote to remind me to tell you all to bring the water to a boil SLOWLY so the can doesn’t explode/pop.  (ew! what a mess!)  Thanks again, Mom!)
  3. Simmer for three hours.
  4. Allow the can to cool before opening (or it will explode).

Enjoy!
-Kate