Today I’m sharing a very special recipe: my gluten and dairy free wedding cake.
My Mum made both of our wedding cakes – yes we had two:
1) a normal gluten and dairy full naked vanilla sponge with homemade raspberry jam and marscapone cream filling; and
2) a Jess Friendly gluten and dairy free chocolate Genoise sponge filled with homemade raspberry jam and whipped coconut cream.
We settled almost instantly on the normal cake. We used this recipe from the Good HouseKeeping Insitute. We decided to do a ‘normal’ main cake to keep costs down (gluten and dairy free alternative ingredients are not cheap) and to ensure greater stability. We didn’t want a leaning tower of Pisa of a naked wedding cake and gluten free baking is generally not as robust as its gluten full foe. And by making a separate cake for me, it meant more cake, which is never a bad thing.
For my cake, we tried all sorts of different recipes before settling on this classic Genoise sponge. Chocolate fudge, egg-less, fat-less, flour-less almond, victoria, angel…. You name it we tried it! In the end we settled on a chocolate cake so that it was clearly distinct from the main normal cake in order to avoid confusion and cross-contamination.
And this Genoise Sponge recipe won because it was ‘simply the best…better than all the rest..!’
Tina Turner aside, this sponge is incredibly airy and so light and fluffy. The cocoa gives a rich chocolately flavour that’s irresistible – seriously irresistible, I had three slices immediately one after the other when Mum made the final trial of it (and yes then I slipped into a sugar coma! Soooo good!) I would say you would never know it was gluten and dairy free. Genuinely. I know I would say that but wedding guests ate it without realizing and really liked it. So take their word for it if you don’t believe me!
What is a Genoise sponge? It’s an Italian sponge cake made with hardly any fat, lots of whole eggs and by a whole lot of vigorous whisking. The whisking is important. My advice, use a good electric whisk otherwise your arm may drop off. But I tell you it is worth the effort. And with very little fat, you could perhaps say it is even good…for…you… Or rather with its hefty dose of sugar, perhaps not.
I can testify that this cake improves with age. Mr B and I had a few days ‘minimoon’ at the hotel in Cambridge after our wedding. The chef kindly kept my wedding cake in the hotel’s fridge and whenever I wanted a piece, I rang reception and they brought it up to our room, literally on a silver platter! Several days later the cake was still soft and moist and if anything the coconut cream becomes more dairy cream like as it sets in the cake in the fridge. So basically what I’m saying is, if somehow you don’t eat the whole cake in one sitting, have no fear, it will still taste amazing the day after (and the day after that if you’re really controlled!)
Enough preamble. Go forth and get whisking!
Chocolate Genoise Sponge
Gluten, dairy, nut and soya free
- 5 eggs
- 140g caster sugar
- 55g gluten free plain flour
- 55g rice flour
- 1/8 tsp xanthum gum
- 40g cocoa powder
- 30g melted dairy free fat (I used Pure olive oil based spread).
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan Oven).
- Lightly grease and line two 9 inch (23 cm) sandwich tins (to make a 4 layer cake as pictured, double the recipe)
- Place eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk for 4-5 minutes until thick and very pale. You’re done when you lift the whisk out of the bowl and a trail is left behind
- Slowly drizzle the melted fat into the bowl and fold in gently
- Sift the flours, cocoa powder and xanthum gum together in a clean bowl and then fold these dry ingredients gently into the wet with a metal spoon
- Spoon the mixture into two cake tins, dividing evenly. Tap gently to settle (this removes any air bubbles)
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until risen and just firm to touch – you don’t want to overcook a Genoise sponge as it will become dry
- Remove from the oven and cool briefly in the tins before tipping out onto a cooling rack
- Once cold fill with your choice of filling, we used raspberry jam and whipped coconut cream (we used this recipe for the cream).