I had a fantastic time at my friend’s Wedding Day this month and I was honoured to make the Wedding cake and cupcake tower for it. As there were a few guests following a gluten free diet due to coeliac disease, me included, both the cakes and the cupcakes were completely gluten free so I happily enjoyed one in the evening…who doesn’t love a piece of wedding cake or a cupcake?!
As I love baking I thought I would share some gluten free baking tips with you-
Working with Juvela Mixes
The Juvela Gluten Free White & Fibre Mixes are all-purpose flour mixes suitable for use in any recipe in place of traditional flour. The Mixes are interchangeable with each other in any recipe – although when using the Fibre Mix, slightly more liquid may be required as the added vegetable fibre can increase the absorbency.
The Mixes contain a small amount of raising agent, however on occasion, an additional raising agent such as baking powder may be required.
Getting a good mix
Baking with ingredients at room temperature works best, so remove eggs and butter from the fridge beforehand. For perfect results every time, ensure you use a baking fat with a minimum of 70% fat content. Using an electric hand whisk or mixer instead of a wooden spoon will give you a smoother texture, it is easier on your hands too! Gluten free cake mix can sometimes be sticky, so make sure you grease your cake tins with butter or margarine and line them with greaseproof paper before you pour your cake mix in.
Making flavoured cakes
Using the Juvela basic sponge recipe gives you the opportunity to experiment. To make a chocolate cake replace 50g (2oz) mix with 50g (2oz) cocoa or add 50g (2oz) melted chocolate (please check it is gluten free chocolate-you can find a list of all chocolate that is suitable in Coeliac UK’s food directory if you are member of Coeliac UK).
For coffee cake, add 2 tsp’s coffee granules blended to a paste with hot water & 50g (2oz) chopped walnuts.
Adding grated orange & lemon rind will make a zesty lemon and orange cake.
To make a ginger cake, add 2tsp’s ground ginger and/or 50g (2oz) chopped glace ginger
Adding 50g (2oz) glace cherries, finely chopped makes a lovely cherry cake.
Achieving a good bake
Cookies and biscuits bake best on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and can spread during cooking so don’t put them too close together.
Place your cake tin in the very centre of a pre-heated oven to achieve an even rise.
You can a cake leveler or a serrated knife to trim the top of cakes and get a flat surface. I would be lost without my cake leveller which I bought in Lakeland as you can also use it for cutting a cake into two through the centre to ensure both halves are evenly split. When you use it, make small back and forth motions as though you are using a saw.
Is it done?
Look through the oven window to see how your cake is baking but try not to open the oven door until the cooking time is up as the quick change in temperature can cause the cake to sink.
The Wobble Test: if the top of your cake mixture has a bit of a wobble after baking for the recommended time, leave it in longer or increase the temperature slightly. Check if it is cooked by putting a cocktail stick or skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean then it’s cooked. You could also use a cake thermometer.
Assembling and decorating show stopper cakes
If you are placing cakes on top of each other – dowels are great as they stop the top cake sinking into the bottom cake and give it great support! If you’re using wooden or plastic dowels to stack cakes, cut the dowels to the correct width of the cake and place about 6 spread out in the centre of the cake. Push them down so that you can place your next cake on top of them (make sure the cake above is sitting on a thin cake board).
When sticking decorations onto your cake, you can use edible glue or a dab of royal icing as glue. If you want to put a ribbon around your cake, soak it in some water and squeeze it to get rid of the excess water, then wrap it around your fondant-covered cake. A dab of royal icing will stick the two ends together.
You can find many gluten free cake decorations in the supermarkets (please always check that they don’t have WHEAT, BARLEY or RYE listed in the ingredients and you can use the coeliac app scanner or food directory to check if they are suitable for coeliacs).
If you have any baking tips of your own, we would love to hear them. Happy baking!