Recipe Idea: Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Lemon Cake
Last week my daughter Erin and I went to a cooking class at a restaurant/culinary school called Braise, and this light and fluffy Gluten Free Lemon Cake is a modification of the flourless cake we made in class. It is made with potato starch instead of flour. The original recipe called for mint and rosemary, but I eliminated these spices, making it a simple Lemon Cake because Erin thought the rosemary was overpowering. I thought it was delicious with the other spices, but I like it better as a simple Lemon Cake. The texture is so airy and light, I can hardly believe it is gluten free.
There were only four other students in the class, taught by two chefs. Erin and Julie have taken a few classes at the facility, including one on knife skills. Now, I could use a class on that!
What We Made In Class
The chefs showed us how to make three French dishes—Socca Tart, Moong Dal Curry and Rosemary Mint Cake. The Socca Tart was a little crispy on the outside and rather like custard on the inside. The chef topped it with some scrumptious sautéed beef-and-pork sausage and a little creme fraiche. I found the Socca Tart unremarkable, but it was stupendous with the toppings. It would probably be a good base for a variety of toppings, such as sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions or Tomato Basil Chutney. However, I doubt that I will make it again. The next recipe was a Moong Dal Curry, which was both easy and delicious. Neither Erin nor I did felt well the next day and we attributed this indigestion to the Dal. The chef did not rinse the moong dal, a kind of split yellow pea/bean. I would soak the dal—or at least rinse it—to prevent gastric distress. Otherwise, I would use lentils as I can eat them without getting an upset stomach. The final recipe, Rosemary Mint Cake (which I changed to this light and fluffy Gluten Free Lemon Cake), is fabulous. It was fun to learn how to make the cake so that it was airy. I will use the technique again. It makes such a wonderful cake. And all you have to do is separate the eggs, add the yolks to the batter, beat the whites in a different bowl until stiff, and fold the whites into the batter in two batches—the first, rather roughly, and the second, gently folding them in. Result: What a difference in texture! We didn’t have electric mixers since we were only making two little cakes, so whipping the egg whites was a bit challenging. But we managed to do it. Erin and I took turns beating the whites until they were stiff. We got our workout! It’s so much easier to whip egg whites with an electric mixer. I have a KitchenAid mixer like the one below, and it’s terrific. I also like a good Hamilton Beach hand mixer for smaller batches. If you don’t have a mixer, I suggest you start with the portable one and move up to the stand mixer when you can afford it. They really do come in handy. The Gluten Free Lemon Cake is excellent as a dessert, topped with a few raspberries and whipped cream. I also enjoyed it plain with my coffee as a breakfast pastry. Read on for recipe and nutrition…
- 1 cup potato starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup extra-fine granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup extra-fine granulated sugar
- Sift potato starch and baking powder. Set aside.
- Cream butter and 1 cup sugar until well incorporated, about doubled in size, and it turns whiter.
- Add yolks one at a time; scrape down sides.
- Add lemon zest and juice and mix until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy. Add 1/4 cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg yolk/butter mixture. Fold in 1/2 the egg whites and incorporate well.
- Fold in the remaining egg whites and mix gently until well combined.
- Butter the ramekin and lightly dust with a bit of sugar.
- Spoon the batter into the ramekins until they are half filled.
- Place in a cold oven. Turn temperature to 350F degrees.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cakes are beginning to brown slightly.
- Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from ramekins and serve with fresh berries and whipped cream.