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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake

Drama Queen baked her beloved granny a gluten-free strawberry cake two weeks back.  The cake was a surprise for her granny, who would stay in KL over the weekend to celebrate her 70th birthday. It was a Thursday, a school holiday. Drama Queen started to bake the cake after lunch. She had been bugging me for weeks to buy gluten-free flour as my mum is gluten intolerance.

On Friday, the hubs went to the airport to pick up my parents and younger brother, Roy who had just returned from their 1-week cruise from Taiwan to Japan.

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As I have very shallow knowledge in cake baking, except for watching my mum bake cakes when I was younger, I could not advise Drama Queen much. I grew up watching and helping my mum bake cakes, pau, buns, bread pudding and cookies.   Drama Queen has definitely inherited my mum's genes in the love and passion for baking, cooking and sewing. She's got my mum's creative juices flowing in her.

The only thing that I warned Drama Queen about was the cake pan.  From the look of her cake batter, I knew that she must have done a miscalculation in the measurement. The cake batter was really little and she told me that she wanted to use a 10 inch (I think) cake pan that was pretty tall in height.

"Common sense girl!! Look at the cake batter. How come it is SO LITTLE?? Did you measure the flour wrongly? Are you sure that the recipe that you got from You Tube calls for using such a BIG pan? See, see, this pan is SO tall and your batter is so little! Go find a smaller cake pan!"  was what I told her.

The girl ransacked grandma's kitchen cupboard but could not find a smaller cake pan. She found some cake rings  and showed me.

"I have no freaking idea how to use this cake ring OK. I have no experience baking. Have you seen how mah mah used this ring??"  I said to her.

And she said "oh yes, I have seen mah mah use this ring for baking cake. Can la. Can use la."

But how to use??

The both of us figured that we should first put the ring onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then pour the cake batter into the middle of the ring.

The ring looked perfect for the amount of our cake batter. It fits just right.

About 10 minutes into baking, the batter seeped out from the ring.  OMG what are we to do!?  Would all the batter seep out and left with nothing inside the ring??? OMG OMG OMG!!

The girl told me that her recipe says to bake for 40 minutes but when I looked at the cake, it had turned brown and smelled good already even after 10 minutes.

Me to Drama Queen - ARE YOU SURE the recipe says to bake 40 minutes?? Look at the cake! It looks baked already.  Get me the stainless steel needle tester (whatcha call that cake tester thingy?)

After 15 minutes, we brought the cake out and this was how it looked.

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The batter that had seeped out from the ring was slightly burnt. We could not wait to taste the cake to see if this very expensive cake tastes like a cake or something else!

Though the cake was still very hot, we quickly pinched all the cake that had seeped out from the ring and stuffed them into our mouths. And WOW, the cake was out of this world!  It tasted awesome, despite many things that went wrong, HAHAHAHA!!

Why do I say that the cake is expensive? Coz the gluten-free flour is expensive, plus the good quality butter, organic sugar, whipping cream, cream cheese and 2 punnets of strawberries are all costly. All the ingredients cost us about RM60.

The next big flop was the whipping cream!   I had advised Drama Queen to use cream cheese instead of being adventurous and try using whipping cream as I have no experience in beating whipping cream till it  turns stiff peak, for the frosting.  Being the very determined alpha female that she is, Drama Queen was very resolute and only wanted whipped cream as frosting for the cake.

So fine, I left the girl to beat the whipping cream with grandma's hand mixer.   When she shouted for help from the kitchen, I knew it was a flop already. The frosting had curdled and there was so much liquid!

Me to Drama Queen- "See, I told you to use cream cheese instead of whipping cream and you won't listen. Now you've wasted RM10 for the box of whipping cream.  Never mind, bring the cream cheese out!"

Just like a pro, Drama Queen used grandma's frosting knife and creamed the cake with cream cheese. Cass then helped her to decorate the cake with fresh strawberries.

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... and toasted sliced almonds.

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The final product was awesome.  The cake looks like some gourmet cake from a high-end patiserrie.

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And the cake was SO delish!!  Despite all the initial stumbling blocks and blunders, it turned out to be PERFECT in terms of taste, texture and decor.  My Drama Queen's got talent!  From an AWFUL start to an AWESOME cake. We were both SO happy and could not wait for my mum to try the cake.

We'll definitely be baking more gluten-free cakes after the girls' final exam :)

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