Uh, yeah. That cake tasted as good as it looks. Better than it looks, if you can believe it.
I know this isn't technically a post for the Gluten-free Ratio Rally, but I feel this need to profess the power of the ratio again. Because Oh. My. God. This cake is seriously amazing. Like, out-of-this-world good. And it is possible because of a ratio.
My cousin was visiting me last week, and it was a total food bonanza. It's sort of our thing. We wander around grocery stores, and we talk about recipes. And when we're in the same physical space, we cook and bake. A lot.
After a trip to Boston's Haymarket, we came home with bags of fresh berries - probably about 2 pounds of them. We had cherries, strawberries, and raspberries - and they were just begging to be part of something baked and delicious.
Done and done. I consulted the ratio that Ruhlman has in his book for sponge cake (which is one part each of flour, eggs, fat, and sugar), and then we innovated a little with the flavors and flour blend. I'm always one to reduce the fat and substitute something else, so I used applesauce to keep it moist. And actually, there's more applesauce than fat in this cake - only 6 tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery spread in the WHOLE THING. Think of how many extra pieces you can eat with all those fat calories you're saving (I know my cousin and I thought about that. And then we definitely ate those extra pieces.).
And the result? My gluten-eating, cake-loving cousin said it was the best cake she'd ever eaten. The word "phenomenal" was dropped multiple times by both of us (in between mouthfuls). I brought pieces around to my co-workers, who dubbed it "wonderful" and "delicious."
So you can make this one for mixed company, is what I'm saying - for gluten-eaters and gluten-haters alike. Barring berry-haters, I suspect everyone will love it.
Decadent Lemony Berry Coffeecake
**Please note that all measurements given below in cups are approximate, as I used my kitchen scale to make this cake and used an online converter to figure out the volume measurements.
8 oz. white sugar (~1 cup)
3 oz. Earth Balance Buttery Spread (3/4 stick or 6 tbsp.)
5 oz. applesauce (unsweeted, natural) (~1/2 cup)
1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. tapioca starch (~3/4 cup)
2 oz. sorghum (~1/2 cup)
3 oz. brown rice flour (~1/2 cup)
(OR 8 oz. of your favorite gf flour blend)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 lb. berries, chopped into small pieces (we used cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, but you could use any dark berries you think would go well in this)
For crumble topping:
4 - 6 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or more to your own taste)
2 tsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a glass 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium or large mixing bowl, beat the eggs (preferably with an electric mixer) with the sugar until it's frothy. Add the Earth Balance, applesauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix until it's well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. Add about 1/3 cup at a time to the wet ingredients, beating on medium speed until the batter is very smooth.
Pour the batter into the 9" x 13" pan. Press the berries lightly into the top of the batter.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and Earth Balance. Mix with your fingers until it's finely crumbly. Sprinkle the cake generously with the cinnamon sugar crumble topping.
Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for as long as you can stand it before eating a piece (we lasted 20 minutes). Keep refrigerated once cooled. It's fantastic if you warm it slightly in the microwave before eating.