Gluten-Free French Week-End Cake

A fancier gluten-free French lemon pound cake.
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This is a fancier version of the lemon pound cake, but instead of using all butter for the fat, crème fraiche is used for about half. The result is a very delicate pound cake with a moist crumb and almost creamy mouth feel.
You can see how I made my own crème fraiche here, but there is an important caveat to using the crème fraiche, which I found out during the process of baking and caused me to make another. I’ll go into that more after I list the steps.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream 85 g of butter in the stand mixer with the flat beater, then beat in 100 g of superfine sugar and continue to beat for about 5 minutes until the mix is white and light. Then beat in another 125 g of superfine sugar, plus the zest of 3 lemons.IMAG0129
2. Beat in one egg with the flat beater, then switch to the wire whip and beat in another 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks, adding them one at a time, whipping until the batter is light and fluffy.
3. Keep a ½ cup of crème fraiche very cold and whisk it for a few minutes to aerate it a bit. Then whip the crème fraiche into the batter.
4. Sift together 50 g rice flour, 50 g tapioca starch, 40 g potato starch and 30 g sorghum flour, plus 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, and ¾ tsp xanthan gum. Fold this into the batter with a rubber spatula. Then sprinkle in 3 T of dark rum and fold this in, being careful not to deflate the batter.

Gluten-Free French Weekend Cake
5. Scoop the batter into a prepared 6 cup loaf pan (prepared by buttering and fitting with a parchment paper liner, then brushing this with clarified butter). Smooth down the top and put the pan onto a baking sheet.Gluten-Free Weekend Cake
6. Bake for about 50 to 1 hr 10 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then unmold it and turn it right side up on a wire rack. Let it cool to temperature.
7. If the cake has domed up in the center, cut off the top to make a even surface, then turn the cake upside down.Gluten-Free Weekend Cake
8. When ready to glaze, preheat the oven to 450F. Brush the top and sides of the cake with about 100 g of melted strained apricot jam.
9. Mix 50 g of confectioners’ sugar and 2 tsp dark rum, plus about a tsp of lemon juice to make a fluid paste. Brush this over the jam layer.
10. Take about 30 g (3T) of chopped blanched almonds and sprinkle onto the sides’ bottom edge, then use the parchment liner to press the almonds into the cake to make them stick.

Use the parchment liner to decorate the bottom of the cake.

Use the parchment liner to decorate the bottom of the cake.

11. Sprinkle a few raw pistachios that have been roughly chopped down the middle of the top of the cake. Put the cake back into the oven and bake for about 1 1/2-2 minutes, looking for the white coat to change to translucent and taking the cake out if the glaze starts to bubble. Let this cool to room temperature.

Gluten-Free Weekend Cake

The unbaked glaze.

Gluten-Free French Weekend Cake

The baked glaze.

I found out that the most important part of the instructions is step 3 because I did not keep the crème fraiche very cold the first time around, nor did I whisk it before adding it to the mix, and it turned the fluffy butter/sugar/egg mix into soup, which it did not bounce back from, even after adding the flour.

This is the fluffy batter before adding the creme fraiche.

This is the fluffy batter before adding the creme fraiche.

This is the soupy batter.

This is the soupy batter.

I knew the batter was wrong, but I baked it anyway and I’m sure the taste is just as good, but it did negatively affect the rise. You can see the difference in between the two cakes below:

 

First cake, which did not rise so great.

First cake, which did not rise so great.

This is the second cake with a much better rise.

This is the second cake with a much better rise.

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