24th March 2017 Photo Update
As promised, in making the second, or true, cake I have taken photos of each step so you know what you’re getting. I will say that my cake decorating skills have never really improved, I pretty much frost every cake exactly the same way. This is just a simple cake for me to, finally!, share with others, especially children, so I’m really happy it worked and that it’s all ready for my birthday tomorrow. Not everyone bakes their own birthday cake, but you know me dear reader, I’m just that amazingly wonderful. I’ve had two non-free-from people try the basic cake and they found it delicious. I wouldn’t let them lie to spare me, so you know it’s true. A no gum or added starch cake, with just a single flour, not too shabby eh? Okay, onto he photos.
Even if the sugar and butter is a tad lumpy you’ll find it smooths out with the eggs. I added the vanilla at this stage to help dissolve the sugar.
The batter is very thick, but don’t be tempted to add too much milk, you’ll spoil the structural integrity.
If it stands up when you plop it into the tin. This is the right consistency.
With gluten based cakes tapping helps get the air out to avoid pockets, in free-from ones, same idea, but less pockets and more total collapse.
Again, strangely no risen top. Maybe it’s the baking powder instead of soda, or just all hat sugar and butter.
Ten minutes to cool and out it pops. You can handle it easily, but still be careful, a broken cake is heart breaking. Let it cool for a few hours before cutting.
I was terrified it’d break here. A really sharp knife and long, slow sawing motions help.
Goodbye diet, it’s buttercream time! Never stint on a cake’s frosting. I’ve added the perfect ratios for buttercream below.
Dot, dot, dot. Ad nauseam. Glacé cherries are best washed so the syrup doesn’t melt the buttercream. The chopped ones are just a surprise for the children. Both big and small.
And now we let it rest. One tip before I go.: Ice both the top and the bottom together, but let them rest a while so the buttercream can set, then when you put the top on the buttercream won’t squeeze out from the weight of the top.
23rd March 2017 Update: Just a quick update. I’ll be making the second cake tomorrow and will have a few photos to share. Today I just want to let you know that the cake was still okay after three days. The first day the cake is better left alone, by the second it was softer, sweeter and just perfect. Not always the case with buckwheat flour. The third day, today, it had gotten slightly drier, but you could still enjoy it. I’d say three days is just right, four might be pushing it. Ideally it would be baked one day, let rest overnight and then served the next day. I’ll have to ice mine a few hours after baking so it an all be left to rest. For this time I’m just doing a simple vanilla version, but I’ll probably return a few times and see what else can be done with it. Sadly I can’t eat chocolate so unless an intrepid reader braves those high-histamine depths we’re all going to have to settle for vanilla. Looking back on my wheat recipe, this is just guesswork, take it with that in mind, about 200g (Maybe 120g? Like treacle?) melted chocolate with 2 Tbsp Cocoa powder might create a chocolate cake, but I can’t say for sure. It worked for cupcakes back in the day, but without the gluten to bind you might end up with the chocolate sinking and spoiling the cake. Like I say, you try it it’s on you, I’m just speculating. Okay, see you soon with a photo update. Take care, dear reader.
Strangely the bump that usually rises in buckwheat breads didn’t happen here. It divided like a wheat cake.
I neglected to take photos of the uncut loaf, the batter in its various stages, not due to age, but because I had little faith. I have to apologise, fervently, to the creative soul this recipe’s original was the brainchild. What was once a wheat based recipe, one that was created from scratch with much research and tweaking made by an untrained, yet full of potential, amateur, now changed, only slightly, into a gluten free, near identical to the original, cake. So, thank you, me. Yeah. The past me joins the future me in smug celebrations. This cake was originally a recipe that failed horribly, so I worked at it from scratch and ended up with either a Madeira or simple white cake, whatever your preference in cake names, to make a birthday cake for my nieces and nephew. The recipe has been in use from it’s creation, by not by me, when I gave up the gluten those days died, not without a little sadness of what might have been. You know the story, the limits, the lot. Now, instead of looking at a cake I can’t share with other I have one I can. This is exactly the same according to my Mother who makes the original these days. The recipe is fine as is, but I’ll be making an iced version Friday and I’ll add in any pertinent information. It’s strange how once I’d have eaten the whole cake, iced as easily, but now this is so rich I couldn’t even think of a third slice, I struggled with a second. Funny how things change, eh, dear reader.
What a show-off.
So, I’ll lead in with the usual question: What’s the big whoop? Your colloquialisms crack me up, dear reader. Well, no added starches, no arrowroot or potato or tapioca, no gums, either chewing or xanthan, just good old, fresh actually, eggs and the ever marvellous buckwheat. So, it holds, the texture is light and fluffy, it’s cake, not a sweet bread, nor a dense cake, like I’d have thought it would be. Shame on me for not believing in me. The buckwheat flavour is mild, the cake is sweet. There was a slightly thin bit of softness at the basic, a literal millimetre and only just a few centimetres in the middle, but I am to blame there, I removed it from the tin too soon. I was impatient, just do as I say below and let it cool in the tin. Other than that it’s an absurdly great cake. I was eating it within an hour of its being baked. Nearly no crumbs, no cracking and the cake is sturdy as you can see in it’s free-standing slice. It’s a basic cake, nothing special taste or flavour-wise, but when you factor in all that wasn’t needed to make it hold then it becomes a bit special. The raw flour is what you’ll usually get when buying buckwheat, I’ve had this confirmed by a very experienced dear reader, so it’s just there to tell you not to use toasted flour. I’m not sure beating the flour with the eggs does anything here, but I did it anyway, you never can be too careful. You really can’t see it in the photos, but this cake is so light and springy, it’s almost as if it weren’t buckwheat. I’ve never gotten it this light before.
Into the freezer you go. I’m not overweight now, I can’t eat a whole cake these days.
So, for the first time in a long time I’ll be able to share a slice of cake with other people. This one was a test, the next will be the main attraction. A bit of buttercream on top, perhaps a split down the middle with even more buttercream, nothing fancy, but the joy of being able to join in and eat with others is indescribable. I’ll freeze the rest of the cake, perhaps using a few slices to test out on others, and then bake another later on and update this post. The recipe below won’t be altered. All that was changed from the wheat version is that there was originally caster sugar, a little more of it too, a little less milk and that’s it. Not often a wheat recipe works one to one with just a single free-from flour replacement. Okay, that’s it. See you soon.
225g Raw Buckwheat Flour
120g Butter, Softened
2 Medium Eggs (60-65g in Shell)
1/3 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Tastes better after a day.
Can be frozen.
To frost the top and middle you'll need 300g Icing Sugar and 75g Butter for the Buttercream.
1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (No Fan). Grease a Loaf Tin with Butter, line the bottom with greaseproof paper and dust with Buckwheat Flour.
2. Cream the Butter, Vanilla and Sugar, scrapping down the sides as necessary, until Sugar has mostly dissolved.
3. Gently beat in the Eggs and then beat, with an electric mixer, in 25g of the Buckwheat Four on High Speed.
4. Then, with an electric mixer, beat in half of the Flour with half the Milk until just mixed, Then add remaining Flour and beat while gradually adding Milk until a smooth thick batter is formed.
5. Scoop into the prepared tin, tap the tin on the counter top and smooth down with a wet spoon. Bake for 60 minutes, turning halfway and covering for the final ten minutes with greaseproof paper. Make sure top is firm to the touch and a knife comes out clean.
6. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire-rack and let cool completely before slicing.