New to gluten free, or a victim of crumbly, dry cake? Fear not, my ultimate guide to baking Gluten free is here :) If there is anything you are still struggling with please just get in touch here: https://www.glutenfreelivingmadeeasy.com/about-me
Gluten is an important ingredient for baking cakes, pastry, bread or biscuits. It comes from a family of proteins which act like a glue and also give flour it's stretch. Without it, ingredients don't stretch or hold together properly. Because they don't hold together, no moisture can be locked in either - so it's extremely difficult to get a gluten free product that's workable, with a good texture, that is also nice and moist.
Although companies have got much better at mimicking the effects of gluten in free from flours/products, there's a few hacks you need to know which will ensure your cakes impress even the most critical of non-Coeliacs.
Baking Gluten Free - Tips and Tricks
* THE most important part of gf baking is the type of flour you use. By far and away the best flour I have used is Asda's Free From. It's an absolute delight to work with in cakes and biscuits, it holds its form so well and manages to trap in moisture without becoming dense. I would recommend Glutafin Select Mix for dough's and pastry. I definitely recommend that you avoid Dove's Farm. It's unbelievably overpriced and even with extra xantham gum or tapioca starch added, it still won't work well.
* The second most important thing is to counteract the loss of texture and moisture. This can be done two ways. The first step is to add the eggs to creamed butter and sugar, before you add in the flour. Beating the eggs into the butter/sugar gets plenty of air into the mixture and stops it becoming too dense. It won't look 'right' when you first do this, but as long as your batter resembles the picture below - it will be fine
* The second step, is to add roughly 30ml of semi-skimmed or sweetened soya milk to the completed batter until it becomes sloppy and falls quickly off the spoon. You can also substitute the milk for fruit juice.
* Always double check the ingredients of 'extras' such as baking powder, sprinkles/decorations or egg albumen as these are not always gluten free. Sprinkles are something of a minefield so check out my guide to buying them here - https://www.glutenfreelivingmadeeasy.com/single-post/2017/11/12/Gluten-Free-Sprinkles-and-Cake-Decorations
* Don't be fooled into thinking that brand names are best when it comes to cocoa and chocolate - Aldi, Happy Shopper and Tesco Value white/dark chocolate all have high enough cocoa butter/cocoa solid contents to work well and taste great. The only time I would pay a little more is if your recipe asks for dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa solids plus.
* If you are adding liquid such as alcohol or food colouring to a frosting, be sure to compensate for this by using an extra 50-100g of icing sugar
* For all of my cupcakes I use either Wilton 1M Open star or Wilton 1A Round piping nozzles. These are nice and big so you use less frosting and spend less time piping, but your decoration still looks professional.