Monday, April 8, 2019

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Made my first birthday cake in 10 years - a Gluten Free, Sugar Free Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake. Sweetened with a blend of monkfruit and stevia, its still light, fluffy and sweet. Perfect for topping with fresh fruit!

Happy birthday to me! I typically have a blase attitude about my birthdays for a few reasons. Like most people, I'm usually working on the day itself, and if I'm not is often because it's Easter - a fact that my dad and sister also have to deal with (we're all super close date wise). Combined with the fact that birthday cake's heavy reliance on the two elements I don't digest well - fat and gluten - birthday cakes are also not really something I had to look forward to. However, that all changed this year, when I not only found a fat free and gluten free recipe that tasted fantastic, but a sugar free one too!

I am a huge believer in taste coming to the forefront, and thankfully my history with baking gluten free served me well in preventing a cake that tasted like the stereotypical gluten free cardboard - especially in the absence of a ton of fat. For me, the secret lay in layers of vanilla - vanilla bean, vanilla extract and vanilla flavoured stevia, which made each bite perfumed with the flavour but not in an overwhelming or "fake" way. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to note that this angel food cake baked - and stayed - moister than "regular" angel food cake, even days later (it lasted a grand total of 4 days here before being demolished).

That said, the batter is somewhat thicker than your standard angel food recipe, and the top of the pan will be somewhat bumpy... but since that becomes the bottom, nobody will see! Also, being sugar free, the cake will not brown very much, maintaining an angel white appearance. Again, appearance was trumped by taste here, especially when I drowned mine in melted cherry jam (my favourite). FH used homemade strawberry sauce and whipped cream to decorate his and proclaimed it a success, not even realizing it was gluten or sugar free. The dozen egg yolks left over? They became a decadent pair of braided loaves, which will appear on this blog soon!

The best part of all this was that now, I have a cake option to enjoy and share with others no matter what the occasion - I've been asked to make it for Easter this year, and it is a top contender for my wedding cake a few years down the road too!

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake
Adapted from Desserts with Benefits
Serves 8
80g (½ cup, packed) arrowroot starch
64g (½ cup) sorghum flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
355g (1½ cups) fresh egg whites (note: I have not tried this with cartoned whites!)
1 tbsp dried egg whites
1½ tsp cream of tartar
1 ½ cups granular monkfruit sweetener, stevia baking blend or Splenda
6 packets vanilla stevia powder
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot, sorghum flour, xanthan gum and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment, add the egg whites, dried egg whites and cream of tartar.  Whisk on high speed for 6 minutes, until medium peaks form.
  4. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the sweetener and stevia.  
  5. Add the vanilla bean and extract, and stevia extract.  Beat for 3 minutes, until stiff and slightly shiny.
  6. Take bowl off the mixer and sift in the dry ingredients. 
  7. Fold together, being careful not to deflate the egg whites too much.
  8. Scoop the mixture into an ungreased 9" angel food cake pan.  
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until surface is rounded, golden brown, and springs back when tapped. 
  10. Let the cake cool upside down (so that it doesn’t deflate).  
  11. Once completely cooled, use an offset spatula to loosen the cake from the pan.

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