Daily Archives: August 3, 2011

Williamsburg Orange Cake – Gluten & Dairy Free

UPDATE:  Now WITH the photos!  :-)

We are here again for another ‘Gluten Free Ratio Rally’!  This month is white/yellow (NO chocolate allowed!) cake and is being hosted by Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked.  Go there to see all the other great cakes that were baked up this past month.

This month’s rally has ‘perfect timing’.  It is The Patriarch’s birthday this month and he is always reminding me that he is not a choco-holic as Arrow and I are.  Hm, how could anyone not love a good chocolate cake??  Or chocolate anything for that matter!  lol

So, I decided I would make him a Williamasburg Orange Cake.  Making it gluten and dairy free for Arrow and me.  We have been studying that time period and well, this just seemed to be so fitting somehow.  I have never made one but have looked at the recipe in my “very old 1970’s” Betty Crocker cookbook.  I tried to do some research on the history of this cake, but came up with a big blank.

I also wanted to tackle “canning cake”.  What!!  You’ve never heard of that before??  In our preparedness efforts I have seen commercially canned cakes and wondered if it was possible to do at home.  I did find a small bit of information on the internet about canning cakes and pies.  So why not give it a try?  I found the cutest little 4-ounce, quilted,  straight-sided canning jars at a local fruit stand and gave them a good washing.  They were filled too full of cake batter which left no room for any frosting.  So I will have to see if I can “can” cake with frosting another time.

I have never been very fond of homemade yellow or white cake.  I grew up with the standard boxed cakes and they always turned out tender, moist and tasty.  Yes, all that despite the unnatural ingredients in the box…  My homemade ones never turned out well.  Chocolate I could whip out, but any other… and they were dry, dry, dry and dense.  I just gave up baking yellow and white cakes and stuck with the chocolate ones that always turned out for me.  I would read the recipe then proceed to just throw everything into the mixing bowl and mix it all together.

I read up on cake ratios in Michael Rhulman’s Ratio cookbook to prepare for this rally.  Was I ever SURPRISED!  Well shocked actually.  Truly shocked.  Right down to my toes even.  I didn’t realize what a lazy, haphazard baker I was until reading about cake ratios.

Cakes are in the ‘batter’ section of the Ratio book.  A batter is a dough you can pour.  Yup, even I understand that.  It was the second paragraph that blew me away.  He went on to say that the order the ingredients are combined and the way they are combined is what makes the difference between them!  Oh.  THAT is why those recipes stated to do this and then this…  oops.

Batters are organized by the mixing method used, creaming (pound cake), foaming (standard butter cake), straight mixing (crepes, pancakes, muffins) or  some combination or variation resulting in a variety of cakes).  I was trying to make a pancake/muffin have the consistency of a cake but without using the cake method of mixing the ingredients!

So for this ratio it isn’t JUST the ratio that will be important but HOW those ingredients are combined… and when.  Panifica Emptor!!

Cake ratio – – 1:1:1:1 (eggs, flour, fats, sugar)

Also, you should have your ingredients mise en place.  A fancy French term that means have all your ingredients “all in place” and ready to go… before you start mixing!  I weigh out each steps ingredients into bowls, one for the flours, stirred, one for the oils and ‘extras’, and  the eggs and sugar right into my stand mixer bowl.  I LOVE weighing out my ingredients!!

Williamsburg Orange Cake – Gluten & Dairy Free

makes 1 9×2-inch layer & 4 – 6 4-ounce cakes-in-a-jar

8 ounces eggs (4 large eggs plus 1 large yolk) at room temperature

8 ounces evaporated cane juice

1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 ounces Earth Balance buttery spread, softened (I use soy free)

4 ounces grape-seed oil

1/3 cup natural applesauce

2 ounces quinoa flour

2 ounces brown rice flour

1 ounce coconut flour

3 ounces sorghum flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup raisins

2 teaspoons orange zest from an organic orange

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or nut of choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease cake pan.  I use palm shortening.  I didn’t grease my canning jars.

Combine the room temperature eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the whisk attachment whip the eggs and sugar on high until the eggs have tripled in volume, a few minutes.  [I was AMAZED at how fluffy it all became...]

Stir to combine all the flours with the baking powder with a whisk or in a food processor with a few pulses.  Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.  Fold in the sifted, stirred flours until you can’t see it anymore, then fold in the Earth Balance/Grape-seed oil, raisins, orange zest and chopped nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan (and jars).  Bake for 30 – 45 minutes for a layer and 20 – 25 minutes for canning jars, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove to serving plate.  Cool completely.  Frost with Williamsburg “Butter” Frosting.

My 4-ounce jars were done in 20 – 25 minutes.  I let them cool for 10 minutes then put on the seals and rings.  Oh, how I love to hear that “pop” telling me my jars have sealed!  :-)

Williamsburg “Butter” Frosting – Dairy Free

1/4 cup Earth Balance

2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 – 3 TBSP orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

Blend Earth Balance and sugar.  Stir in orange juice and zest; beat until smooth.

This is quite tasty!  Not as moist as I would have liked, but that is probably from the coconut flour.  I thought the applesauce would compensate, but it did not.  Not as much as I would have liked.  I didn’t have time to do more experimenting.  I learned SO MUCH with this cake ratio rally.  I am looking forward to baking many more yellow/white gluten free cakes!

The bonus in all this…  Not the revelation I learned in proper mixing methods for cakes.  Not the delight in trying to “can” my own cake – and succeeding.   Not the pleasure in making a Willimasburg Orange Cake that I have wanted to make for decades AND have it turn out.

It was the joy in hearing the guys declare this cake good!  THAT is what I do this for.  :-)

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

This post is also linked to Kim at InAShoe.com

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