Gluten Free Rosemary Vanilla cake with Blackberry Preserve and Mascarpone Filling
Here we are! Down to the last cake for the gluten free cake test. This vanilla cake is from Gluten Free on a Shoe String, which I've found by now, that the blogger, Nicole, knows what's up when it comes to gluten free baked goods. I've been relying on her flour blends and I look forward to trying more of her recipes in the future. But for now, I needed to find a good flavor to pair with what she calls, "the very best gluten free vanilla cake," and I would have to agree.
So far, my friend Kailee and my sister-in-law and friend Evelyn, have tried the other cake recipes, containing both rich, and tarty flavors. This time, I wanted to try something unique, something different than the others, something unexpected. After much research, I came across this recipe from Molly Yeh, someone very new to me, but also very known in the baking blogging world, ( and very cute). The use of rosemary strikes me as unusual, but I when I brought it up to the next cake tester, my long-time friend Tania, we couldn't rush any faster to try it.
Since I wanted to stick with this one gluten free recipe, I had to work out the problem of incorporating the rosemary flavor. Molly's recipe included milk for the rosemary infusion where she simmered the two over heat. Nicole's recipe called for buttermilk, something I did not want to risk substituting, and something that cannot handle heat without curdling and separating. I was about to start looking for rosemary extracts on the world wide web, when my husband suggested to simply let the rosemary sit in buttermilk for as long as I can allow it. Hmm, not a bad idea.
So I poured the measured amount of buttermilk in a jar and stuffed all the rosemary sprigs in there. Every other day, using a marble stone grinder, I pressed down on the sprigs while in the buttermilk and let it infuse itself for one week. I think, perhaps, I could have chopped the rosemary, allowing the oils to infuse the buttermilk quickly, but my concern was straining the rosemary, finding that some of the smaller pieces would make its way into the batter. If you don't care for the small rosemary pieces, chop 'em up as you please.
While I didn't have a taste of this cake (yet -- the husband wants me to make it for thanksgiving after hearing the reviews), I can tell you, it is pure amazing-ness.
so how it?
It was exquisite. the flavor of the rosemary really took me somewhere. It’s not overpowering, it’s subtle, with the preserves not being too sweet, it has a perfect balance. I can only compare it to nostalgia, like when the scent of a perfume really takes your mind afar.
okie dokie Virginia Woolf, tell me about the cake itself.
it’s not like a sponge cake, this had more of a dense texture but still with some airy textures. it’s so satisfying.
so it's a successful cake then?
of course! I would eat this cake again and again and again. the reason why i love this cake so much is because it’s not like any other ordinary cake. rosemary + blackberry + gluten free. it’s unique. this is a cake I would expect to find in a cottage style Bed and Breakfast with white plates and floral tea cups and shit. That’s where it takes me.
Not only does Tania love the cake, but my friends and colleagues at school loved it so much, they wouldn't stop saying OH MY GOD. From what I got, the rosemary is subtle, the filling is not too rich, and the cake is perfect. Meaning, this is the gluten free cake I would choose for my husband's birthday cake.
Just like the other two gluten free cakes, the "flour" portion of this recipe is measured by weight.
for the cake:
- 185g white rice flour
- 62g potato starch
- 34g tapioca starch
- 54g cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites +1 whole egg at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup buttermilk infused with 0.5oz rosemary or a few drops of rosemary extract
for the filling:
- 12 oz unsalted butter
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- blackberry preserve/jam
- first and foremost, figure out how you are going to infuse your buttermilk with rosemary
- preheat oven to 350°F
- grease 3 6-inch cake rounds and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper
- in a bowl, sift the dry ingredients (from white rice flour to salt), set aside
- using a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium high speed until the batter becomes fluffy, scraping the sides once -- about 5 minutes
- mix the egg whites, egg and buttermilk in a measuring cup or small bowl
- reduce the mixer's speed to low, and add the dry ingredients in four parts, alternating with the wet ingredients.
- once combined, scrape down the sides and mix on medium speed for one more minute
- remove bowl from mixer and fold ingredients by hand to get any missed areas at the bottom of the bowl
- divide the batter evenly between the pans and place onto center of oven
- bake for 20 minutes. rotate pans and bake for another 10 minutes.
- using a toothpick check for doneness, you can also shake the pans a bit to see if there's any jiggling.
- remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes
- transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
- while the cake cools, make the filling using the stand mixer.
- beat the butter, mascarpone and vanilla extract until combined.
- sift the powdered sugar and add to the mixture to taste.
- to assemble, spread jam on one cake, fill with the icing, and place another cake on top. repeat until the last cake. ice the outside of the cake accordingly