Ginger Sponge

Ginger Sponge 1

I must say that I’m feeling quite chuffed about finally perfecting this recipe. This cake is extremely light and airy in texture, even the next day. The ginger flavour is not overpowering and the hint of chocolate from the cocoa powder compliments this cake wonderfully. This is a ‘foam style’ of cake because it does not contain any butter or oil, as it uses only whipped whole eggs.

This recipe has been in development since early January this year! I’ve made this cake 8 times and have learnt valuable lessons about what not to do for next time. The first time I made it I used too much corn starch. Although it looked great, it was too dry and it squeaked as you were chewing it. Although it was edible, it really wasn’t that great.

Ginger Sponge 2

Over the next few weeks I was literally making this cake once a week, tweaking the flour ratios slightly as I went. The cake kept sinking in places and unattractively wrinkling on cooling. I also think the boys were a little over it by the 5th week, so I put the recipe away for a while, as I was getting frustrated with it too.

When I did come back to it, I decided to try a completely different flour ratio all together. I was much happier with the outcome, as these flours produced a much lighter texture. However, it still wrinkled a little on cooling. I knew I was so close to perfecting this recipe, that I kept making it (what my boys have to endure at times). So after another couple of tweaks with the flour ratios, I finally had success!! Our eldest son Matthew, who has a fine tuned radar for any rice flour aftertaste, even said he was suitably impressed with this cake.

Ginger Sponge 3

The eggs have to be at room temperature.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
It is very important to sift the dry ingredients several times, this will result in a lighter sponge, do not skip this step.
Check the cakes at the 20-minute mark, you don’t want to over-cook them because they will dry out.

Recipe Update: I have substituted the 3 tablespoons of superfine brown rice flour and 1 tablespoon of sorghum flour with more superfine white rice flour. These changes have improved on the texture of the cake. The other changed I made was to the the mock cream, I used soft icing sugar instead of pure icing sugar. The soft icing sugar produced a thicker and fluffier cream.

144g (5.1 ounces or ¾ cup) golden/raw caster sugar or super-fine sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
36g (1.3 ounces or 4 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon) superfine white rice flour
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) potato starch
28g (1.0 ounces or 4 tablespoons) corn starch
24g (0.8 ounces or 3 tablespoons) sweet rice flour
8g (0.3 ounces or 1 tablespoon) tapioca starch
6g (0.2 ounces or 1 tablespoon) ground ginger
5g (0.2 ounces or 1 tablespoon) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) cream of tartar
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) xanthan gum
Jam & Mock Cream Filling
5-6 tablespoons ginger marmalade (I use this brand)
135g (4.8 ounces or 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon) soft icing sugar, sifted (I use this brand)
112g (4.0 ounces or ½ cup) gluten and dairy free butter
2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water, from the tap is fine
1¼ teaspoons (6.25ml) pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 160C and grease two 20cm cake tins and then line the bases with baking paper or parchment and lightly brush with gluten and dairy free butter.

Using a stand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs on a low speed to combine and then turn the speed up to high, before continuing to beat for approximately 8-9 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Step 1 - Adjusted more in iPhotos

Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients together 4 times, as this will result in a lighter sponge. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, until well combined.

Step 2 - Adjusted more in iPhotos

Pour the cake mixture evenly into the prepared tins, place the tins in the same oven shelf and bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, or until just springy when lightly touched in the middle and shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the edge and then turn it out onto a large plate. Keeping the baking paper/parchment on the cake, invert onto a cooling and allow the cake to cool completely before removing the paper. They will lightly wrinkle upon cooling.

Step 3 - Adjusted more in iPhotos

To make the mock cream, add the icing sugar and butter to a stand mixer using a low speed to combine, scraping down the sides when necessary. Once combined, turn the speed up to medium-high and continue beating for about 3 minutes, until it is pale and fluffy.

Step 4 - Adjusted more in iPhotos

Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue beating on medium until combined, scraping down the sides when necessary, before adding the other tablespoon. Continue beating until thoroughly mixed through and then beat in the vanilla. Once the vanilla is fully incorporated, turn the speed up to high. The mixture should be very fluffy, as to resemble a whipped cream texture.

Step 5 - Adjusted more in iPhotos

To assemble the cake, transfer one of the sponges to a serving plate and spread a layer of ginger marmalade over one cake.

Step 6 - Adjusted more in iPhotos

I used a Wilton 6B piping tip to pipe the cream over the jam, but you can use a palette knife to spread over the cream.

Step 7 - Adjusted more in Pixlr

Carefully place the other cake on top. I placed a cake stencil on top of the second cake and dusted over it with icing sugar. However, you can also liberally dust over the whole cake with icing sugar using a fine sieve.

Step 8 - Adjusted more in Pixlr

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse

Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.

Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8

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