Corn Biscuits Cake – Single Flour, Gluten Free

The recipe for this cake was accidental, born out of necessity to use leftover ingredients. I had egg yolks and whipping cream to utilise and the best option was to make vanilla cream. I did not want to make any of my regular cakes with this cream and decided to try another approach – test several new ideas for both the cream and pastry layers combination. I was sure that the cake would be edible, but not perfect or with balanced set of flavours, as I tried pastry and several, not very compatible, cream combinations in one cake. However, I was mistaken and pleasantly surprised, as pastry layers based on single corn flour (not corn starch) with coffee vanilla cream and cottage cheese blackcurrant preserve cream worked very well together.

The cake has the nice balance of sweet and tart taste, with a soft, but not too moist texture.

Pastry layers are based on corn biscuits recipe. They can be baked in advance and stored at room temperature in a container with a tight lid.

The flexibility of cream options or their combinations allows to make this cake not only gluten, but dairy free as well, as the list of potential cream to be used between pastry layers includes variety of dairy free options. They are: (see recipe index here)

  1. whipped cream GF
  2. cottage or ricotta cheese with fruits and berries puree/jam/preserve GF
  3. any butter or pastry cream GF
  4. any citrus or berry curd GF
  5. pastry cream based on dairy free or alternative “milk” GF, DF
  6. fruit creams based on avocado and nuts GF, DF
  7. blended dry fruits spread with dates as a sweetener GF, DF, sugar free

For this particular cake I used coffee vanilla cream, which has a similar texture to that of a butter cream, but is based on thick pastry cream, whipped cream and leaf gelatin. It is the first time as I used corn biscuits batter to bake biscuit layers of the cake. The batter is runny, but with special care can be used from the pastry bag to be spread on baking paper. I have chosen long strips shape to make sure the batter is baked evenly, but I am sure it can be baked as one square or round biscuit as well. I like long rectangle shape cakes, especially layered cakes, as this shape allows to have a nice and neat cake slice. This shape in also very handy when the cake is stored in a container lined with baking paper for easy handling.

Ingredients:

batter

  • 2 eggs (100g without shell)
  • 80-90g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar)
  • 100g corn (maize fine) flour, sifted

vanilla coffee cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 120ml/g milk
  • 20g corn starch
  • 50g sugar
  • 5g vanilla sugar
  • 30ml filtered strong coffee, made from 10g of ground coffee in 60ml boiling water

separately

  • 300ml whipping cream 35% fat with thickeners of any kind
  • 10-15g icing sugar

separately

  • 2 gold grade gelatin leaves, 2g each

cottage cheese cream/spread

  • 100g cottage cheese (cream cheese or ricotta cheese)
  • 50g blackcurrant preserve (or any fine and tart fruit or berries jam/preserve

Preparation:

vanilla coffee cream

The cream have to be prepared at least 6 hours before cake assembly, better to make it the day before, it will set overnight. It has to be whisked before use to loosen it up.

  • pour boiling water over ground coffee, let it stand for 10-15 minutes
  • filter coffer through a piece of paper towel, measure 30ml
  • mix egg yolks with sugar in sauce pan (use the one with rounded heavy bottom)
  • add corn starch, combine to homogeneous paste
  • add milk and coffee, in 3 portions, stirring to combine
  • heat on low heat constantly stirring with medium/small size whisk that reaches all surfaces on the bottom and sides of the pan
  • when the mixture starts to thicken it will happen fast and instant, take the sauce pan from the heat and whisk contents vigorously, all, if any lumps with go, you can use whisk attachment of a stick blender
  • make sure that the cream is fully cooked, it might be necessary to return it to the heat for 20-30 seconds
  • soak gelatin leaves in cold water, squeeze excess of water and add gelatin to warm/hot cream, but not too hot
  • whisk to fully combine
  • in a separate bowl whisk whipping cream with sugar
  • when coffee cream has reached room temperature, add it to whipped cream and combine, use whisk attachment of a stick blender
  • cover the bowl and refrigerate it (best overnight)
  • the best option is to use rounded bottom glass bowl, as it allows to properly whisk the cream before use

soft cheese cream/paste

  • combine soft cheese (I used homemade cottage cheese) with fruit/berries preserve/jam to fine paste

batter

  • whisk eggs with sugar for 4-8 minutes, time depends on the mixer you use, the fastest results are achieved with wire whisk attachment of stick blenders
  • beaten eggs mass will increase its volume 2.5-3 times, will become pale and thicken
  • carefully fold sifted corn flour into whisked eggs
  • spread batter on quality baking paper (no greasing), this can be done by spoon or pastry bag (the batter is quite runny)
  • bake in preheated to 160C fan forced oven for 16-18 minutes (as strips)
  • you can bake on 2 levels simultaneously
  • let biscuits cool down before separating them from baking paper

  • use quality serrated bread knife to cut strips/squares to neat shape
  • use off-cuts to make crumbs
  • I added some ground almonds to biscuits crumbs to use for cake decoration
  • whisk set coffee cream before using

  • use some cream on baking paper to keep the cake in position
  • apply vanilla coffee cream, use it generously when biscuit edges meet each other
  • apply soft cheese spread on the second layer
  • apply coffee vanilla cream on top

  • apply cream to the sides of the cake
  • decorate the cake with crumbs and cream, I also used blackcurrant preserve

  • let the cake rest for 4-5 hours, better refrigerated

In a container with a tight lid the cake can be stored refrigerated for 3-5 days without changing its texture.

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