Saturday 20 November 2010

The Cake Slice November 2010: Cinnamon Pudding Cake (GF)

I was delighted when this cake won the vote to be Novembers cake. I adore cinnamon in any form and the idea of using it in a hot pudding cake sounded perfect for the cold chilly winter days we have been having. This pudding cake takes the form of a self saucing pudding. It’s a cinnamon spiced cake that has a thin caramel sauce poured all over the top of the batter before being baked in the oven. During the baking process, the sauce seeps down to the base of the pan and thickens up into a thick and gooey caramel with the cinnamon sponge on top – magic!

I was a little dubious that this would work as described as my caramel sauce was very thin and liquidly when I poured it over the cake batter, so much so that it completely drowned the cake mix. However, the cake worked its magic in the oven and the golden cinnamon sponge emerged from beneath and baked into a lovely golden cake, complete with a crisp crackly crust – delicious.

My cake batter took on a slightly golden colour due to the flour I used. I am still experimenting with different gluten free flours and for this cake I used predominantly gram flour (chickpea flour) and just a little maize and tapioca flour. Gram flour is used mostly in Indian cooking, either as a thickener or in the batter used to make onion bhajee’s. It has a soft chalky feel to it, similar to cornflour and quite a savoury taste. I wouldn’t recommend it for normal sweet cake batters, but as this cake was so sweet and had all the gooey caramel sauce I felt it could take it.

The finished cake looked and smelt wonderful but the problems started when it came to turn the cake out. The recipe suggested inverting the cake onto a plate so that the caramel sauce at the base became the top of the cake. When I attempted this my caramel sauce was so thick and gooey that it stuck the cake to the pan, causing it to brake and come away in chunks instead of turning out cleanly. Well, darn.

Personally I think it would have been far better to serve the cake straight from the pan and keep it as a pudding with the sauce underneath, but hay ho, I’ll know to do this next time.

Despite its rather poor appearance it tasted fabulous when still hot out the oven. The cake was soft and moist with the cinnamon flavour coming through nicely. I have said in the past that I am not a fan of caramel, but this caramel was divine! I suspect it was because it was made with brown sugar, rather than burnt white sugar which came it a far nicer subtle caramel overtone. When paired with the hot cinnamon cake it was gorgeous.

With my delicious yet broken cake I decided to do away with attempting to cut a neat and even little square, which was what I had intended to do, and instead dug straight in with my fork. It may not have been pretty but when you have hot spiced cake with gooey caramel sauce who’s going to complain? Even my fork knew what to do – Eat Me!

I found the cake tended to get a little dry when cold, but a short burst in the microwave softened the caramel and had it back to being a soft and moist cake once more. As its called ‘Pudding Cake’ then I feel serving it warm is as it is intended to be. I’d make this cake again, but I think its best eaten the day, if not the minute its baked and next time I’ll serve it straight from the pan rather than trying to turn it out!

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Cinnamon Pudding Cake (gluten free)
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
For the Caramel Topping
200g light brown sugar
170ml water
15g unsalted butter
½ tsp salt

For the Cake
240g plain flour (OR, 200g gram/chickpea flour & 50g maize/tapioca flour mix)
2 tsp GF baking powder
2½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
30g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar (I only used 100g)
225ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method – Topping
Heat the oven to 180C. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the brown sugar, water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally, then set aside to cool.

Method – Cake
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add a third of the flour mixture to the bowl. Add half of the milk and the vanilla. Add another third of the flour, followed by the remaining milk and the rest of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Scrape the batter onto the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Pour the topping over the batter (the pan will be very full). Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake until set, 45 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, invert it onto a large rimmed serving platter and serve warm.
Let any leftover cake cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes & Alterations
On recommendations of other bakers I stirred 3tbsp of the syrup through the cake batter before placing it in the tin and I baked the cake in a 9inch pan and reduced the baking time by 10 minutes. This helped keep it moist as some early bakers had commented the cake was dry when baked for the full amount.
I only left my cake in the pan for 5 minutes only before trying to turn it out, but the caramel had already began to set and my cake stuck and broke. I would recommended turning it out of the pan immediately after removing from the oven while the caramel is still hot and runny.


Cream until Fluffy said...

I'm so impressed that you made it gluten-free! Sounds like you really enjoyed it :)

Caroline said...

It looks delicious but how frustrating that it stuck - I hate it when things like that happen!

The flavours sound lovely, and perfect for autumn as you say. I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to pour caramel all over it before baking, but it just goes to show I should trust recipes more - yours looks great!

Franky said...

gone in a second! looks absolutely delicious!

Brownieville Girl said...

Mine was very hard to get out of the tin too.

Glad yours turned out so well - I would have to say that mine wasn't great.

Miri said...

Aargh that's so annoying it wouldn't come out of the pan! You're totally right in that this cake needs to be eaten the second it comes out of the oven.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the issues with it sticking to the pan. The important thing is you liked it! =) Your fork is too cute.

Johanna GGG said...

sounds delicious - I imagine some in my house would eat this with cream.

I have used chickpea flour in brownies to great effect - probably the same reason that the flavours are so strong that it is not detected.

As a matter of course I use non stick baking paper on the bottom of a cake tin - I wonder if this would help with the issues of it sticking to the bottom - though you might lose some of the gorgeous caramel sauce to the paper!

Future Grown-Up said...

Congrats on using gluten free ingredients and making it work! I fall into the loved it camp too. And your photos look yummy...makes me want to make this again.

Kelly said...

My experience was the opposite of yours. It popped right out of the pan and it looked great, but I just did not love the flavor. Oddly enough, I liked it more at room temp on the second day.

I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

Elle said...

Loved the cinnamon in this cake and even though it didn't turn out of the pan with topping intact, it looks delicious!!

Nic said...

Looks so gooey and tasty, very nice dessert. Shame it didn't come out of the tin properly.

beauty be told said...

looks wonderful:)

All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

Mine turned out exactly the same as yours did. I am going to try it again as I loved the flavor just not the results.

Chele said...

What a shame it didn't want to play ball. Looks like a really tasty cake too.

The Caked Crusader said...

you had me at "cinnamon"! Looks amazing

Abitofafoodie said...

Looks absolutely delicious - I'm such a fan of self-saucing puds but can imagine the mess that would ensue if I tried to turn it out of the tin. Bet it tasted great though and sounds like you are getting on well with the gluten-free flours.

Emily said...

Love the crust on your cake!

Monica H said...

I wasn't sure if you'd make this gluten free or not, but I'm so glad you did. I just think you're awesome.

Next time, maybe you could put a piece of parchmant paper in the bottom of the pan so it releases better. Sorry it stuck.

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Mackenzie@ The Caramel Cookie said...

This cake looks absolutely wonderful! YUM!

pigpigscorner said...

oh well, as long as it tastes great!

oneordinaryday said...

What a shame that it didn't release easily for you, but at least you could still enjoy it. Who needs nice little square pieces of cake anyway? Digging in with a spoon or fork is much more fun.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

mmm...i love this type of pudding cake. who cares that it only did that because it's gooey and good!

Unknown said...

Yummy! This makes me want to make that cake again. The trick with turning the cake out of the pan is that you have to do it while the pan is still hot. Only let it cool for about 5 minutes. Once the sauce thickens, it won't budge from that pan.

Great job on this recipe! I'm glad you liked it!