I saw this recipe on Fine Cooking's site and had to re-create it to fit my dietary restrictions--that is, without gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, soy, corn or refined sugar. The result was a spectacular showpiece that tasted absolutely amazing--hubby ate 3 pieces! —RickiH
For the Cake:
finely ground flax seeds
light agave nectar
unsweetened soy or almond milk
sunflower or other light-tasting oil
pure vanilla extract
apple cider vinegar
all-purpose gluten free flour mix (I used my own recipe)
fine sea salt
For the Pastry Cream
water or vanilla rice milk (no other milks will do)
can full-fat coconut milk (14 oz or 400 ml)
packed coconut sugar
fine sea salt
drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to taste
FOR THE CAKE LAYERS, Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line three 8-inch (20 cm) round pans with parchment paper, then spray the parchment with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flax, agave nectar, soymilk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Set aside while you mix the dry ingredients, or at least 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and whisk again to combine; do not overmix.
Divide the batter evenly among the three pans. If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh them to ensure they are exactly the same; if not, set the pans side by side on the counter and just estimate. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and smooth the tops.
Place two pans on the top shelf and one pan on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through, until the tops are puffed and deep golden and a tester inserted in the center of each pan comes out clean (depending on where they were situated in the oven, the cakes may not all be ready at exactly the same time; if necessary, remove one or more as they are ready and keep baking the others). Leave in the pan until completely cool, then run a knife along the sides and invert onto a cooling rack. Peel off parchment, then gingerly wrap in plastic and place on the cooling rack (or a cutting board or plate) in the freezer until firm. Store in freezer bags until ready to use. May be frozen for up to 3 months.
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM, Place the millet and water or rice milk in a medium pot and bring to the boil; lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, salt and turmeric and return to the boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer once again and continue to cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching (a silicone spatula works well for this) until the grains of millet have begun to open and break apart and the mixture has the consistency of very thick oatmeal or thick wallpaper paste, 30-50 minutes. If necessary, add a bit more water, 1/4 cup (60 ml) at a time, to ensure that the mixture has cooked long enough. Don't worry about overcooking at this point--the longer it cooks, the better!
When it's reached the desired consistency, stir in the stevia, vanilla and almond extract. Stir and taste; adjust sweetness if necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a high speed blender (I use a Vita Mix) and blend, scraping down sides as necessary, until perfectly silky smooth. Pour into a large bowl. (If you are using a conventional blender, you can still make it; blend in smaller batches and transfer each blended batch to a bowl after mixing, then stir it all together in the bowl). Allow to cool at room temperature before covering and chilling in the refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight. It will thicken as it chills. May be made up to 3 days ahead; store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the rest of the recipe, see next recipe--Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies, White Chocolate Coating, Strawberry Spread are all part of this recipe.