It's not really a shortcake... but it's not quite anything else either. But it sure is short!
I'm not much of a baker, but in my college dorm I banged out a few simple cookies, pizza doughs and tart crusts from memory whenever I needed a study break. Walk into my kitchenette at 12am on a weeknight and you'd usually find a table full of flour. One break I went home while my mom was packing up the house to move. I started getting things together to make myself a batch of cookies only to realize we did not have regular flour. My mom is gluten intolerant and hadn't replenished the wheat flour since I'd been gone! So I figured I could use almond flour the same way, right? Nope. I absolutely could not. I ended up throwing a ton of different flours and things into the batter until it started behaving somewhat like cookie dough or brownie batter. It rose like a cloud in the oven and was delicious. While I haven't been able to replicate that, this is a variation of that Frankenstein treat.
Gluten Free cakes are tricky and there's often either a pasty feeling or a crumbly dry texture. This has neither, maybe because it's so thin or maybe it's the pear or maybe the meringue... either way, it's spongy, chewy and sweet.
While great on it's own, banana cream makes the perfect companion to make it a decadent and impressive looking treat. Plus, the cake calls for egg whites only and the cream just wants the yolk so no wondering what to do with half the egg!
Use two 8" round cake pans. I also made these cakes in muffin tins for mini cakes which were great for scooping the cream. Those would bake for 25-30 minutes. —Ashley B
Medium Ripe Banana
Egg Yolks(room temperature)
Bailley's Irish Cream
Gluten Free Flour Blend w/ Xanthum Gum (I use Pillsbury's Multi-Purpose Blend)
Combine Gelatin powder with the cold water and set aside so it can dissolve.
Puree the banana in a blender or food processor until smooth.
With an electric mixer, beat the yolks and sugar until fluffy, then gradually add the banana and beat until fully incorporated.
Combine the milk and Bailley's in a saucepan and bring to the scalding point(when bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan). Remove from heat and wait 5 minutes before pouring over the banana mixture and beat until combined.
Return to heat and bring to the scalding point once again. Then remove from heat and let cool. You may want to transfer it to a new bowl. Stir occasionally.
If the gelatin has dissolved, gently stir it and the vanilla into the mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream into soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mixture until fully incorporated.
This makes a lot of cream and you'll probably have leftovers after the cake is finished. It can be used for banana cream pie, banana pudding or just spoon it over pound cake or fresh berries! I liked blackberries best.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar together with both flour types.
Mash the pear with a fork or pastry blender then add the flour/sugar mixture and combine until fully incorporated.
Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt with an electric mixer until frothy, then gradually add the sugar. Beat into a meringue, when it will be stiff, shiny and form peaks.
Transfer the meringue to the flour mix and with a rubber spatula, gently fold them into each other.
Add vanilla and continue to gently fold the batter until smooth and everything is well mixed.
Grease the bottom of the cake pans. Pour half the batter into each pan. The batter should cover the bottom and not be higher than a half-inch.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
They are done when the tops are golden and the cake has pulled away from the sides of the pan.
Pop the cakes out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool.
For two single layer cakes, simply top the cakes with banana slices and a generous layer of cream and garnish with chopped almonds and blackberries. You can layer them on top of each other as well! Then refrigerate so the cream doesn't ooze when you cut the cake. If you can wait that long.
Serve with extra cream on the side to allow everyone to have as much cream as they want!