A classic French cake adapted to suit either a gluten free diet or those who favour a super light sponge.
Although this is a food blog I don’t often write recipes on it (there are plenty elsewhere on the web). However I was recently chatting with a friend who is struggling with a dilemma between gluten intolerance and a sweet tooth. She was bemoaning how most gluten free cakes tend to be too robust and filling. I can see her point, as although there may be times when only a filling flapjack will do, I think that patisserie should be similar to witty banter: light, frivolous and full of the joy of life.
Biscuit de Savoie is a classic French cake. Traditionally it is made with a mixture of potato and wheat flour (50/50 or 60/40 depending on the cook), however I have made it successfully with 100% potato flour, meaning it is gluten free. As this cake is even lighter than a classic Biscuit de Savoie, you really need a fairy touch when folding through the ingredients, plus as with all fatless sponges, its shelf life is limited to hours. So eat on the day of baking. I like to fill this cake with cream and jam, however I’ve also had it served plain accompanying stewed fruit.
My thanks to Shaun Pritchard who gave me his mother’s recipe (using 60 g potato flour and 40g plain wheat flour), as she is from Savoie region in France it is the real, tried and tested, thing. Here’s my adaptation:
Biscuit de Savoie
100g potato flour
190g castor sugar flavoured with a vanilla pod
100ml double / clotted cream or crème fraîche
2 tablespoons of jam
Beat egg yolks and sugar until they are thick and white in colour. You may need to add a tablespoon of cold water if the mixture is very dry.
Very gently fold through the flour.
Whisk the egg whites till stiff.
Fold egg whites through the mixture with the lightest of touches.
Pour this into a greased tin.
Bake for 40 mins at 180°c.
When cool slice across the middle and spread with jam and cream. Eat that day.
For those friends and family who have been angling for my orange cake recipe, also gluten free, I’m afraid to say that it remains a closely guarded secret which proves that some cooks are just mean.