Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Czech Heirloom Recipe Made Gluten-Free: Cherry Bublanina Cake

The theme for this month's Gluten Free Ratio Rally is Yellow or White Cake and I knew immediately which cake I wanted to modify to make GF for our household: my Czech father-in-law's famous Bublanina. Bublanina is a fruit-topped cake that is delectable by itself for dessert or breakfast or gussied up with whipped cream or ice cream. Here's a plate of the delicious blueberry bublanina (try saying that three times fast) and strawberry bublanina that "The Wheaties" were served at our last visit from Alex's kitchen (my GF hubby had ice cream).

Bublanina is good Eastern European comfort food and I wanted to try my hand at a gluten-free version for my Dear One, so this GF Ratio Rally Challenge was the perfect opportunity to get cracking at it. Plus, sweet cherries are in season here in upstate New York, so I bought a couple of pounds: one for snacking and one for cutting up for a Cherry Bublanina

The Gluten Free Ratio Rally event is a monthly challenge to tackle a recipe in which participating bakers use weight as a measure for ingredients rather than standard cups and teaspoons to ensure more reliable results. I enjoyed playing around with Pate a Choux in May to make Cream Puffs Filled with Coffee Cream and posted up my recipe for Smoked Paprika Noodles last month for the pasta round. This time we are all trying out white and yellow cake variations, and the roundup of everyone's posts is available at Gluten Free Gobsmacked.

I was determined to reproduce this homey Czech cake recipe for the Yellow/White Cake round this month and I'm happy to report that it came out really well. You can also use most any other fruit to top your Bublanina. Father-in-law Alex uses strawberries or blueberries most often, but other berries or stone fruit will work well too.

Czech Cherry Bublanina

4 eggs, separated

8 oz. sugar (about 3/4 cup)

8 oz. white rice flour (about 1 cup)

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

fine gluten free bread crumbs

1 lb. pitted slice cherries (or other fruit)

Powdered sugar

Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add 1/3 of the sugar, beating until whites are stiff and glossy. Fold in egg yolks, 1 at a time, and then blend in remaining sugar and flour. Gently blend in xanthan gum, cinnamon, lemon juice and grated lemon peel.

Grease a square or rectangular 1 quart baking pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pour in batter and spread evenly in a layer about 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches thick. Dust cherries with a bit of white rice flour and arrange evenly on top of batter.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Cool. To serve cut in squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Makes 8 servings.