Recently, various versions of this cake have been popping up in my news feed – much to my simultaneous delight and lament. As a passionate appreciative foodie, I love seeing such beautiful creations but, as a deliciously intolerant foodie, at times, I grieve for want of such foods, knowing full well, while it might taste wonderful at the time, I will know buyer’s regret within hours, and often for days to come.
That said, I could not get this recipe out of me head. I am a huge fan of custard – my Mum used to make the most amazing vanilla custard, thick and rich, the perfect companion to apple pie or golden syrup dumplings. Oh, such sweet memories! There is no way my gut would cope with that much milk in a dish these days, but I could not shake the desire to bake and eat some magic custard cake dammit!
What else is a girl to do then, but find a way to make and bake it so she can indeed eat it, so that is what I did.
While I can’t always claim to have been a huge fan of anything coconut, since coming to understand more about myself and my IBS diagnosis, I now embrace and love all things coconut – in particular, coconut milk and oil – both of which make brilliant substitutes for dairy milk and butter in most recipes. The textures are similar, as are the way they work in a dish and while coconut does have a distinctive flavour, when combined with other ingredients, it blends beautifully and tends not overpower the final taste.
While pondering the delicious looking conventional recipe, as baked by the lovely Lauren from Create Bake Make, I wondered if I could sub in coconut products and gluten free flour to create a similar and tummy friendly version for me to
greedily demolish, ahem, eat sensibly and sate both my curiosity and craving.
Much to my glee, as you can see, it worked! The final result, while perhaps a little less cake-like on the top, has defined layers and a soft, wobbly custard centre, just the way I like it! I made a chocolate version, using a little cacao, but leaving it with just the vanilla, if you prefer, would work a treat I am sure.
Here’s how it came together for me;
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup unrefined sugar (or powdered stevia if you want fructose free low FODMAP version)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup gluten free flour mix, sifted
- ¼ cup of cocoa, sifted
- 2 cups coconut milk, lukewarm
- icing sugar or powdered stevia to decorate
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper, bottom & sides, with overhang to assist with removing cake once cooked.
- Separate eggs into clean, dry bowls.
- Using stand mixer or similar, with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
- Using stand mixer or similar, with paddle attachment, mix egg yolks & sugar (or stevia) together until well combined.
- Melt coconut oil over low heat in saucepan, or in microwave for 30 second increments at 100% power.
- Using stand mixer on a low speed, gradually add coconut oil & vanilla extract to egg yolk mix, until combined.
- Gradually add flour and cocoa a little at a time until well combined.
- Gently heat the coconut milk over low heat in a saucepan or in 30 second increments in the microwave on 70% power.
- Gradually add milk to mixer & continue to beat on medium speed to combine.
- Add the egg whites to mixer bowl and gently fold together on low speed or with spatula.
- Pour batter into cake tin and place into oven.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until a light crust has formed on top - it may take a little longer depending on your oven.
- Allow the cake to cool in tin for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, slice using a sharp knife into preferred size. I went for smaller rectangles as this is quite rich to taste.
- Dust with icing sugar, or powdered stevia just before serving.
- Keep left over cake in the fridge - (if there is any)!
For those following a low FODMAP eating plan, you can replace the sugars with stevia to make this dish fructose free. I have tried it both ways and they work well, but the truth is, I am not all that fond of stevia. While providing a similar sweetness to sugar, I find it hard on my palate, leaving a coating around the inside of my mouth and a slightly bitter and long lasting after taste that just doesn’t work for me. I have tried a number of brands and while some are definitely better than others, it is just not a product I get excited about using no matter how much ‘better’ it is for me or how hard I try. If you like it though – go for it – it does work in this recipe effectively.
Thankfully I can tolerate sugars in small amounts every now and then, so I prefer to stick with unrefined rapadura sugar (evaporated sugar cane juice) in my baking. It really is about what works for you though, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
So there you have it, my version of a Magic Custard Cake, free from gluten, dairy products and refined sugar. I hope you like this as much as we do.
Tell me, is there a product you have tried to make yourself love, but just can’t? I would love to hear about it.
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!