Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake (gluten-free)

June 03, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Three is a charm, they say. Indeed, my third attempt at making this cake worked magic and it turned out perfect (the magic mood must have something to do with Paulo Coelho's Brida that I'm reading). I fell in love with it and craved it the moment I spotted it on Tasteologie and, after reading the recipe on pastry studio, not only did I want to veganize it, I also wanted to make it gluten-free. The "cake" section on pastry studio is probably the best collection of mouthwatering pictures and recipes I have ever laid eyes on. And the best part is that most of the recipes call for one or two eggs, veganizing them is such an easy task.

The first cake smelled and tasted wonderfully, but it was a little too crumbly and I wasn't happy with the presentation (see picture below). The blueberries inside the cake imparted a bluish tinge that didn't look appetizing to me. With the second one I made two big mistakes: I forgot to add margarine and sugar to the batter, so you can imagine how it came out:) I also used a type of cornmeal and rice flour that was a bit coarse and didn't like the texture much.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

And now the lucky number 3! I was in the best mood to make the cake again. I resolved to use the same ingredients as the first time and decided to focus on the details. I also chose to leave the cake plain in order to avoid that unappealing tint from the blueberries. After baking for 25 minutes I checked the cake four or five times every few minutes to make sure it doesn't dry out, nor remain soggy on the bottom. The cake was baked to perfection! The texture was just between light and dense, slightly crumbly, but holding its shape wonderfully. With its sweet, lemony aroma and fresh, fruity taste, this cake is fit for a special occasion. As for appearance, the third one was the most appetizing: the pale yellow of the cake and the deep red-purple of the sauce created a mouthwatering combination.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

So here is a wonderful recipe to bring a little magic to your loved ones:)

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Dry Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup very fine cornmeal (1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 3/4 cup very fine brown rice flour
  • 2 Tb corn flour (starch) - the white one which is used as a thickening agent
  • 3/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup soy buttermilk (see instructions)
  • 2 flax eggs (see instructions)
  • 90 g vegan margarine (75% fat) - the hard, block type, not the soft, spreadable one
  • 1 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tb finely grated lemon zest


Instructions
  • Mix the dry ingredients very well in a bowl.
  • Cut the margarine in small pieces and add them to a small pot. Place it on low heat and warm it up to melt. Remove from heat when it's almost all melted and continue stirring with a spoon until it's all done. Let cool a little while preparing the rest.
  • In a small bowl add 1/2 cup soy milk and 1 tsp lemon juice. Give it a stir and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle.
  • Grind 2 Tb brown flax seeds in a coffee grinder for a few seconds until it becomes almost a powder (or buy it ready made). Don't process too much so it doesn't release the oils. If you can find golden flax seeds, use them instead and the cake will have a brighter yellow colour. In a cup add the ground flax seeds and 6 Tb lukewarm water. Mix and let sit to thicken.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom of a 20 cm (8") loose bottom pan with parchment paper and very lightly oil the bottom and sides of the pan (see how to do that in the Orange Cake post).
  • Add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly until there are no lumps (I've made many wonderfully aromatic cakes, but no batter smelled so divinely that I'd actually want to taste it. You've got to make it to know how tempting this is).

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and give it a little shake to even out the surface. Bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (the cake will crack and that's ok because the cracks will help absorb the blueberry juice, but you don't want it to crack too much, as that will cause it to dry out and become too crumbly; it will also look bad and it won't hold its shape properly. So after 25-30 minutes you can start testing if it's done and adjust the time accordingly. The success of this cake will also depend on your oven. I baked mine on the middle rack using heat from top and bottom, and after 25 minutes I placed an oven tray on the highest level above the cake to prevent uneven baking, browning and too much cracking - and it worked!)

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

  • When done, remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack. After a few minutes the cake pulled away from the sides and there was no need to run a knife around the edges. Let it sit for about 20 minutes until it has cooled enough to handle and carefully remove it from the pan. Without removing the parchment paper slide it off the bottom of the pan and onto the wire rack to cool completely. By then the paper will be almost detached from the cake so it will be easy to remove. Here's an easy way: pull the cake over the edge of the rack; pull the paper down while sliding one hand under the cake. Keep pulling the cake over the edge and use your other hand to peel the paper from underneath it. For the last third of the cake use both your hands and just push the paper down with the fingers. You need both hands to keep it from breaking. Being gluten-free, it is not as elastic as a gluten one.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

  • Carefully place the cake on a large plate. Using a thin knife, gently cut the cake in any shape you like. I made slices, squares and diamonds.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Blueberry Sauce
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tb demerara sugar
  • 2 Tb water
  • 1 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 Tb corn flour (starch)
  • 1 Tb water

After removing the cake from the oven, prepare the sauce. Add blueberries, sugar, water and lemon juice to a pot and place on low heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the blueberries start releasing their juice. This takes just a few minutes. In a cup mix the corn flour with water. When you notice a few blueberries starting to soften and becoming mushy, add the corn flour paste and mix it in. Stir gently for 1-2 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools. The sauce shouldn't be too thick, else it won't be absorbed into the cake, nor too runny.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

The cake is best when it's completely cool, so be patient:) Butter keeps the cake moist and those tiny grains of corn and rice separated.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Arrange the cake pieces or slices on a serving plate. Pour some sauce over them and let it drip over the sides. Place a few blueberries from the sauce on each piece and serve.

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Make this cake with your heart and it will be perfect:)

Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Enjoy and spread the magic!:)


I put a lot of time, effort and passion into each recipe I post. My greatest satisfaction comes from your feedback. If you made this recipe, please take a minute of your time to leave a comment below. And if you like it, please share it so that others have access to it as well. Thank you all in advance!

9 comments:

pastry studio

Oh my gosh, your cake looks fantastic! I'm so thrilled you were able to modify it to your needs.

Thanks so much for the mention. Cheers!

Vegan Magic

Thank you so much for stopping by to check out my version of your gorgeous cake:) I look forward to trying out more of your wonderful recipes.

Lisa

That cake and those photos are food porn to the millionth degree. I love the combo of cornmeal and blueberry..definitely bookmarking this. Hope it turns out as splendid as yours!

Vegan Magic

Lisa, those were my thoughts exactly when I saw the pictures of your fantastic zebra cake. And if you can create such a masterpiece, this simple recipe will be a piece of cake for you:) I am thrilled you like it and plan to make it, I look forward to your feedback. Thank you kindly for stopping by and for your lovely comment:)

Anonymous

i have made this but i used CocconutFat instead of the Vegan Margarine because of the Palmoil Problem, it turned out very wonderfull, so i wanna encourage you to also use CocconutFat instead or Sunflower Oil because u melt the Margarine anyway!!

Vegan Magic

I'm very happy you enjoyed the cake. I was planning to use coconut oil but didn't have enough for the recipe. I agree that it's a better choice for the same reason, though not all brands label palm oil, sometimes it's hidden under "vegetable oils". Thank you for the feedback and suggestion:)

Sarah Walton - The Hedonista

I love the sound of this, and I'm really impressed with the obvious effort you put in before posting recipes. Will give it a go!

Sarah - the hedonista

lovely recipe - I also love the way you obviously try your recipes several times to get them right - so many bloggers don't. keep it up!

Vegan Magic

Hi Sarah and thank you so much for the comments:) I am very passionate about food and love to tweak recipes until I get the result I want. I was hooked on pastry studio's pictures and just had to get this right. I'm glad I finally did:)

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