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Gluten Free Strawberry & Mascarpone Cream Victoria Sponge by Denise O Callaghan

This is a lovely cake for a family Sunday lunch. If you do not like using mascarpone cheese, then use freshly whipped cream. Even if the weather doesn’t oblige, this is a cake that always invokes summertime.

150g (6oz) butter/margarine, at room temperature
125g (5oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
50g (2oz) potato flour
50g (2oz) corn flour
50g (2oz) tapioca flour
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon guar gum

To decorate
150ml (5floz) whipping cream
225g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons icing sugar
1 punnet of strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
extra icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F.
2. Grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly.
5. Add the eggs, a little at a time, to the butter/ margarine mixture. Beat between each addition.
6. Into another bowl, sieve the flours, baking powder and gum, and mix until blended.
7. Using a spoon rather than a mixer, fold the flour into the egg mixture in three or four batches. Make sure one batch is folded in before adding the next one.
8. If the mixture seems a little tight – i.e. too stiff and does not drop easily off a spoon – then add 1–2 teaspoons of warm water. Add one at a time and mix it in. This will loosen the mixture.
9. Divide evenly between the two tins and smooth the surface with the back of a palette knife.
10. Bake in the preheated oven on the centre shelf for 25 minutes or so – when ready the sponges should be golden brown and springy.
11. Remove from the oven and leave to sit in the tins for 1–2 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling tray. It is easier to do this if you first loosen around the edges with a flat knife.
12. Peel off the baking parchment and allow to cool.

To decorate
1. When the sponge is cool, whip the cream lightly.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese and sieve in the icing sugar, beating until fully blended.
3. Add the whipped cream and mix in.
4. Place one sponge with its bottom facing upwards on a serving plate. Spread the mascarpone filling generously onto this and sprinkle with halved strawberries. Hold some strawberries back for the top of the cake.
5. Sandwich the second sponge snugly on top of the first.
6. Dust the top with icing sugar and arrange a pile of strawberry segments in the centre and enjoy!

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.51.38Denise is an investment banker turned gluten free baker. She has just launched her first book of gluten-free recipes ‘Delicious’. Denise also founded Ireland’s first gluten-free artisan bakery in 2008.

Denise’s Delicious Gluten-Free Bakery has grown substantially, now employing a team of ten operating out of the company’s base in Cork. ‘Delicious – Recipes from my Gluten-Free Bakery’ by Denise O’ Callaghan is published by Mercier Press and available from all good book stores nationwide or see (RRP €24.99)

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