Finding gluten-free cake mix is very difficult out of the big cities.
But this recipe uses ingredients that can be found everywhere and everyone can bake a delicious, soft and spongy poundcake. And since it doesn't use yeast, it will be ready in less time.
Step 1: Tools Needed
Being a little OCD about being organized, I recommend to gather everything first. The amounts are good for a small cake. Gluten-free breads and cakes don't last as long as common ones, so I only do what I can eat in about three days since I'm the only one with gluten-free diet in my home..
Measuring cups & spoons
One big mixing bowl
One medium mixing bowl
Four small bins. Tupperwares are good, but any brand will do just as well.
Two rubber spatulas
Egg yolk separator
Cheese grater or microplane
Two fine mesh strainers
Small loaf pan
Step 2: Ingredients Needed
Sugar: 1/3 cup
Lemon: one half
Corn Oil: 2 table spoons. You can use any vegetable oil, really.
Cornstarch: 3/4 cup
Baking soda: 1/2 tea spoon
Optional: powdered cocoa
Step 3: Preparing Your Ingredients
This recipe doesn't use yeast to produce the gases needed to expand the mix. Instead, the gases are produced by a simple chemical reaction betwen an acidic subtance and an basic one: lemon juice and baking soda, repectively.
The problem when using this acid/base mix is that the gases are produced immediately, unlike yeast that needs some time to burp their gases. This means that the mixing part needs to be done fast if you want to get a fluffy pancake instead of a collapsed one.
To help you to do the mix quickly, it's better to measure every ingredient you need and put them on your counter, ready to be used with no thinkng involved. So, take the time to pour your cornstach, baking soda, oil, etc into their cups/plastic bowls/whatever.
The eggs need to be sepatated in yolks and whites. So, use the egg separator and pour the yolks in the bigger size bowl and the whites into the medium size mixing bowl.
The half-a-lemon needs to be used in two different ways. First, get your microplane or fine cheese grater and use it on the lemon skin. We will use 1/8 tea spoon of the grated lemon skin to give the cake a rich lemon scent that will be delicious.
After that, use the lemon squeezer to extract its juice. Make sure to filter it through the smaller strainer to avoid any solids in the juice.
As you can see in the picture, I used two boiled egg cups: one for the baking soda and other for the lemon juice. I love how they are the perfect size for storing these small quantities of ingredients.
Step 4: Do the Mix.
This is easy: turn on the oven to 180° Celsius (360°F) and close its door.
Take the small loaf pan and cover the inside with a thin layer of butter. This is just to avoid the cake to get stuck. I just use a rubber one that needs no butter: nothing sticks to it.
Use your mixer to beat the egg yolks in the bowl. While using the egg beater, pour the sugar in there and watch how the yolks become full of little bubbles.
Keep beating the egg/sugar mix and pour in there the oil.
Keep beating the egg/sugar/oil mix and pour in there the grated lemon skin.
Keep beating the egg/sugar/oil/grated lemon skin mix and pour in there the lemon juice.
Now, stop beating the mix and clean the mixer.
With a clean egg beater, beat the egg whites at the highest speed you can until they become like snow as you can see in the picture.
Now get back to the egg/sugar/oil/grated lemon skin/lemon juice mix and start beating it again; this time you'll add the baking soda.
Now add the cornstarch using the strainer. The strainer will help you to get an even mixture, without big clumps.
Once all the cornstach has been mixed, add the beaten egg whites with one of the spatulas, with soft movements. You don't want to beat them hard, instead do it gently like you were caressing the mix. The idea is to create a new mixture without destroying the snow-like texture of the whites.
Once you mix it all, pour it into the small pan. If you want to do a single-flavored poundcake just pour it all in there. But if you want to do a lemon/chocolate one, pour only 3/4 of the mix in the pan. Add the powdered cocoa to the rest, mix it well, and pour the new cocoa-flavored mix in the pan.
If you want to get a marbled appearance, use one clean spatula to draw "S" shapes in the mix. I prefer to have the cocoa in the bottom (I'm kind of weird), so I didn't do that.
Now just put the pan inside the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Put It Out!
As you can see in the picture, the cocoa part is at the bottom, just like I like it. That's because it is heavier that the rest.
What you can't see is how spongy and delicious it came. The grated lemon skin gives it a nice flavor to offset the natural egg one, and with the cocoa it is just perfect.
I'd like to send a big THANK YOU to Instructables member Jen Wold. I took her "SCIENCE OF BAKING CLASS" right here in Instructables, and that helped me to get started with the right foot into baking, so much so that I have to hide my breads and cakes to avoid the rest of my family to steal them! Again, thank you!