Monday, March 29, 2010

Product Review 'Cause You're Special Gluten Free Moist Lemon Cake Mix

Blogger has the hiccups. All my photos are currently missing, and I can't upload any either. It helps me feel a little less guilty that I didn't take any photos for this review.

I love lemon cakes and pies in the spring. I found the 'Cause You're Special! GF moist lemon cake mix at my local grocer and thought I would give it a try. The first thing to note right away is that the mix calls for 1/2 cup softened butter so be sure to set your butter out long enough for it to soften prior to mixing.

I baked my cake in a 9" round cake pan and set the timer for 25 minutes. The directions say to bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. So at 25 minutes I checked my cake. It was turning sort of golden brown around the edges, still pale and a little wobbly in the center. I did the toothpick check and it looked clean, but the wobbliness really bothered me. I did the toothpick again and this time fan my fingers down the toothpick, and they came away wet so even though nothing was visible on the toothpick the wetness indicated to me that it was not done yet. Back in and set the timer for another 10 minutes.

This time when the timer went off the cake was a  lovely golden brown through the whole top. The cake had risen more and had a lovely dome to it. The toothpick came out clean and not damp, so I took the cake out and set it on the counter to cool. As the cake cooled that lovely dome deflated leaving an inverted wrinkled top behind.

Eaten warm the cake had a lovely light lemon flavor and a cake like texture with just a hint of the GF graininess. The top and sides had a bit of a baked sugar crispness that I really liked, however that was lost overnight as the cake cooled.

The next day the cake had transformed. The top had become moist and sticky, and the middle had become an almost thick pudding like texture. Not unpleasant, and I sort of like that kind of texture in lemon, but it's no longer cake like.

I topped my pudding cake with a lemon butter cream frosting:

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoons milk
I think it would have been a better frosting choice had the cake stayed like cake, and not like cake custard. I didn't frost the cake until the next morning but I had premade the frosting and didn't want to toss it. Maybe this lemon filling would have made a better toping for this type of cake.
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar

2 egg yolks, beaten
My final opinion - if your looking for a light fluffy cake this is not it, unless you eat it straight from the oven. Looking for a more custard lemon desert this could fit the bill. Because of the fall it's not a pretty desert on it's own so it needs to be topped with something if you want it to look good, but the flavor is good and the texture isn't bad considering it's GF.

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