Miniature gluten-free schichttortes


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However you pronounce it, a Schichttorte makes for another near Herculean feat in time management. Only Luis managed to complete the challenge with a finish to be proud of. The rest of the bakers suffered all kinds of mishaps from a lack of layers to chocolate glaze sliding off hot, just out of the oven, cakes. And what a weird cake this one is. More layered pancake than traditional torte, most people who have grilled a cake have done so because they knocked the oven dial off “fan” by mistake.

In the spirit of inclusivity and after feeling sorry for my gluten-dodging friends and family who, yet again, assumed they’d be missing out on the fruits of this week’s technical bake, I decided to go wheat-free. Most tortes are flour-free anyway, so it’s not such a great leap. I have also simplified Hollywood’s Schichttorte by miniaturising it.

I used a miniature sponge tin to make my version, which means eight instead of Paul’s twenty layers. Aside from less layers, another bonus of these mini treats is that they take no time to cool, so you can have them iced, decorated and in your cake hole in half the time.

Make no mistake, these gluten-free cakes are still more fiddly to make than your average tea loaf, but this is week 9 of Bake Off after all. Times have moved on since Week 1’s simple cherry cake. It’s time to get the baking big guns out.




For the cake

For the filling

For the chocolate glaze

For the vanilla icing

Preheat the grill to hot and grease and base line a 12-hole mini sponge tin
To make the cake batter, whisk the egg whites and salt together until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and mousse-like. Pour the cooled melted butter into one side of the bowl and whisk in. This will take a good few minutes with an electric whisk, so be patient. Whisk in the lemon zest and vanilla and sift over the flour before folding it in
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and mousse-like
Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture until fully incorporated. Be careful not to knock the air out of the batter
Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture until fully incorporated.
Pour a scant spoonful of mixture into each cake hole and evenly spread. Pop the tin in the oven for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is golden. Pour another scant spoonful of mixture over the layer of cake and spread it evenly over the top. Return the cake to grill and cook until golden. Continue for a further six layers, or until you have no room left in your cake tin
Pour a scant spoonful of mixture into each cake hole and evenly spread.
Once all the cakes are cooked, leave in the tin on top of a wire rack for a few minutes before taking the cakes out of their tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack
Leave to cool completely on a wire rack
Melt the apricot jam in a pan before brushing over the cold cakes with a pastry brush. Leave to cool again
Brush the apricot jam over the cold cakes
In the meantime, make the chocolate glaze. Put all of the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir until everything has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Leave to cool until the glaze is still just warm
Pour the cooled glaze over the cakes, using a palette knife to nudge the chocolate down the sides of the cakes. Leave to set
Pour the cooled glaze over the cakes
To make the vanilla icing, mix together the ingredients until you have a smooth and runny, but not watery, icing. Pop the icing in a piping bag and snip the end off. Drizzle the icing over the top of the chocolate-coated cakes and, again, leave to set
Drizzle icing over the cakes and leave to cool
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