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Sinking Apple And Almond Cake

Asked by FlowCooking. Answered on 21st November 2016

Full question

The Apple And Almond Cake is a great recipe with the apple puree! According to suggestions in the commetns section I separated eggs, whisked the whites until stiff and folded them in. But the cake was too big, browned to quickly and collapsed. I also used about 100g less sugar, just to reduce our sugar intake. Covered up the sinking with whipped cream and still very tasty, but can I prevent the collapse?

Our answer

Nigella's Apple And Almond Cake (from FEAST) is a gluten free cake that is made with apple puree, eggs and ground almonds (almond meal). The sugar in the recipe is partly to offset the tartness of the apples and could be reduced slightly, though it is important for the structure of the cake so should not be reduced too much.

The reason the cake would have collapsed is because of the whisked egg whites. The air in the egg whites expands as it heats up in the oven. However the cake is gluten free, so there is no gluten to set and hold the air bubbles in place once the cake comes out of the oven. So the cake will collapse as the air bubbles cool and shrink back. Also the cake contains 8 eggs, which is a high proportion, and whisking these will make the cake puff up a lot, then sink dramatically. The texture of the cake is surprisingly light for a gluten free cake, so we do not particularly recommend whisking the egg whites.

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