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I've recently been testing a lot of gluten free cake mixes as part of my job. I can honestly say that the glebe farm chocolate cake mix is by far the best. It is very difficult to bake a good cake without wheat flour, therefore I was pleasantly surprised by the glebe farm mix. It has a rich chocolate flavour and a good texture. It can dry out though if over baked in an over hot oven.It's pretty good value considering it is a specialist product.Would thoroughly recommend!
While I'm not gluten intolerant, I am wheat intolerant and lactose intolerant, so I keep my eye out for "free from" products as they are often free from wheat and lactose too. I'd picked up this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix before, but I couldn't remember what it was like so I picked up another bag of it to try it out again.
While this cake mix is called Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix, it is also wheat free, dairy free, soya free and egg free (with an option to add dairy & egg). So there's not many people who couldn't eat it. The packaging also states that "Glebe Farm gluten free products contain no chemical additives or other 'nasties'. So apart from it's sugar content, it's possibly one of the healthiest cakes around!
It's also a simple cake to make. The front of the packaging (simply a paper bag, much like a flour or sugar bag but smaller) states "add 3 eggs and margarine. Bake in oven or bread machine". However, the back of the bag does give a bit more information on what you need to do to make this cake. There are instructions for both oven bake and bread machine, but my preference is always to oven bake.
To oven bake you simply melt 175g (6oz) of margarine, then add 3 eggs and the cake mix and whisk it in. You then divide the mix evenly between two 8 inch greased cake tines and bake for 25 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 180C or 350F (Gas Mark 4). To make this cake dairy and egg free, simply use soya or non-dairy margarine (which we did) and egg replacement powder. The packet also includes instructions for making the optional butter icing for the middle of the cake. Again, this is very simply - Soften 75g (3oz) of butter or margarine, then add 175g (6oz) of sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence. Mix well and the spread. You can also dust the top of the cake with icing sugar.
I could smell the cake while it was baking in the oven (which is usually a good sign), it was like a plain chocolate kind of smell.
So, how did it taste?
Well, the cake actually tastes quite nice. I wouldn't say delicious, but nice for a gluten free cake.
The biggest problem I had with the cake was the slight biscuity texture to it. A cake should be nice & soft, but the cake sounded a bit hard when I tapped the top of it with a knife before cutting a slice. I wonder if this could be remedied by baking the cake for a slightly shorter time? Thankfully, the inside of the cake wasn't crunchy, but was a bit heavier than a normal cake would be. Remember I mentioned the plain chocolate smell to the cake while it was in the oven? Well, it also tasted of plain chocolate. I prefer milk chocolate, but plain chocolate is pretty much a given when it comes to "free from" foods, so I can't really complain about that.
So would I buy Glebe Farm Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix again? Possibly. I wouldn't be in a hurry to, but when you're lactose intolerant and wheat intolernat there isn't a big choice of cakey stuff to buy.
I bought Glebe Farm Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix from a local shop for £3.29 (so not all that cheap). It can also be found on their website www.glebe-flour.co.uk and health food type shops.
Glebe Farm also produce other Gluten Free cake mixes, bread mixes and other similar products.