I made a gluten-free version of this tonight and I learned some important things. It’s still cooling, but I sampled some and it worked. I used an equal amount of Bette Hagman’s “Featherlite” flour blend (recipe is out there on the web). Like someone said about the regular version is that the crust was rubbery. It’s not overly sweet, which I like about it, but others who are accustomed to sweeter treats might find lacking.
For those who didn’t get a custard, reduce the baking time and start watching it at 30 minutes. Yes, it goes in very liquidy, but remember that it’s a custard, so you’re baking eggs. What I saw was that as soon as it started to set up, it went from floppy to jiggly to a bit hard very quickly. I baked it at 325 for 35 minutes. Keep in mind that, like eggs, it will continue to cook when you pull it out, so get it away from the stove and to a cool place as soon as possible.
For those who found it bland, add a pinch of salt or use salted butter. I rarely make any baked good without at least a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors.
I also used a very strong vanilla and a bit more of it instead of the water combined with a coffee-flavored extract that I am making but is a bit underdeveloped (it hasn’t been steeping for very long, but it is being made with very strong, very oily, dark-roasted beans). It doesn’t taste like coffee, but has a more complex flavor profile. To make it, simply steep your favorite, fresh, whole beans in a bottle of vodka for at least a month, and shake it daily. Three months is better. Depending on the strength and freshness and oiliness of the beans, use about 1/2 to 1 cup of beans to a 1-L bottle of vodka. Make it and it will keep for years. I’m steeping a vanilla-coffee bean blend right now that I plan on sending as Christmas presents next year.
Since I saw this recipe, I’ve been looking forward to it as a chilled dessert. I’m hoping it’s a little less rubbery as it develops, but I’m OK with the texture and the flavor turned out well.
I don’t know how well doing this with granulated (regular) sugar would work. Possibly if is blended with the liquids long enough to dissolve, because if not, you will probably end up with a lot of sugar on the bottom as this wet recipe is designed to stratify into flours on the bottom, liquid (custard) in the middle and crusty puff on top.
Weather (dry or humid air) will likely affect the outcome of this greatly. Watch it closely during the last 10 minuets (and I think the recipe should read 35-45 rater than 40 to 50 minutes) and take it out when it is golden on top and still more jigggly than might seem appropriate.
1/2 cup unsalted butter-melted and slightly cooled
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 325°F
Lightly grease 8×8 inch baking dish, set aside
Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside.
Beat the egg yolks and powdered sugar until pale yellow.
Mix in melted butter and the tablespoon of water (for about 2 minutes) until evenly combined.
Mix in the flour until evenly incorporated.
Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla extract until well combined.
Fold in the egg whites (1/3 at a time, then repeat until all of the egg whites are folded in).
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-60 minutes (until the cake is barely jiggly in the center). Baking time might vary depending on your oven or pan you use, but start checking after 40 minutes. If the top browns too quick before the minimum of 40 minutes, you can cover the cake with aluminum foil.
Cool the cake completely before dusting with powdered sugar. Even cooled, it will be slightly jiggly because it has custard layer in the center.