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My mother-in-law is a wonderfully thoughtful woman, and goes to a lot of trouble to prepare gluten-free food for me when I stay. Last time she came up with this delicious, spicy sponge cake. An expert cook, she considered it a little too heavy, but I thought it tasted very nice.


4 eggs
2 tablespoons maize cornflour (in US, cornstarch)
cup sugar
cup arrowroot
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon golden syrup OR gluten-free rice syrup


Beat the eggs whites until stiff, add sugar, yolks, spices, cornflour, arrowroot, and last of all the golden syrup. Bake at 170 C (350 F) for about 25 minutes. Press lightly with your finger. If the cake springs back, it's cooked.

Note: My mixed spice packet contains (with the proportion in descending order): cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, pimento, ginger, cassia and cloves.

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Allan Gardyne, Golden Beach, Queensland, Australia.
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