When You Need (Gluten Free) Cake
This recipe has been in my repertoire for about 3 or 4 years. I found it on Epicurious.com which is a favorite site of mine. If you’re looking for a departure from the ordinary, stop by and browse the beautiful recipes and images. The cake is something I needed. Yes, I needed cake and I needed on that was gluten free in particular. I choose to omit gluten from diet simply because it causes fatigue after I indulge. But more importantly I am often entertaining guests who are gluten intolerant.
Researching recipes I found this gem. A total gem since almond flavored pastries and cookies are a family favorite. The cake is make with almond flour and egg whites as a raising agent. Coupled with the citrus notes and almond essence added to the batter it’s a winner all around. The texture is soft, airy with a slight chew hinting at a merengue. It’s light and delightful. The recipe is by Claudia Roden and her book The Food of Spain © 2011 Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. You can find more recipes from her on Epicurious.com by clicking her name and purchase her cookbook by clicking on it’s name above.
I find serving fresh raspberries with the cake a refreshing addition. If there was a cake you need to try, gluten free or not, this is it!
Recipe by Claudia Roden via Epicurious.com from her cookbook “The Food of Spain.”
Yield: 10 Servings
- 1/2 pound (1 3/4 cups) blanched whole almonds
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 drops almond extract
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Finely grind the almonds in a food processor.
- With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream. Beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
- With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so that you will need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites).
- Grease an 11-inch springform pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour. Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch. Let cool before turning out.
- Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or, if you like, cut a St. James cross out of paper. Place it in the middle of the cake, and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then remove the paper.
•Majorca has a similar almond cake called gató d’Ametlla, which is flavored with the grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sometimes a few drops of vanilla extract.
•In Navarre, the cake is covered with apricot jam.