Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cranberry Almond Cake - Gluten-free


GF Note: For those unfamiliar with my blog, I do not have any dietary reason that I need to eat gluten-free. I choose to bake gluten-free within my home because I have an interest in all the other types of grains and flours that have been used by cultures for centuries. Why is America so wheat focused? I figure I can get gluten filled products everywhere else outside my home.

Cranberries are something that I didn't really grow up with. Being in the Middle East as a child, we only had the standard canned cranberries and jellies for the holidays. Since it was relegated to holidays only, I had no reason to understand the attractiveness of the sweet tartness of cranberries and how they could add anything to savory dishes and never really came across them in desserts. Since then I've learned to appreciate how cranberries or raisins can add that special little sweet bite to a savory dish. 

My sweet tooth, though, always turns to baking. Last year I bought a bag of fresh cranberries determined to do something with them. Thrown into the freezer, here it is a year later and I've finally gotten around to it.


It's also been a good long while since I baked anything gluten-free. I still stand by my above statement, but it's also so easy to be drawn back to the dark side of using wheat. LOL. Not that wheat is bad, but there are so many grains out there with so much to offer. 

Last month I made a new blogging friend of Irvin at Eat the Love. In him I found a bit of a kindred spirit in that he loves to make desserts, but he also does a lot of them gluten-free. So for you gluten-free folk, be sure to check out his blog. He had the same sort of philosophy as me, although stated a bit differently. He realizes that other grains add so much more in terms of flavor and texture that sometimes it pays to go the gluten-free route on an item to really up the overall impact of the finished product.

That's the view I took with this recipe. I wanted a cake with cranberries, but I thought that almond flour would be much more interesting than wheat. When I added just almond flour, it still didn't have the almond flavor I wanted, only the texture. So I added a bit of almond extract as well. Hence a cranberry almond cake.

Unfortunately, I goofed and lost track of time with the baking. Although overcooked, it still came out moist and keeps well.

It did need a bit of decor, hence the homemade doily/snowflake of parchment paper.

Cranberry Almond Cake - gluten-free

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large free-range organic eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest (fine grated peel) from 1 fresh lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform or cake pan with buttered parchment paper.

In a bowl whisk together the almond flour, gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.

Beat the eggs in separate large mixing bowl until they are light and foamy. Beat in the butermilk.

Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and almond extracts; beat to combine.

Add in the flour mixture a bit at a time and hand mix til thoroughly incorporated. Add cranberries and mix them in.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the center of a pre-heated 350 degree F. oven for about 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake emerges clean.
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