Fig and Ricotta Cake, GF 2.0

Figs, figs, figs! Enough to enjoy, not enough for making laborious batches of fig jam. Made one small batch and a smaller batch of fig mustard. Yeap, that’s a thing! Delish too. Anyway, I wanted to make another fig cake; a couple of weeks ago I made my beloved Turkish fig and yogurt cake which is super light and fluffy and I made an olive oil and honey fig cake the following week that was rather dense if delish and now this ricotta cake. This recipe is a big favorite of Ina Garten; you can find it on her barefoot contessa website. I reworked it a tiny bit to make it gluten free. It has a lovely crumb and a delicate flavor that is delightful. As much as I liked the other two I have recently made; this cake was perfect and is definitely one I would like to try and make with other fresh fruit, cherries? Apricots? Plums? All seem like great possibilities.

You can use small figs like I did or get larger yellow ones. Which tastes better is definitely a personal decision! Dried ones will not work. I think orange zest might be a delicious substitution for lemon zest. I think you can use any cup for cup gf flour as long as it is meant for direct substitution in recipes.

Don’t forget to let the eggs and all dairy items come to close to room temp; cold from the fridge is not good for gf baking. DO not underbake the cake; the center needs to look firm not squishy. Better to bake 5 more minutes than have a soggy center.

I think this cake tastes best warm but once it is cool it is still delish; you can warm slices briefly in the microwave before serving; I did this once and loved it.

brown turkey figs just picked

Fig and Ricotta Cake

Mixing up a storm of yumminess!
ready for figs!

Ingredients:

10 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 extra large eggs; I just picked the three largest in my dozen large eggs

1 cup whole milk ricotta; also at room temp.

2 Tbsp. sour cream; room temp.

1 Tsp. vanilla extract

½-1 Tsp. fresh grated lemon zest

1 ¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill One for One Gluten Free flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tsp. kosher salt

8 large or 12 medium figs, stems removed! Quarter if large, halve if smaller

1 Tbsp. coarse sugar or finishing sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a 8 inch removable bottom round cake pan. Tap out excess flour.

Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes, scrape down as needed. Until it is fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well between eggs.  Add ricotta, sour cream, vanilla, zest and mix until smooth. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl and add in thirds, mixing well between additions. Pour into prepared cake pan. Place figs, cut side up in pan; I started with a ring around the outside and worked my way inside pressing them in a bit. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 40-48 minutes until a cake tester in center comes out clean. I did 46 minutes. The top should be browned but not really dark.  Cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes before removing side panel. Serve warm with whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream. I actually like it best plain so I can focus on the amazing flavors and texture. Enjoy!

Turkish Fig and Yogurt Cake

We enjoyed the most amazing cake last night.  I used 10 of my own homegrown figs in it.  It is sort of like if your cheesecake recipe and your dessert souffle recipe had a baby together: light in texture, delicate orange hints and quite scrumptious. Simply exquisite in my estimation. chicken-gumbo-002

Not that much sugar, lots of Greek yogurt, a few eggs, some flavorings and very little flour.  It was very easy to put together; sort of like making a dessert soufflé. I mixed the yolks with the sugar and then the flour added in bit by bit with a whisk.  My stand mixer made the egg whites into fluff and I folded them into the yolk/sugar mixture.  Spooned into a buttered cheesecake pan and laid the cut halves of the figs into the batter. Bake it and BOOM; an amazing dessert fit for a king and queen!  It does puff up a lot as it bakes; don’t worry; it will sink somewhat; can’t stay puffed when it cools.

The flavor was a lemony, fluffy light cake but the figs were the star attraction.  If you like figs; this is your cake!

The recipe is from fearless dining: here is a link to the original I used to create my cake.  http://www.fearlessdining.com/recipe/gluten-free-turkish-fig-yogurt-cake/.

I made only a couple of changes to fit what I had in my pantry.  This is a spectacular cake to serve to company. Just need those fresh figs and some yogurt. I got mine at Aldi’s.  Their store brand Greek yogurt in a big size has wonderful flavor and texture. Great price point too.

Turkish Fig and Yogurt Cake

Ingredients   (at room temperature)

4 eggs, separated

½ tsp. cream of tarter

½ cup sugar

3 tbsp. gf flour – I used King Arthur blend

½ tsp. xanthan gum (leave out if your flour has some in it already)

1/2 to 1 tsp. lemon or orange extract

1 tsp. water

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

½ tsp. orange or tangerine zest (optional; add if you don’t have orange extract)

1 ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, preferably whole milk

7-12 figs (big ones; only 7, small; use more) Halved

A tsp. of butter for greasing the pan

A bit of powdered sugar to sift on top.

Directions:  see the original post for directions –  http://www.fearlessdining.com/recipe/gluten-free-turkish-fig-yogurt-cake/.fig-cake-006

Black Forest Cake 2.0 Version

In these difficult days we sometimes need a little cake. This is a quick and easy version of Black Forest Cake, hence the 2.0 my shorthand for easy peasy version. Made with a chocolate mix from Aldi’s. You can use a box mix of any kind you like. It is a lush and sensuous dessert worthy of a special occasion but great when you are in a low place emotionally. The whipped cream and cherries are a real treat together with the dark rich chocolate layers. The sides have grated chocolate on them and the top is a pool of cherry yumminess. I think these flavors together are timeless. I am wondering why I haven’t made it in years. Maybe I was inhibited by the seemingly complex nature of this layer cake. I actually baked it in a single size petal cake pan and cut it into two layers using toothpicks stuck half way up the sides as a guide but you can use 2 8 inch round pans at much less effort.

black forest cakeBlack Forest Cake 2.0 (easy version)

Ingredients:
1 chocolate cake mix plus the add ins. I used an Aldi’s mix; added 3 eggs, ¼ cup melted butter and the milk the recipe says (it says ¾ cup water but I always use milk for added moistness and better texture)…use the gf mix you prefer.

Toppings/fillings
1-2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
1 can cherry pie filling
2 cups whipping cream
1/3-1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 oz of dark or semisweet chocolate grated

Directions: Make and bake cake according to box directions. Let cool completely after removing from pan. Put bottom layer on a wide cake plate. Top with brushed on chocolate syrup. Pour cherry pie filling on; do not put to the edges; leave ½-1 inch perimeter to allow for squishing out once you lay the top layer on. Put top layer of cake on. Whip cream to soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and beat just a bit more; not too hard or it will start to turn (to butter). Spread cherry filling over the top center of the cake; about half way out. Then spread the whipped cream over the rest of the top and down the sides. I used a cake spatula to smooth it a bit. I had grated the chocolate by hand while the cake baked. You have to get it on the sides. You can toss it at the cake, blow it on or flick it at the cake with your gloved fingers. Not an easy task. But you get to lick your fingers when you are all done! Put a few cherries plucked out of the pie filling on top around the edges to decorate. Serve cold.

black forest cake slice

Excuse the messy background. We were celebrating my guy’s birthday so I didn’t have time to make things neat. It was a glorious birthday cake for sure!Enter a caption

We actually found it tasted even better the next day. It is far easier to make than it looks. Makes a spectacular adult birthday cake! Enjoy.

Daffodil Cake – Delish Easter Dessert

My resolution this year  (again!) was to eat less cake and I am doing pretty well at it so far but sometimes it is about using the ingredients you have and the holiday that is at hand.  I had egg whites in the freezer and wanted to use them up. Defrost and I have everything else in the fridge or pantry: go daffodil cake. Looks like an angel food cake on the surface but it is an old fashioned confection known as a daffodil cake.  The insides have some white and some yellow cake. I found the recipe in my 1970s Betty Crocker, a great standard cookbook I would never want to be without.  Was making it for many years before my diagnosis with celiac so once I got comfy baking gf I figured I could make it gf and it is perhaps even better than it was with gluten based flour.

I make them on occasion for my mom who is a big fan of said cake.

She is still not sure I am making it gf but it is totally gf and totally delicious.  daffodil cake, french apple tart 014

So all you gluten free disbelievers, this cake will change your mind. It is tender, moist and delicately flavored, not to mention very pretty and perfect in spring for Easter.  It is after all, a daffodil cake and spring is the only time in the year they bloom. Make some now folks! It makes a wonderful birthday or party cake; you could put a thin vanilla powdered sugar glaze on top to make it fancy for such an occasion.

Notes: I save egg whites; in a Tupperware container in the freezer, until I have a cup of them.  Then I am ready to put this beauty together. Or just use enough eggs to make a cup of whites. If you don’t have guar gum you can use xanthan gum.

A few words on separating eggs: this can be tricky and I have learned from bad experiences not to separate directly into the measuring cup full of whites; do it into a small bowl and dump. You can NOT get ANY egg yolk in the whites or they won’t beat properly.  Best to set any egg that breaks or becomes contaminated with even a speck of yolk aside and make an omelet for supper! I crack each egg on the edge of my counter, split its shell in half and dump it over one cupped hand. The white flows through into the bowl underneath and I drop the yolk into the mixing bowl. Be gentle so the yolk does not break  Don’t use old tired eggs or the yolks are more likely to break; fresh is best but they need to come to room temperature before cracking so the whites beat to a high volume.  FYI: When baking gf all ingredients should be room temperature unless the recipe tells you otherwise.

Put the yolks in the medium mixing bowl and add those six whites in with the other cup of whites: 1 ½ cup total egg whites.  I know, a crazy lot of eggs in this but remember, no fat what-so-ever! Angel food cake is a good choice for your diabetic friends, or so they say. I just think those folks love a good angel food cake. This cake is even better, a masterpiece of delicate melt in your mouth cakey delight.

Angie’s GF Daffodil Cake

1 cup egg whites (room temp)

6 whole large eggs (room temp)  separated

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

1 cup brown rice flour blend (recipe below)

½ tsp guar gum

1 ½ tsp. cream of tarter

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

1 cup granulated sugar

 

Directions:

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Put baking rack on second slot from the bottom.  You need a ten inch tube pan with removable bottom, do not spray.

Mix and sift the powdered sugar, flour, guar gum in a bowl at least once.

Pour the egg whites (should add up to 1 ½ cups) into a stand mixer bowl, add cream of tarter and salt.  Start at medium speed.  Beat until foamy, increase speed until high, wait for soft peaks and add cup of granulated sugar a tbsp or two at a time as it beats.  No bowl scraping or stopping.  Beat at highest speed until you have stiff peaks.  Beat briefly after adding the two flavoring extracts. Set aside.

In small bowl beat the 6 egg yolks about 4 minutes until thick and lemon yellow colored.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites, I do about a quarter cup at a time sprinkled all over the top and I fold it with a spatula or spoonula.  Be gentle and smooth; don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly smoothly mixed.  Put about half of the mixture into a separate large mixing bowl.  Add the beaten egg yolks; gently fold until it is pretty well blended.

Put big glops of the plain mixture into the baking tube pan; I like 3 big ones.  Put three big glops of the yellow blended mix between them. Top with more glops of the mixes, using it all up.  Gently stir through the pan with your spoonula to swirl it a bit and smooth the top with the spoonula.

Put into preheated oven, bake 35 minutes, until when you press gently on the top it springs back.

Remove from oven, turn it over and hang on an empty wine bottle neck or a big funnel. Let cool totally in this upside down state before cutting it out of the pan. I use a sharp serrated bread knife, cut around the outside edge and the center tube. Lift it out and then slice under the cake all around.  Place a cake plate over the top and gently flip it. daffodil cake, french apple tart 014

I store it in a plastic cake saver or just in the microwave away from breezes and hungry folks.  You could wrap it in plastic wrap too. It is best eaten within 3 days.  It generally doesn’t last that long around here.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is my variation on the angel food cake you will find in Annalise Roberts’ Gluten-Free Baking Classics cookbook.   This post was first published in April 2016.

Almond Torte for Dessert

I found this recipe on line somewhere for an almond cake but it was in British measurement and oven temp. I did some math and measuring; a lot of number changing and a bit of guessing. I gave it a whirl; made some minor changes to amounts, simplified a bit and added some almond extract for more flavor. And it turned out so delicious.   More of a torte in my mind so that’s what I am calling it. Next time I think I will use a slightly smaller spring-form pan; an 8 inch rather than the 9 inch I made it in.  That will make it thicker; might have to bake it longer. Otherwise; perfect dessert treat: tender with a delicate almond flavor. The coconut is a back note but I liked it in there. Just sweet enough for us. You can add another quarter cup of sugar if you are mad for sweet…

I wasn’t planning to blog this so I took no pictures. This is the last slice left 24 hours after it was baked. Went fast…definitely a keeper recipe! Next time I will snap a shot of the whole torte and some pictures of the process of making it.

almond torte slice3

Almond Torte – serves 6-8

Ingredients:

11 Tbsp. butter; melt it and let it cool to room temp. Plus a tsp. to butter the pan.

1 ½ cups almond meal plus a Tbsp. to coat the buttered pan

2/3 cup sweetened coconut, flaked

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place shelf in center of oven.

Melt the butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. Butter a 9 inch spring-form (8 will work too) on bottom and first inch and a half up the sides and then dust with almond meal; about a Tbsp should do it.

Mix almond meal, coconut, sea salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs until frothy; add almond extract and vanilla extract. Add the cooled butter. Mix. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well with whisk. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Top should spring back lightly when touched, lightly browned. You can dust with powered sugar but I liked the look of it plain. Guessing it could be yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cover to store leftovers; doubt they will last long. Enjoy!