i was racking my brain and then the interwebs for some new toppings for a buttermilk coffeecake base. in the past, i have always topped coffee cake very simply with some streusel crumb, but i came across a blueberry coffee cake with a cream cheese center. still wanting a sort of simple cake and one that wasn’t too wet or too sweet, i started to fiddle with combining the two recipes. cherries are my all-time favorite fruit and i figured cherry preserves would be less wet and sweet than a pie style cornstarch thickened filling. i still wanted my streusel topping, but with some extra punch, so i added almond flour to the mix. My dear friend Brenda calls this the SuperNova Cake.
this recipe is exciting to me for two reasons, I get to use up some apples (I had crispins and pippins) that I had totally forgotten about and I get to use my new vitamix blender. flaugnarde is a french custardy cake similar to a claufotis (claufotis is usually filled with cherries, while flaugnarde are usually filled with apples, pears or other fruits.), it’s also a southern dessert and my grandmother from south carolina made a similar baked custard cake filled with peaches or prunes.
sometimes, someone pesters you so much about something, that you have to cave in and my mom is relentless about cheesecake. for a while now, i’ve been making a version of new york cheesecake, that is just cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla cooked in a water bath. but i was waxing nostalgic for the cheesecake that i grew up with. there’s no water bath and a just touch of flour for structure. Continue reading
still riffing on pound cake here. this one is a buttermilk pound cake flavored with Maker’s Mark bourbon whisky and orange, inspired by a friend’s reminiscence of an orange bourbon pound cake. i was supposed to be working on a re-creation of that cake, but by the time i got to the glaze, i realized i could turn it into something akin to an old fashioned cocktail. woo hoo!
it’s a dull dark lazy rainy afternoon and boredom sent me looking for adventure in the kitchen. what do i spy, but a can of dried egg whites. angel food cake, that’s the ticket. i’ve tried baking with the dried egg whites before but still haven’t settled on the best method of reconstitution before whipping. today i dissolved them in warm water and let the whole mess sit for while before stir them up. while i waited for the egg whites to soak, i measured up my flour, superfine sugar, salt, almond extract and cream of tartar. the egg whites whipped up nicely into stiff peaks in the kitchenaid, but it is harder to gauge when they are in danger of getting grainy. the cake’s all done but i forgot to make a topping. looks like a nice chocolate cherry marnier sauce and homemade chocolate chocolate chip ice cream will fit the bill nicely.
Traditional Angel Food Cake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
128g (1cup/4.25 ounces) Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour blend
300g (1 1/2 cups/10.5 ounces) superfine sugar
12 (approx. 1 ½ cups) large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, or a combination
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, salt and extract. Beat until the mixture is just frothy, then sprinkle the cream of tartar on top and continue beating until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Add the remaining sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, then gradually fold in the dry ingredients.
Spoon the batter into an ungreased angel food pan, and bake the cake in a preheated 325°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched. Remove the cake from the oven, and place it upside down on a bottle or metal funnel to keep from crushing the top. Let the cake cool for 1 1/2 hours. This cooling period sets the structure, and keeps the cake from collapsing.
Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife, and remove it from the pan. Frost with Seven Minute Frosting, flavored whipped cream, or chocolate sauce.
a friend suggested that i check out Claudia Roden’s orange almond cake. a genius call by my friend. a really simple cake mostly comprised of pureed orange and ground almonds. what could be more simple?
Orange and Almond Cake
Adapted from Claudia Roden’s “A Book of Middle Eastern Food” Knopf 1968
2 large organic oranges
250g (1.75 cups) ground almonds
250g (1.25 cups) superfine sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder (look for a gluten free brand)
1. Wash the oranges and simmer them, unpeeled, in enough water to cover for 2 hours. Cool, cut them open and remove the seeds. Puree the oranges in a food processor or Vitamix.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Beat the eggs in a stand mixer or large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the orange puree, and mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered springform pan.
4. Lower oven to 375 degrees. Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out onto serving plate. Can be garnished with glazed orange slices.