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  • Betcha Can’t: Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Raspberry Thyme Cake

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

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    Betcha can’t make a moist, sweet, tender cake that is gluten free, low fat AND low sugar?

    Think again….

    Well boys and girls, it’s time for the monthly Recipe Redux challenge. This month’s throw down: creative uses of herbs in honor of all of the green that has started springing from the earth.

    For some reason spring brings lemons, raspberries and cake to mind. Perhaps this stems from an amazing lemon and raspberry cream cake I made for Easter one year—to rave reviews. Seriously, that cake was so good it still comes up at our annual Easter dinner! Of course it could be the simple fact that my biggest food vice…love…fantasy food is lemon cake. Delicious, tart, sweet, moist, lemony….wait, what was I doing? Oh yea, this month’s Recipe Redux challenge.

    OK, I will admit up front that this is perhaps not the most creative of uses for herbs in cooking. Think of lemon and often thyme comes to mind. For this recipe, I decided to make it healthy in several ways (and now for an old-school MBA-esque list demonstration):

    1. It’s gluten free. The flours in the recipe are almond and white rice with a bit of corn starch to lighten it up a bit (I suppose this makes in healthier only for those who are avoiding gluten)

    2. It’s reduced sugar. I used roughly half the sugar the recipe would have required and replaced half with stevia

    3. It’s made with healthy fat. Olive oil provides a nice complexity to the flavor and pleasant moist and slightly dense texture

    4. I replaced an egg with 2 egg whites

    A couple of thoughts on the ingredients. First, the almond flour lends a mild nuttiness while the white rice flour and corn starch lighten the batter. If this cake were to be made with 100% almond flour, the texture would be too heavy and grainy. Not good in a cake. Second, some tips on using stevia in baking. Many of you who use this natural sugar substitute in coffee, tea and other daily applications, however, it can be tricky to cook with. First, it’s slightly bitter almost licorice aftertaste can be a bit off putting and can lend flavor to a recipe that doesn’t really work. Second, one of the things that sugar does in baking is to help brown the finished product….not so much with stevia. Lastly, because the melt of sugar in the baking process adds moisture to cakes, cookies, etc., you have to make up for the lost moisture in the recipe. The gist is this: you don’t want to replace all of the sugar in a recipe with stevia. There are lots of great resources online that provide tips for working with stevia in cooking.

    If you can get your hands on Meyer lemons, use them! If you use regular old lemons, you may want to adjust the amount of lemon peel since the juice is more lemony that that of the Meyer variety. This cake is not too sweet and is delightful with a cup of tea or coffee. I served it with a bit of vanilla non fat yogurt–if you’re feeling particularly indulgent (and I hope you are!), a dollop of whipped cream would be amazing. Let me know what you think…

     

    Kindred-Kitchen Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Raspberry Thyme Cake www.kindred-kitchen.com

    © 2013 Kindred-Kitchen / Nancy Granada

    Betcha Can’t: Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Raspberry Thyme Cake

    servings: 8 | time: about 1 hour

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    ingredients:

    1 1/2 cups almond flour
    1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
    3 TBSP. corn starch
    1 tsp. baking powder
    pinch salt
    2 eggs + 2 egg whites
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/8 cup granulated stevia (I used Truvia) (be careful here, there are lots of different forms of stevia: granulated, powdered, liquid and they all have different concentration. Refer to a website to get conversions if you are using anything other than Truvia granulated for this)
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
    2 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
    2 tsp. fresh minced thyme
    1/2 cup sugar free vanilla almond milk
    1 pint raspberries (or 1 1/4 cup frozen)

    directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    1. In a bowl combine the almond & sweet white rice flours, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside

    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and egg whites, sugar and stevia. Beat on medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes)

    3. Add the olive oil to the egg mixture and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and beat for 30 seconds, just until combined

    4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and almond milk in 3 stages, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Be sure to beat on low speed and to scrape the bowl between additions

    5. Once the flour and almond milk have been incorporated, fold in the lemon zest and minced thyme

    6. Pour batter in prepared pan and sprinkle the raspberries evenly over top

    7. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs

    8. Run a knife around cake and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing sides of springform pan or flipping cake out of traditional cake pan. Allow to cool completely and top with a dusting of confectioners sugar before serving

    comments:

    12 responses to “Betcha Can’t: Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Raspberry Thyme Cake”

    1. mad props for using stevia in a baked good.this looks delicious!

    2. Nancy Granada says:

      Thanks @Elizabeth! It can be tricky to work with in baking-not replacing ALL of the sugar with Stevia seems to be the key 🙂

    3. This looks awesome! I have a hard time using Stevia in baked goods, I can never get the right ratios. I am going to make this ASAP! I can’t eat eggs so will look into a egg-substitute but I cannot wait to try this… I love anything lemon 🙂

    4. Nancy Granada says:

      @Alex: I have found that if you replace no more than 1/2 the sugar with Stevia, and replace the lost moisture from losing some of the sugar (for this recipe, I used almond milk), most recipes turn out great (this is especially true in baked goods). There are some great resources online that provide guidelines for using Stevia with sugar, honey, etc. This is one of my favorites (though it’s clearly dated since it says Stevia is not approved by the FDA—it was approved in 2009 (I think)): http://www.ehow.com/how_2268348_substitute-stevia-sugar-baking.html Here’s another one: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/replace-stevia-sugar-baking-cakes-3385.html I thought about making this recipe vegan by using egg replacer, but I don’t have a lot of experience with that ingredient…let me know how your version turns out!

    5. Nancy Granada says:

      One more note @Alex—I also love anything lemon! I wish the cake was a bit more lemony when I made it, so I suggest increasing the amount of lemon zest to a couple of tablespoons! 🙂

    6. Susan..... says:

      I have got to get me some Meyer lemons. I’m with you, anything lemon just can’t be bad. This looks really delish and the perfect dish to introduce at my Easter Pig Roast. After all that food they can still have a Spring inspired dessert.
      Yum!!

      • Nancy Granada says:

        @Susan there really is something about lemon raspberry cake that just says “Easter” :). You could top it with a light sugar glaze instead of the dusting of confectioners sugar to make it a bit more special for the holiday. Also, a big bowl of beautiful freshly whipped cream chouldn’t hurt :). Lastly, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I would up the lemon zest amount to 2 tablespoons…it wasn’t nearly lemony enough for me! Happy Easter!

    7. Nancy Granada says:

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. This looks beautiful! I love the combination of lemon & thyme in desserts. All your cooking tips are so helpful – great post!

      • Nancy Granada says:

        Thanks so much Deanna! I always hope that the little tips for healthier cooking that I weave into my posts are helpful 🙂

    9. Curry says:

      I’ve never use thyme and lemon combo indessert…but with raspberry and olive oil it makes me want to jet off to a Mediterranean island! And that’s a welcome thought in this snow we’re having! -Serena

      • Nancy Granada says:

        I was inspired by all things Mediterranean when I created this one…so glad you saw it too! 🙂 Hope spring finally arrive in your neck of the woods soon!

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