I get so inspired by all the great photo's and blog post and especially about making things gluten-free. I tolerate gluten, but feel better when I don't partake of it. I saw this recipe and knew I had to give it a try. I still haven't been brave enough to try the vegan route...i just can't give up butter. This cake is really moist and very yummy. Give it a try.
Almond Lemon Gluten Free Cake
(Adapted from Cakelets and Dollies Recipe which was adapted from Donna Hay's Recipe)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
(NOTE: if you have a vanilla bean, use that, split and scrap out the seeds to put in the mix For my recipe I didn't have a vanilla bean on hand, so vanilla extract worked great.) 1/4 tsp almond extract (because why wouldn't you want more almonds)
Zest of 4 lemons, if you want in more lemony taste you can squeeze a little lemon juice, but this is already a very moist cake so be warned. Original recipe called for 1/4 cup lemon zest which can be about 6 lemons.
4 eggs, separated, make sure you let them get to room temperature
2 1/2 cups almond meal (Surprisingly I found this at Trader Joes, but you should be able to find in a local health food store or Whole Foods)
10 1/2 oz ricotta
Flaked almonds, to decorated and add more crunchiness
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 325. Butter 8-9 inch cake round, I use parchment paper on the bottom and also butter that, it makes it easier to get the cake out of the pan.
I used my KitchenAid stand mixer, but you can also use a regular beater. Mix softened butter, 1 cup of sugar, lemon zest, vanilla (either extract or vanilla seeds from the bean), until its pale yellow and creamy. I did this for about 6 minutes (thus why i like to use my KitchenAid stand mixer). Add in the separated egg yolks one at a time, that is if you didn't already blend them all together, in that case just drizzle egg yolks in a little bit at a time. You'll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl through out the process.
Mix in the Almond Meal. Scrape down sides and take bowl from under mixer and fold in the Ricotta.
In a separate bowl mix the egg whites until white and fluffy, slowly pour in the 1/3 cup of remaining sugar until it makes glossy soft white peaks. Gently fold in 1/2 the egg whites, you want to make this a lite and airy cake, finally fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Pour mixture into cake pan. Sprinkle almond slices over the top, I covered mine as much as possible. Put in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. May need more time, I think I added about 8-10 more minutes to this, but test center with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean and the cake is fully baked.
When you pull it out it look like a fluffy cake, once it cools down it deflates a bit. After it cools down dust with powdered sugar and serve. With coffee is great.