Baking can be a particular challenge for gluten-free dieters. It’s very difficult to achieve similar textures as baked goods made with wheat flour. However it is possible to make very satisfying desserts when using other types of flours. Sometimes it is best to think of the baked good as something new rather than a replacement. One of my favorite wheat-free alternatives is almond flour. Almond flour is simply almonds that have been ground into a very fine powder.
The best almond flour for baking is flour made from blanched almonds. Almond flour makes a much denser product than regular flour. Using very fine almond flour and sifting it will make lighter baked goods. Almond flour can be substituted for the same amount of wheat flour in a recipe. Almonds contain more natural oil than wheat, so decreasing the amount of oil or butter in a recipe helps give the baked good the proper texture. Almond flour also burns easier so decreasing the temperature by twenty-five degrees and baking for five to ten minutes longer is sometimes necessary.
The following recipe is a basic layer cake turned into a fruit tart. Frosting is very difficult to make without sugar, so using fruit and yogurt is a creative and healthy way to add flavor to a plain cake. To use yogurt as a filling or topping it should be very thick. Straining yogurt for several hours before use is a good way to get the proper amount of thickness.
2 ¼ cups blanched almond flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp lemon juice
¾ cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter softened
1 ½ cups very thick yogurt
2 – 3 tbsp honey (to taste)
¾ cup sliced strawberries
¾ cup blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line the bottom of two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans (9 inch will make a thinner layer) with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pans.
3. Sift almond flour into a large bowl.
4. Stir in salt and baking soda.
5. In a medium bowl combine lemon juice, honey, eggs, vanilla, and butter.
6. Beat until smooth.
7. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture and stir until well combined.
8. Pour batter in even amounts into the cake pans.
9. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
10. Allow cake to cool in pans for 10 – 15 minutes before removing.
11. Cool cakes on wire racks until completely cool.
12. Move one cake layer to a plate.
13. Mix yogurt with the honey.
14. Spread half of the honey over one layer of cake.
15. Top with half of the fruit.
16. Place the second cake layer over the top of the fruit.
17. Top with the rest of the yogurt and fruit.