My friends and I are going glamping this weekend. That is to say, glam camping. The guys initially wanted to rough it in the woods, but us ladies slowly turned it into a comfortable cabin-at-the-lake-with-a-full-kitchen-and-a-clean-toilet situation.
We almost cancelled yesterday due to a rainy weather forecast, but concluded a silly seven-person conference call (iPhones can do that?!) by deciding to go for it. I could care less if we sit inside while it rains tomorrow. I’m giddy at the prospect of leaving all work-related materials behind and goofing around with friends all weekend long.
On my list to pack: sunscreen, swimsuit, Scrabble, magazines, at least three bottles of Champagne (bubbly is the new beer, you heard it here first) and this glorious, gluten-free almond meal and honey cake. The cake is made with almond meal, a few eggs and olive oil. It’s sweetened with honey and topped with an optional, light sprinkle of powdered sugar. Add to that a few additional layers of fragrant flavors: heavenly orange zest, a hint of floral cardamom, ripe raspberries and raw pistachios. Three of my friends are gluten-free eaters and this is a cake that we can all share.
The cake comes from my friend Kimberley’s gorgeous new cookbook, Vibrant Food. If you’ve visited Kimberley’s blog, The Year in Food, you may already be familiar with her produce-focused recipes. Kimberley treated me to a review copy, which sent me into an inspired tizzy when I flipped through the first few pages. The seasonal organization is brilliant and the vibrant photos capture the essence of each dish. I’m not gushing about this book because Kimberley is a blogger pal—this book is truly stunning.
Let’s see, what should you know about this cookbook? The recipes are simple, elegant and clean. Every recipe has a photo. Kimberley doesn’t mention it much, but she avoids gluten herself. As a result, there isn’t much flour in the recipes and when there is, she provides a gluten-free alternative. Several recipes contain meat and fish, but produce is always the focus.
A few of the recipes call for more unusual types of produce—like this cake is topped with quince, which I’ve never seen around here but never looked for, either—but those recipes feature an adaptable base. It’s my new favorite cookbook. If you’d like a copy, you can get it on Amazon here. Signing off to glamp!
- 2 cups (8 ounces) almond flour or almond meal, firmly packed into measuring cups
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ⅔ cup + 1 teaspoon honey, divided
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- One orange, preferably organic
- 6 ounces raspberries, preferably organic
- Sprinkle of powdered sugar (optional)
- ½ cup chopped raw pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch pan (I used a springform pan) with butter and dust with almond flour/meal.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, ginger and sea salt.
- In another bowl, combine the beaten eggs, honey, olive oil and the zest of your orange. Use a whisk to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir just until there are a few clumps remaining, then gently fold in the raspberries.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is deeply golden brown and the center is firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Once the cake is out of the oven, slice your orange in half and squeeze out ¼ cup juice. Combine the juice with 1 teaspoon honey in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, while stirring, just until the honey is blended into the juice. Brush the orange-honey glaze over the warm cake. It should soak right in.
- Once the cake is cool, use a sharp knife to slice into 8 pieces. Transfer each piece to a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional) and finish with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios.
Why buy organic? Conventionally grown raspberries and the zest of conventionally grown oranges are typically pretty high in pesticides.
Storage suggestions: Store this cake in the refrigerator, covered, for longevity. Those juicy berries make this cake more quick to spoil at room temperature.
Change it up: Substitute an equal amount of other berries or fresh fruit for the raspberries and/or trade lemon or lime zest for the orange zest and/or garnish with fruit instead of powdered sugar and pistachios. If you omit the fruit completely, the cake will be done somewhere around 35-40 minutes. If you add additional fruit, you'll need to bake longer.