I’ll admit to feeling a little torn between lovers these days.
It’s a spring thing, you know.
With each passing day, I find myself surrounded by new and ever-growing possibilities.
Now I’m not one to name-drop but, if I must, I’ve got asparagus, artichoke, beets, leeks, radish, ramps, rhubarb, spinach and strawberries, all knocking at my door right now.
A dizzying array of prospects, don’t you think?
It’s a little overwhelming in a wonderful kind of way. I want to feature them all in an endless blaze of seasonal glory. And yet, each week I find myself having to pick and choose without hurting anyone’s feelings — (food can start to take on a rather human presence in a foodie’s life) — just this week I found myself apologizing to asparagus for putting it on the back burner. Again.
This week’s nudge came from this lovely lady’s featured recipe.
I won’t go as far as saying that fights broke out over the last piece, although I’m hard-pressed to describe it otherwise.
As always, I’ll let you decide.
About a month ago, I started playing around with the combination of rice flour and almond meal in baking, thanks to this post. I had the successful experiment in mind when I started developing this recipe.
This cake is a snap to make but there’s so much going on in terms of flavor and texture — from the fluffy eggs to the luxurious olive oil, to the creamy ricotta to the juicy seasonal berries.
The result is a soft, silky and gorgeously moist cake with just the right amount of sweetness. It holds together beautifully and is very portable (for those ocean-side picnics, you know). A perfect accompaniment to your afternoon tea or a pretty centerpiece for your spring brunch (mother’s day/father’s day).
Enjoy and, as always, be sure to read the Notes in the recipe card below for best results.
- 1 cup white rice flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- 2 Tbsp tapioca flour/starch
- ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (or dry sugar of choice)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 + ½ cups whole ricotta cheese (full fat)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup of coarsely chopped fresh raspberries or berries of choice
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Line the interior of a 9-inch cake pan (the flat circle part) with parchment paper fit to size and lightly coat with olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine: rice flour, almond meal, tapioca flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together: eggs, ricotta, olive oil, lemon zest and vanilla
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until blended
- Add ¾ cup strawberries and combine into batter taking care not to crush berries
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining strawberries over top pressing down ever so gently
- Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes ** at the 20 minute mark my GF cake was already golden brown - I tented it loosely with foil to prevent over-browning **
- Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before running a clean dry knife around the edge of the cake and then gently and carefully unmolding - the greased parchment helps a great deal with this.
- Before cutting, sprinkle the cake with a dusting of confectioners sugar and serve with a dollop of fresh cream, as desired.
Berries - I used strawberries in this recipe because they are in season here and their gorgeousness would not be denied but you can absolutely use whatever tickles your fancy. Although I have not performed the experiment, the original recipe calls for frozen berries, so that should work too.
Choice of Sweetener - I most commonly use maple syrup or honey but I don't recommend them here - there is already plenty of liquid in this recipe and adding more might result in a mushy wet cake (not good).
Tapioca - tapioca (a starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant) has become my thickening agent of choice in cooking and GF baking - I have replaced cornstarch slurries (cornstarch/water) that I formerly used to thicken sauces with it to great success and have also begun using it in GF baking where it plays that critical role of binding/thickening to give baked goods solidity and sponginess. A little goes a long way.
Parchment - don't be tempted to skip the parchment paper; it makes the task of unmolding the cake a snap (if you've ever tried unmolding a 'sticky' cake only to have it break into pieces, you know what I'm talking about).