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Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election coming up, I wanted to make something special for the November 8th Election Night Dinner I'm making. I had heard about an election cake that used to be made around election time a long time ago from one of my mom's old cookbooks. First, I tried a traditional yeasted version, but it ended up tasting more like very dry bread. Back to the drawing board on that one! 

Then, I thought that a light pound cake with some of the same dried fruit that the yeasted version of the cake had would be much tastier. I was right & am so delighted with this version. I hope that you stop by for some on election day, or if you live too far from me, you will make your own. 

Enjoy! 

Apricot and Cherry Election Pound Cake

Adapted from "Vanilla Pound Cake" from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Makes one 9 inch bundt cake

--melted coconut oil to brush bundt pan--

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 large eggs

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt for a dairy free version

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

1/3 cup dried cherries, finely chopped

Glaze: 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons coconut milk

 

1. Heat the oven to 350F. Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven. 

2. Brush melted coconut oil on the inside of a bundt pan. If your pan is highly detailed, like mine, make sure to brush every surface inside with the coconut oil. 

3. In a medium bowl whisk together: gluten free flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum, spices and salt. Set the bowl aside. 

4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the eggs at medium high speed. Then, slowly add sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture until it is light and thickened. 

5. Add in the flour/spice mixture, yogurt (Greek or coconut yogurt), coconut oil and vanilla. Beat the mixture at medium low speed for about 30 seconds or until thoroughly combined. 

6. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or up to 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If you use a convection oven it will take less time to bake. Most conventional ovens used need to leave the cake in the oven for at least 45 minutes. 

7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it carefully onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool. Then, whisk together the glaze. Spoon a thin layer of glaze all over the cake. Slice and serve! Yum! This cake may be made 1 day ahead. You may wrap it and store it in the fridge. 

Enjoy! 

Chewy Maple Cinnamon British Flapjacks

Chewy Maple Cinnamon British Flapjacks

I love all delicious treats surrounded by an afternoon tea time. It is not a custom here in the U.S., but whenever I have the chance, I love to create a little oasis for myself by enjoying a cup of tea and a treat or snack. I want to create snacks that are also healthier and with whole food ingredients. So, I decided to take the idea of a delicious, chewy oat cookie such as a British flapjack and turn it into an amazing, thin, healthy cookie. 

It took me two tries to get this recipe right. For the first go-round I tried to use honey and I made the cookies thicker. They were delicious, but much too crunchy and hard to bite through. I wanted to experiment and create a chewier, thinner oat cookie and this lovely flapjack came about with another kitchen experiment. 

Outside in our yard we still have the lots of cherry blossom petals in the ground from the neighbor's tree that creates a virtual "pink storm" one week each year. It is a glorious time of color in the spring and it is such fun to watch. I thought that these cookies would look amazing by the pink blossoms. I love to stop and take moments to appreciate the simple beauties of nature, even if it is a cherry petal that will soon be swept away. 

Enjoy your day and enjoy these cookies with some tea and a friend! 

 

Maple Cinnamon British Flapjacks:

Makes about 12 flapjacks

1/2 cup coconut oil + extra for greasing pans

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 1/3 cups gluten free quick oats

 

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. 

2. Grease two 8x2-inch round cake pans with coconut oil. 

3. Combine the coconut oil, coconut sugar and pure maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium low heat until the coconut oil melts and the mixture is combined. Take the mixture off the heat. 

4. Stir in the cinnamon, oats and salt. 

5. Divide the mixture between the two pans and use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture evenly and to smooth the top. 

6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top. 

7. Let the mixture cool in the pans, then cut each round into 6 equal triangles. 

These make a great snack or a breakfast on the go! Enjoy! 

Paleo Lemon Coconut Custards with Maple Meringue

Paleo Lemon Coconut Custards with Maple Meringue

I love looking at lots of old notebooks and recipes for inspiration. I was looking through an amazing old notebook that belonged to my grandma Marion, my dad's mom when I ran across a recipe for orange custard. I think that this notebook was from when she was studying "domestic science" at school. I love how some of the rules for working in kitchen included "wear an apron always." It's interesting how I actually follow that rule. I love wearing an apron in the kitchen because it signifies my "uniform" and it helps me feel official in practicing my craft with food. 

   A recipe for baked orange pudding by my Grandma Marion in her old notebook. 

 

A recipe for baked orange pudding by my Grandma Marion in her old notebook. 

 

That spurred me on to start to think about how I could make a version of that type of custard that was gluten free, dairy free and healthier. The directions for the custard were very vague, like "bake in a custard dish" and "bake in a hot oven." However, I took the knowledge that I have about making custards and set to work creating one. It took 2 versions and a lot of testing and tasting, but this version is very delicious! I love the subtle lemon flavor, the cream of the coconut milk and the sweetness of the maple meringue. It is an amazing combination and it is so delicious! I hope that you will serve it for a special occasion soon. 

Paleo Lemon Coconut Custards with Maple Meringue: 

Custard: 

1 lemon- rind & juice

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue topping) 

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

5 tablespoons honey

1 cup full fat coconut milk

+ boiling water for steam. 

1. Beat egg and 2 yolks in a bowl with a wire whisk. Add in the juice and grated rind of two fresh lemons. Add in the honey and arrowroot starch. 

2. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Immediately after it boils, bring it off the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. 

3. After the coconut milk has cooled, whisk it into the mixture in the bowl. 

4. Prepare the oven. Heat to 350F. Put 4 small ceramic custard cups onto a rimmed metal baking sheet. Start boiling some water in a kettle for the steam bath. 

5. Pour the custard mixture into the 4 cups, dividing it evenly. Put the rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the baking sheet, and make sure the water comes up to 1/4 to a 1/2 inch or so. This will make a steam bath in the oven so that the custards cook evenly and don't crack. 

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the custards are set.

 

Meringue: 

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ounces or a scant 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the 2 egg whites. Beat the egg whites until very frothy, but not dry. 

2. Add in the vanilla extract to the egg whites and whisk to combine. 

3. Place the pure maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and bring up to 250F. Make sure to stir from time to time. Once the syrup reaches the temperature, with the mixer running add it in a steady stream to the egg white mixture. Beat the meringue mixture until it is shiny and stiff peaks form. Dollop a large amount on top of each custard. You will have a bit of extra meringue left. With a creme brulee torch, brown each meringue.