Food

This is Flourless.

When I set out to write flourless. (recipes for naturally gluten-free desserts), I knew I wanted to create recipes that were accessible, interesting, and which didn’t call for a lot of complicated and expensive ingredients. So in this book you’ll find desserts that can be put together after a quick trip to your local grocery store. I also wanted to come up with desserts that were a bit out of the ordinary—think a Mexican hot chocolate-inspired chocolate cake topped with milk chocolate buttermilk frosting or sesame-tahini cookies—in addition to a few more classic desserts such as a walnut torte with coffee cream or coconut-lemon macaroons.

And I wanted to make good use of fruit. For example, simply roasting stone fruit and topping it with a bit of honey-infused mascarpone makes for a gorgeous and satisfying naturally gluten-free treat. Berries can be folded into little honeyed cakes, cherries tucked into a clafoutis, and apples can be baked and then topped them with cinnamon whipped cream. It is my hope that you’ll find not a few recipes here that will inspire you to get into the kitchen.

Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipes from flourless., a strawberry-rhubarb maple cake with cornmeal. It’s perfect for summer: juicy berries and tart rhubarb are drizzled with honey and then swirled into a cake batter sweetened with maple syrup. It’s humble, of the season, and just right for these mid-summer days of light and warmth. I hope you’ll cut yourself a large slice, top it generously with softly whipped cream, and savor the moment.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Maple Cake

Strawberry-Rhubarb Maple Cake

Serves 8.

The pairing of strawberry and rhubarb is a seasonal classic for good reason. Make this dessert in late spring or summer when rhubarb reaches its zenith. Later in the season, other fruits may be used instead—try 1 lb/450 g of pitted, sliced plums or 1 pt/340 g of blackberries or other favorite berries with good results. Lots of whipped cream to finish is a must.

2 stalks rhubarb, coarsely chopped
1 cup | 140 g strawberries, cored and quartered
1/2 cup | 120 ml honey
1 cup | 140 g cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup | 120 ml maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup | 60 ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp coarse sugar, such as turbinado
Whipped cream for serving
Slices almonds for serving (optional)

Put the rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl and drizzle with the honey. Let sit at room temperature for an hour or so.

Heat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Line the bottom of a 9-in/23-cm cake pan or a 9-in/23-cm ceramic tart pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper and sides of the pan with vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and add the maple syrup, vanilla, vegetable oil, and yogurt. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Stir in the rhubarb-strawberry mixture, scraping in the fruit juice and honey, and stir evenly to distribute.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with the coarse sugar, and bake until the cake is slightly golden and springs back when lightly pressed, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

Serve the cake at room temperature or slightly warmed, with generous spoonfuls of whipped cream and sliced almonds (if using) scattered on top.

Guest blogger Nicole Spiridakis
Author of flourless.

Photos by John Lee

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