Last week I had an Op-shop win, and bought this cute little cake tin for $2.35. What a bargain! So much more than a second-hand cake tin though; it was pure inspiration. It conjured up a vision of a lemony, rose-petally kind of creation, and I set about trying things out in the kitchen.
I based the recipe on a tried and trusted favourite – gluten-free orange and almond cake, from The Coeliac Society magazine circa 2003-ish. There was a single, huge and juicy Meyer lemon on our espaliered lemon tree, which we planted about a year ago. I’ve been waiting for something special to use this first-born, precious fruit on and this seemed that special thing.
Popping into Gewurzhaus for rose petals to complete the vision, I came out with Moroccan mint tea with rose petals instead. Super inspired!
In my mind’s eye I imagined citrusy-sweet icing dripping down the sides, so I had a look through my cook books and decided on one with natural Greek yoghurt from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat.
I was excited. I had a plan. All set. The vision was a flourless lemon and almond cake, drizzled in the pan with a Moroccan mint tea syrup, then turned out and finished with yoghurt and citrus icing and sprinkled with Moroccan mint tea leaves and rose petals. Sound good to you?
I was a bit concerned that the crumbly nature of gluten-free cakes would make it tricky to de-mould from the nooks and crannies of the decorative bundt tin, so I turned to my friend Google. The consensus of opinion seemed to be that brushing every crevice of the inside with melted butter, and then sugaring it would do the job, and it worked like a charm.
My goodness, it was magnificent! Mr.B and the girls were in cake heaven. Beautifully moist, citrussy and almondy, with a subtle hint of the perfumed mint tea; it was quite intense and you really only needed a small slice. That didn’t stop us polishing off the entire cake in one evening. Just the four of us.
Here’s the recipe if you want to have a go. You don’t really need a bundt tin; it would taste just as good in regular cake tin.
- For the Cake:
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 65g cornmeal or polenta
- 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 200g almond meal ( I use the coarser/health food type. It's generally cheaper too)
- 180g raw/brown sugar
- 1 large lemon or orange or 2 limes, washed
- 125ml olive oil
- 125ml milk
- 2 free range eggs
- 1/2 tsp almond essence
- 125ml brewed mint tea, cooled and strained
- melted butter and extra sugar to prepare tin
- For the Icing:
- 80g thick natural Greek yoghurt or cream cheese
- 4 tblsp pure icing sugar
- 1 tblsp lemon juice
- rose petals, finely shredded lemon zest or whatever you'd like to decorate the finished cake
- Preheat oven 180C (350F).
- Brush inside of bundt tin thoroughly with melted butter and sprinkle all over with sugar. (If using a regular round cake tin just grease and line with baking paper).
- In a large mixing bowl combine sea salt, polenta, baking powder, almond meal and sugar.
- Roughly chop lemon, including peel, and grind to a pulp in a food processor. Add to the polenta mixture.
- In a separate bowl or jug mix together the olive oil, milk, eggs and almond essence.
- Add to the polenta mixture and combine well.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake on middle shelf in pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until slightly moist in the centre.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack.
- When still slightly warm, pierce surface of the cake a few times with a toothpick, and evenly spoon over the cooled mint tea.
- Allow to cool completely in the tin.
- When cold, turn out carefully onto a wire rack.
- Meanwhile make the icing by mixing yoghurt, icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
- Remove cooled cake to a serving plate and drizzle over the icing, allowing it to drip down the sides.
- Sprinkle over mint tea, rose petals and lemon zest.
I was carried away on a wave of inspiration actually, and had a vision of how I wanted to photograph the finished cake too. It was a very specific idea, based on my doing an excellent online tutorial from Two Loves Studio for capturing moody light in food photography. I took loads of photos, but wasn’t happy with the results and couldn’t stop people eating the cake, so I baked another one the next day so I could have another go. It did mean that I double tested the recipe though, and we did get more cake to eat, so that’s good, right?