Saturday, May 26, 2012

strawberry almond cake

It's the end of a long, busy week, and the refrigerator was nearly empty this morning, except for that container of strawberries I bought last weekend, which no one had touched. The milk was nearly gone, we had about a half-cup of sugar, so how could I make a strawberry version of our summer favorite blueberry cake? I've never really forgotten any of my Make It Low Carb routines, mainly because I still use a lot of them. So, with some tweaking:

Strawberry Almond Cake
with vanilla and nutmeg

Wash and drain the stawberries. Hull and quarter them.
Drizzle them with about a tablespoon of sugar-free vanilla syrup. (I use Torani or DaVinci)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with no-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine:
1 C all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1 C almond meal (I use Trader Joe's)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C granulated Splenda
1/2 C Z-sweet (erythritol sweetener)
2/3 C shortening (I use Spectrum Organics)

Work these together until they look like crumbs. The fastest way to do this is with clean, dry fingers. The almond meal and the soft organic shortening work to make this a little sticky, but just scrape as much off your fingers as you can.

Reserve 3/4 C of the crumb mixture to sprinkle over the top.

To the remaining crumbs in the bowl, add:
1 scant tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
about 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg -- you don't want to taste the nutmeg, you just want it to enhance the other flavors

Stir all to combine well, then add:
1 C almond milk (unsweetened, unflavored)
2 eggs, beaten
Stir well to combine, making sure there are no clumps of dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly.

Sprinkle with about 1+1/2 cup of the sliced, macerated strawberries.
Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top.
Lightly dust fresh grated nutmeg over the entire cake.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The strawberries were not the best ever, but they tasted awesome in this cake. The combination of the strawberries and almonds with the hints of vanilla and nutmeg was even better than I expected. Also even better than I expected is the texture, which is moist but not too heavy, perfect for a quick bread (which this is, notwithstanding that it's called cake).

It made a nice breakfast with coffee. It came out of the oven about five hours ago...there's about a quarter of it left. I doubt it will last till tomorrow.

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