My, have I missed you all! I am sorry I was away for so long but unfortunately, it was unavoidable. My little poppet was under the weather and understandably needed as much snuggle time, impromptu singing and dancing and cake as she could possibly get from me.
Coincidentally, The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake happens to be my book club's choice for this month and I finally began to read it in the last few days. It is about a little girl who suddenly discovers - to her alarm - that the emotions she can taste in her mother's chocolate lemon cake are completely at odds with her happy-go-lucky demeanour. I am only a few pages in but, so far, it is at once beautiful, evocative and poignant.
If I may make so bold, I think it is the perfect accompaniment to my specially adapted version of Donna Hay's Blueberry Almond Cake in the July issue of Livingetc. (which I will share in a moment) and a hot cup of rooibos chai.
I was recently bitten by the baking bug when I learned that I could satisfy my irrepressible sweet tooth, despite having a multitude of food intolerances. I owe this in no small measure to Helene Dujardin of Tartelette and Béatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande. They have proven, time and again, that wholesome food needn't be lumpen and unappetising and given me the confidence to experiment in order to suit my unique needs.
Because of their incredibly inspiring blogs (and Béatrice's wonderful book), I have been able to pull off two gluten-free birthdays for my daughter - unbeknownst to her little guests and their parents. Mere words cannot express how thankful I am to them for this gift.
Without further ado (and to stop my incessant gushing!) here is my take on Donna's recipe.
/Blueberry Almond Cake/
1/4 teaspoon powdered bourbon vanilla
60g buckwheat flour**
60g whole rice flour**
30g oat flour**
1 teaspoon baking powder**
150g goats' butter, melted
120g ground almonds
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Whisk eggs, xylitol, liquid stevia and powdered vanilla using an electric mixer for 8-10 minutes.
Sift flours and baking powder over egg mixture and fold in.
Fold in melted butter and ground almonds.
Pour mixture into a lined pan measuring approx. 26 x 20 x 5cm and top with blueberries.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until it passes the squeaky clean skewer test.***
Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Devour as the mood takes you.
*Rather typically, I ran out of xylitol. Ideally, I would have used 220g.
**My own gluten-free version of self-raising flour.
***This was my first ever hour-and-ten-minute cake and it was absolutely worth the wait.
My cake was moist and surprisingly light, if I say so myself. In fact, it was so toothsome that I had it for brunch yesterday and breakfast this morning. Alas, such treats never last long and (all too soon) they are but a sweet memory on the lips.
P.S. Thank you to all my Pias for checking in on me during my absence and for your thoughtful messages. You are truly the very best friends a girl could wish for!