Monday, November 18, 2013

gluten-free baked good: buckwheat apple cake

It's Monday and a day off which means a couple of things have a higher degree of likelihood of occurring:  baking, writing/posting and adding new music to my playlists.  I baked this cake Friday and I'm baking a pie tomorrow for Greg's birthday so we're going for two out of three today.  Follow me on Spotify if you'd like some new music for your playlists too.

Maybe I'm the only one who goes to the store and buys an ingredient not usually on my list for a specific recipe and then the week gets away from me, I do not make that specific recipe and then I can't remember why I bought say, buckwheat flour.  Please tell me it's not just me.  So the buckwheat flour goes in ????? quest led me to this recipe which just happens to be gluten-free and well, delicious.  This is an old world cake made from buckwheat flour, almond flour and grated apple among other things more commonly found in cakes.  The original recipe calls for lingonberry jam which I actually had in my pantry for baked brie with lingonberries.  Plus if you ever go to Ikea, you kind of have to buy the lingonberry jam.  But, you have to eat it before the expiration date and since I missed that by a year, I used pomegranate jam.  I've shared that we can eat for days out of my pantries and I'm not exaggerating.

This cake is known as schwarzplententorte in German (I am half German so it's no wonder I loved this) or torta di granosaraceno in Italian (from northern Italy).  It's a snack cake.  It's very dense, not too sweet and absolutely perfect with coffee or tea.  Buckwheat flour is easily found in the bulk section of Whole Foods and the almond meal from Trader Joe's works great and will save you some pennies if you've priced almond flour at Whole Foods or the grocery.  The taste reminds me of poppy seed roll from the other side of my family, the Russian side.  It's a certain nuttiness.   Yum.


 a nice picture of a slice would have been fabulous, but there's not a crumb left

Buckwheat Apple Cake

1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 C buckwheat flour
2 1/4 C almond meal
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 C lingonberry jam
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugar for a good 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks (reserving the whites for later in the recipe) and beat until pale and creamy.  Add the buckwheat flour, almond meal, grated apple, vanilla and pinch of salt until just combined.
Beat the reserved egg whites into stiff peaks (I scraped the batter into another bowl, cleaned my mixer bowl and then used it to beat the egg whites but if you have two mixer bowls or a hand mixer this would be less complicated).  Gently fold whites into batter until well combined and pour into greased 10-inch cake round pan (if you use a different pan, springform or smaller cake pan you may have to bake it longer, just test it).
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes until cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes and then carefully invert cake onto rack to cool.  When cool enough to handle, slice cake in half lengthwise (a nice long serrated bread knife works well).  Spread the bottom layer with the jam and replace the top layer.  Dust thickly with powdered sugar.