Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Grain-Free Orange Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Grain-Free Orange Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Grain-Free Orange Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Special Occasion Cake Without Gluten, Dairy, Grain

There are a number of special occasions in the Spring— Easter, Passover, Seder, Mother’s Day, graduations and so on— at which many of us will either host or be a guest at a meal in which the dessert needs to be grain-free, leavening-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

I have the perfect dessert for this occasion—a flourless cake made with almond meal and sweetened with orange marmalade. This cake turns out moist and flavorful and—when garnished with a drizzle of chocolate sauce—reassures those with food sensitivities or special diets that it is possible to “have your cake and eat it, too!”

Why Grain-Free?

There is a great deal of interest these days in grain-free baking, partly due to the Paleo diet. We also see interest during holidays where we celebrate with friends or loved ones who have special diets.  Right now, we have graduations, weddings, bridal showers, etc. Other people simply feel better when they avoid grains. In this case, almond meal (or other nut meals made from pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts) is perfect for baking. It can also be called almond flour; if you can’t find it, grind 2 cups of blanched almonds in the food processor to make almond meal. If the almonds are whole, the skins will make the cake darker in color and not as pretty so it’s better to use blanched or slivered almonds, which have the skins removed.

How to Serve This Cake

To garnish it, I dust the cake with powdered sugar and eat it plain or garnish it with a drizzle of your favorite store-bought chocolate sauce/syrup, with some pretty raspberries and fresh mint for garnish. It is so moist that it keeps very well on the countertop for a couple of days, although this is dangerous since you will find yourself grabbing a slice throughout the day as you walk by. Trust me….it is irresistible.

Grain-Free Orange Cake with Chocolate Sauce

Adapted from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster (Wiley, 2008)

This is the perfect dessert for those occasions where guests have a variety of special diets; it’s fail-proof, gorgeous, and delicious. You can even bake it ahead of time, freeze (tightly wrapped) and thaw on the countertop before serving at room temperature.

1 ¼ cups store-bought orange marmalade

2 cups almond meal

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

5 large whole eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

4 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting

Store-bought Chocolate sauce, fresh mint leaves, and fresh raspberries, for garnish

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350?F. Generously grease an 8-inch nonstick (gray, not black) springform pan and line it with parchment paper. Grease again; set aside.

[2] In a food processor, process the marmalade, almond meal, brown sugar, xanthan gum, eggs, vanilla, and salt (if using) for 30 to 40 seconds. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, and blend again 30 to 40 seconds or until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

[3] Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cover with foil during the last 20 minutes of baking to avoid overbrowning, if necessary. Cool the cake in the pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove outer rim. Cool the cake completely on the wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate and remove parchment paper. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, fresh mint, and fresh raspberries.

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