Vanilla Raspberry Gluten-free Coffee Cake

Two ingredients landed in my kitchen this week: Arnel’s all-purpose flour and a huge carton of organic raspberries (which were on sale in Pavillions. As many of you know, I’m not averse to an afternoon treat with my green tea, however, I never food that makes me feel bad (too much sugar, gluten and/or white flour), so I thought I’d have a go at making a gluten-free coffee cake that is either perfect with your mid-morning latte or afternoon treat – and way more healthy than one of those whacking scones, pastries of muffins that you’ll find at the coffee shop. The cake came out perfectly: light and slightly moist – also not too sweet. A huge thumb’s up for Arnel’s Flour. I’m going to try her buckwheat bread mix next and will keep you posted…

BTW – if you want a bigger/higher cake, you can double the ingredients and still fit it in a regular size loaf tin.

1/2 cup Earth Balance Margarine (I used the coconut one, which I love), softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup Arnel’s all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla essence

1 cup fresh raspberries

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer, cream the margarine and the syrup. Slowly add the egg, while mixing. Remove bowl from stand and mix in the dry ingredients. Finally, carefully fold in the raspberries.

Spoon into a greased loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

PAVLOVA

I’m just back from vacation and have jumped right back into the kitchen with an Al Fresco lunch today – some great friends who are into food as much as we are. I wasn’t at all sure what to make for dessert and almost caved in and grabbed a store bought flan as time was running out – but a Pavlova is always a crowd pleaser and easier to make than it looks. It also allows us to make use of the wonderful organic Summer berries that are about to go out of season.

I sometimes make it with assorted berries, which is really pretty, but since I could only find organic raspberries (and all berries really MUST be organic,) I just went with them.

The trick with a good Pavlova is to have the meringue be slightly chewy – I think meringues that are hard and dry are rather unpleasant. The best Pavlovas need to cave in as you cut them and have a good goo-factor. This obviously isn’t for vegans or those of us who are radically anti-white sugar!! I very rarely eat cream and almost never eat white sugar, but a Pavlova is the one and only time that I make an exception.. it’s worth it!

Raspberry Pavlova

Serves 6

2tsp cornstarch

2tsp white wine vinegar

1tsp vanilla extract

4 egg whites

8 ounces sugar

TOPPING:

10 ounces heavy cream

3 1/2 cups raspberries

Pre-heat oven to 300 F

 

Cut out a large circle of parchment paper – about the size you expect your Pavlova to be (mine is about 8″ in diameter.) Don’t worry, circle doesn’t have to be perfect and as you can see from mine – it works fine roughly cut. ┬áPlace it on a baking sheet.

Mix together the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

While still beating, add the sugar. Using a metal spoon, fold in the cornstarch mixture and then spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper, swirling it into a circle.

 

Bake in the oven for 1 hour. You can make it ahead of time as the meringue will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. If using right away, make sure it is completely cool, before adding the topping.

Transfer the meringue to a serving dish. Whisk the cream until it just holds it’s shape and spoon onto the meringue base. Add the berries.