I will be the first to admit that I have a problem with gluten free. I immediately walked past the aisle in the grocery store, I would laugh at the breads that said gluten free and I would rather suck on a penny than eat a cupcake that was gluten free (as I was certain all GF cupcakes tasted like metal anyhow).
I never really paid attention to it until maybe, eight years ago…I honest to god always thought it was a made up thing that people just used to be healthy whilst being difficult. And I thought it was gross, I would never on purpose eat anything labeled gluten free.
Then one of my besties was diagnosed with having celiac disease. Her body couldn’t tolerate gluten anymore. Considering she is literally, on a fat day, 100 pounds soaking wet, I thought to myself… “wtf, whyyyyyy would she wanna have that?? And now how are we gonna wolf down cheese fries at Janson’s when we are in the neighborhood?? Super wtf!”
Nevertheless, it is a real thing, and I also never realized how much stuff I made with gluten in it until she came to my kids birthday and literally could eat nothing. I wanted to die, I was making my already skinny friend skinnier by starving her. At first, I would just buy any gluten free thing for her to eat, I never paid attention to its texture or whether it was even good (most of the time it was horrible).
Then slowly gluten free started popping up everywhere. Good gluten free. In bakeries. A whole section in grocery stores. Recipes in my magazines. And then I started to pay attention to it. I started to look at flours and I looked at recipes and things for her to eat when she comes over (when she doesn’t come over it’s a god damn wheat fest like you’ve never seen of course).
And while I started to pay attention to the recipes, I did not pay attention to the calorie count. Not that I ever do, but for some reason in my head, I got the idea that the carb count in gluten free baked goods was not so bad, hence, I could eat the whole f’ing cake, pie…whatever was in front of me.
Yeah, that’s not really true. They still have a ton of butter, sugar and everything else.
But that hasn’t stopped me! And it doesn’t stop me from eating most of this cake in its entirety. This is the, quite possibly one of the best cakes I ever made. Ever. It is that f’ing good. And it happens to be gluten free by accident. What I mean by that is the recipe is gluten free all on its own it is not adapted or adjusted to be gluten free.
I love almond flour and I have started using it a lot, but this is by far my favorite way to use it. This cake is dense and so damn lemony. The ricotta gives an almost cheesecake like texture, but lighter. I don’t understand it, and I could care less why, I just want to eat the whole thing.
And I like to tell myself that I would have made this eventually anyway, even if it was for the celiac in my life…but let’s be honest, I was a bit of a gluten snob. No more though. Bring on the gluten-less cakes sometimes, if they taste like this.
Flourless Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake (from Cakelets and Doilies)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups of sugar
seeds of one vanilla bean
¼ cup lemon zest
4 eggs, separated
2 ½ cups almond flour or mean
10 1/2 oz whole milk ricotta
Flaked almonds, to decorated
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment round Butter the parchment. Lightly dust with almond flour.
Place the butter, 2/3 cup of sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in an electric stand mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until fully combined. Add the almond meal and beat to combine. Fold ricotta through the almond meal mixture.
Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with a hand-held electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar to the egg whites mixture and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the tops with a palette knife, but do not deflate. Decorate the cake with almond flakes, and bake for about one hour or until cooked and firm to touch. Allow to cool completely in the cake tin. Dust with powdered sugar if you like. This is good at both room temperature and for a denser texture refrigerate.