Mckay's birthday was at the beginning of September. I think he's 27. We've stopped counting.
His parents made their yearly visit to Indiana the same weekend as Mckay's birthday, so he had a birthday "week" celebration.
We chose one day (Sunday) to eat cake and open presents. For his birthday dinner, I made BBQ Beef brisket. I forgot how delicious this recipe is. I don't usually buy brisket because it's pricey, but I found a local restaurant supply store that sells huge 13 lb slabs of it for $30. That's still a lot of money, but only $2.30/lb. I cut it into quarters before cooking and froze most of it. Now I just need to remember to use it before that beautiful brisket gets freezer burn.
Mckay's requested cake was a Gluten-free Almond cake.
Mckay's mom has Celiac disease. As much as I love her and happily make gluten free dinners when they visit, I've never attempted a gluten free cake or other baked goods. I made a delicious almond cake a month ago and we fell in love with it. So moist! So flavorful! And it only calls for 1/2 cup of flour. We figured it would be easy enough to alter and make it gluten free. And it was easy! And still so heavenly!
After talking it up so much, I guess I should share the recipe of deliciousness with you. Here is the original recipe, with a note at the end for how I made it gluten free.
Almond Cake with Strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
8 ounces almond paste
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened**
zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch by 2 inch round cake pan. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom and butter and flour the paper.
2. Place the sugar and almond paste in a food processor and pulse until it's blended, about 40 seconds. Add the butter, zest, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth, about 40 seconds. With the processor running, add the eggs one at a time. Remove the lid and add the flour, baking powder, and salt, then pulse a few more times, just until blended, about 15 seconds. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
3. Bake the cake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Meanwhile, place the berries, honey, and vinegar in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least one hour or until the berries are juicy.
4. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then loosen the cake's sides with a knife, invert it onto a serving plate, and peel off the parchment. Serve the cake dusted with powdered sugar and topped with berries.
*I used a slightly mounded 1/2 cup of Pamela's gluten free baking and pancake mix in place of the flour, baking powder and salt. It's essentially a self rising flour and can be found in most grocery store's gluten free sections.
Also, if you're making the cake gluten-free, don't "flour" the cake pan. That would kill all your hard, gluten-free work. I just used lots of cooking spray. I suppose you could use a little of the baking mix. I haven't tried it though.
**I used salted butter and it was no big deal.
You must try this cake. Seriously. It's simple yet elegant. It comes together so quickly and looks like you spent hours on it. Make it. Eat it.