Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recipe Tuesday? Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Cake

Preparing for Thanksgiving has been a bit hectic.  We aren't hosting this year, but my parents are staying with us, which means I had a lot of cleaning to do.  It took me most of Sunday afternoon to get my polish room organized and tidy.  Our Thanksgiving with my family is always a pot luck style lunch where each of us brings a predetermined dish.  I'm making some Brussels Sprouts and a gluten free Meyer lemon cake, while my hubby plans to make his famous cranberry dressing.  He also makes sausage stuffing for his family who usually celebrates Thanksgiving with a mixture of traditional American dishes and Syrian food.  He's 1/4 Syrian, so I am lucky enough to get some super tasty food during the holidays!  One of my sisters is providing ham, a fried turkey, and a few pies.  The other sister is providing a twice baked potato casserole.  It'll be a nice mixture of healthy and not so healthy dishes.  Hopefully, I'll be able to make a decently healthy plate without too much gluten or fatty deliciousness.

Because I am on a clean eating diet, I decided that I wanted to make something that I could eat for dessert.  My sister is making two pies that are AMAZINGLY delicious, but they are both chock full of sugar, gluten, and fat.  I'll still probably steal a bite, but I can't eat a whole piece without getting sick or ruining any weight-loss progress I've made this week.  Last week was a disaster where every piece of food I saw went directly into my mouth, so I'm doing major catch up this week on the whole dieting thing.  Don't worry  I don't starve myself.  I always get between 1400-1700 calories a day!  Only 11 pounds to go!!!!  That being said, I made the decision that I needed to find a dessert that would suit my needs so I wouldn't feel left out or deprived.  Last week, the hubs came home with a Meyer lemon, which I quickly claimed as mine.  [Side note: I LOVE baking, and even though I bake a little less than I used to, I still bake quite a lot.  The hubs is an amazing cook and loves to create unique dishes that are both tasty and healthy.  Sometimes, we battle over ingredients, which is what we did for the lemon.]  Once I knew I had secured the lemon, I had to find a gluten free and no sugar added recipe to try it out in.  I searched around and found this little recipe.  I adapted it to use Xylitol instead of sugar and part skim ricotta instead of the fully loaded stuff.

This recipe is SUPER easy to make and only required minimal dish use, which, in my opinion, is the sign of a good recipe!  I'm sharing it with you guys today in case you're still looking for something to bake for your family.  Let's get started!  First, preheat your oven to 350*.  Next, gather your ingredients.

2 cups almond flour/meal [You can find Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal at most grocery stores in the organic section.]
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup cystalized xylitol or sugar [Xylitol can be found in the dietary supplement section at Whole Foods.]
1 tsp vanilla
1 15 oz tub of part skim ricotta cheese
Zest of 2 Meyer lemons
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons

1 2 cup measuring cup (or medium bowl)
1 large bowl (or stand mixer bowl)
1 stand mixer (with paddle attachment) or hand mixer
1 9 inch deep pie pan or springfoam pan, oiled

First, combine the almond flour/meal, baking powder, and salt in your large/stand mixer bowl.

Next, wash, zest, and juice your lemons.  Then, combine the eggs, xylitol/sugar, vanilla, ricotta cheese, zest, and juice in the 2 cup measuring cup. 

Take a whisk and mix the ingredients until they are well combined.  You may want to add in a little ricotta at a time to make the mixing a little easier.

Then, pour the wet mixture into the large/stand mixer bowl.  Mix on medium-low until all of the ingredients are combined.  Do not over mix or the cake will fall and crack.

Lastly, pour your batter into your oiled pie pan and toss it in the oven for 50-55 minutes.

Bake until the top is a golden color and the center is no longer jiggly.  The original instructions tell you to refrigerate it for four hours before you eat it.  I, however, like my cakes hot, so I dug in just after it was cool enough to eat.  So, the refrigeration step is optional.  This recipe makes 16 servings.

I was SO surprised with how this recipe came out.  I see cake and assume moist, fluffy, cake cake.  This, however, was a cheese cake but without all of the richness that comes with cheesecake.  Also, because I used xylitol instead of sugar, the cake wasn't overly sweet.  If you're looking for the type of cake that makes your tongue tingle with sweetness, I'm sure that could be achieved by using sugar instead of xylitol.  I however, found this cake to be delicious and refreshing!

For those of you looking for the health information, here's what I got from a calorie calculator using all of the ingredients in the picture above.







Per Serving:1471799792
Later on in the week we topped it off with some High Road Aztec Chocolate and Caramel ice cream, which was AMAZING.  The coolness of the ice cream with the warmth of the cake is always a nice dichotomy.  But what I liked the most about this pairing was the how the ice cream had heat from the chilies but the coolness of the lemon helped keep the heat from being unbearable.  It was delicious!

Please let me know if you decide to make this recipe.  I'd love to know what you think or if you made any changes and how they went!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what are you making for dessert?

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