To be quite honest, my repertoire of gluten free desserts was pretty slim back in 2007. I just wasn't making a whole lot of them and to be honest, gluten free recipes of any kind, threw me for a loop. I searched through recipes with all kinds of ingredients that I wasn't familiar with. Faced with an ingredient list that I couldn't pronounce or even begin to find in the most specialty of supermarkets, I was more than a little intimidated to try new gluten free desserts.
Almond flour (sometimes called almond meal) is simply ground almonds. It widely available at most grocery stores (I buy mine at Wal Mart or Trader Joes) AND it's delicious.
It's a great way to incorporate protein and fiber into an otherwise nutrient deficient dessert too. I've used almond flour in place of white flour in cakes, cupcakes, coffee cakes, tarts and even cookies. (It doesn't have a strange aftertaste like some of the other gluten free flours that I've used either.)
There are a lot of health benefits to using almonds in baking. I love that it can be substituted for flour to make a gluten free version of my favorite treats AND I love the fact that it boosts the nutritional content of anything that I add them to. Need more proof that you should be baking with almonds? Check out these facts about almonds:
This super moist breakfast cake is super simple to put together and really delicious. The bright lemony flavor and the nutty almond texture makes this cake the perfect feature of any Spring brunch menu.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 1/2 cups almond meal
10 ounces ricotta
Sliced almonds, to decorated
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy.