Ever since I saw Ilva's sumptuous Almond and Ricotta Cake I've been jonesing for something with lemon. The odd thing is- her cake doesn't even have lemon (strange the way our mind works and sweeps us away along memory traceries of scent and flavor) but I started craving a cake laced with citrus- not too sweet and not too light. A cake with character and heft.
The day I decided to bake, of course, I had no ricotta, but I did have organic plain yogurt and plenty of blanched almond flour. Inspired by Ilva's recipe, I tweaked her ingredients with those I had on hand and baked up a lovely simple cake that reminds me of a coffee cake I remember liking as a child, a bakery cake called Louisiana Ring made by Freihofer's- yet in truth, that cake featured a hint of orange rather than lemon.
There's that memory glitch again.
Some intuitive leap from taste to taste. An image, a smell can trigger a remembrance as vivid as the day you experienced it, enhanced, I imagine, by hindsight. This ability sharpens as you get older.
Time seems to condense into the senses (invoking forgotten details). You start believing the Buddha's theory about ten dimensions. You start savoring the smallest moments. Your husband hands you a mug of green tea, the steam rising in the late afternoon sun slatted through the bamboo window shade, and a loss from the past heals for a moment.
Next time I make this recipe I think I'll use oranges.
Lemon Yogurt Cake Recipe
For this recipe I used blanched almond flour which is slightly softer and more flour-like than straight almond meal processed from raw almonds. I've made cakes with both. I thought the blanched almonds worked well in this cake. The lemon peel imparts a little chewiness.
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
5 medium free-range organic eggs
4 oz. light cream cheese (or butter or vegan margarine), softened
1/2 cup organic plain or lemon yogurt- low fat is fine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest (fine grated peel) from 1 fresh lemon
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform or cake pan with buttered parchment paper.
In a bowl whisk together the almond flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar.
Beat the eggs in separate large mixing bowl until they are light and foamy. Beat in the cream cheese and yogurt until combined.
Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla; beat to combine.
Add in the flour mixture a bit at a time and beat on medium speed for a minute or two.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the center of a pre-heated 350ºF. oven for about 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake emerges clean.
Cool on a wire rack; and release from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 10 servings.
This cake freezes well. I just ate a piece warmed slightly. It's moist and tender.
Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.
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