Lois Daish is my original food hero. For a year and a half I wrote a blog called Lois & Me as I cooked my way through Lois’ extensive recipe archive, à la Julie & Julia. Through writing Lois & Me I became friends with dear Lois and discovered some truly wonderful recipes, including her almond cake which I made for my dear friend’s bridal shower a year ago.
Since becoming a glutard I’ve been going back to my old favourite recipes and reworking them to be gluten-free. Cake recipes that contain ground almonds and a small amount of wheat flour are generally pretty easy to adapt, but gluten-free flours do tend to be thirsty little buggers so extra liquid is required to keep things moist. For this gloof adaptation I topped the cakes with perfectly ripe summer stone fruit so that their juices would soak into the cakes as they baked.
I adore summer stone fruit and would happily spend my last dollars on a punnet of South Island cherries or golden peaches. So when it came to deciding what fruit to put on top of the cakes, I went the full spectrum: peaches, nectarines and plums (apricots and cherries would also be lovely). This way everyone can choose their favourite, or just have one of each (one of each, I reckon).
Almond cakes topped with summer fruit
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
150g gluten-free flour or regular flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g ground almonds
1/4 cup milk, plus 2 tablespoons (I used almond milk)
6 plums, nectarines or peaches, or a combination
demerara or raw sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease a 12-cup muffin or cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition and add the vanilla paste. Mix together the flour, baking powder and ground almonds and stir gently into the batter alternating with the milk.
Wash the fruit and cut in half, remove the stones and slice each half into thirds. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins, top each with three slices of fruit and sprinkle with a little bit of demerara sugar.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until puffed up and golden, then remove from oven and leave the cakes to cool in their tins for ten minutes. Use a butter knife to trace around the circumference of each cake to loosen from its tin and flip the entire cake tray onto a cooling rack to free the cakes.