Lemon and Fresh Mint Cake

Just to make it clear, this wonderful cake, just like all the gluten-free cakes we sell at our bakery, does not taste GF. If you don’t know it’s gluten-free, you can’t tell.

However, for those of you who do not wish to bake GF, you can switch the GF tart flour in the recipe with regular cake flour and omit the xanthan gum.

My inspiration for this cake comes from one of Israel’s favorite summer drinks – Limonana, which is a cold lemonade infused with fresh nana (spearmint). I love this combination of flavors! The refreshing mint beautifully enhances the brightness of the lemon – it’s a match made in heaven.

So I thought, why not try it as a cake? I did. And I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it would be a good idea. This cake is one of the best selling cakes in my bakery. Especially when it’s hot out.

This is really a perfect summer cake!

lemon mint cake sliced

Ingredients:

¾ cup (70g) almond flour
1 ¼ cup (160g) GF tart flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar
3 eggs
Juice from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1tsp lemon zest
½ cup (15g) chopped fresh mint, leaves only
Chopped pistachios for decoration

Preparation:

Preheat an oven to 350F.

In a bowl, mix flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, and set aside.

In a mixer, beat oil with sugar and eggs for 5 min.

Add the flour, and the liquids. Add the lemon zest and the chopped mint and mix.

Pour into a pre-greased loaf pan and top with pistachios.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Lemon cakes tend to turn brown very fast. If the top of the cake is golden brown, but the cake is not fully baked, cover the cake with tin foil to stop the browning on top and keep baking until an inserted toothpick comes out clean with some crumbs on it.

lemon mint cake whole

 

Orange Cranberry Scones

This recipe is made by default with regular all-purpose flour. I’ve made it twice at home, using my all-purpose gluten-free flour mix, just to see if it could be a good product to have in my gluten-free bakery. It came out so flaky and delicious, and nobody could even suspect it was gluten-free.

If you don’t want to make it GF, feel free to switch back to regular all-purpose flour. The amounts are the same.

Cranberry Orange Scones ingredients

Ingredients:

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (if not added in the flour mix)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

IMG_6087

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough.

Cranberry Oragne Scones dough rolled

Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Cranberry Orange Scones egg washed

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

Cranberry Orange Scones baked in pan

Cranberry Orange Scone cut open

They are soooo flaky and delicious!!!

 

Tali’s Gluten-Free Tart Flour Mix

When I first started my journey into gluten free baking, I was clueless as to what it meant. baking disasterAll I knew was that I couldn’t use wheat, barley and rye flours. There was a lot of trial and error experimentation in the first few months. At the beginning, most creations ended up in the garbage. But pretty soon I started getting the
feel for it. I wasn’t yet at the stage where I was happy enough with the product to sell it, but it was pretty good. Good enough for us to enjoy it at home, and better yet, good enough to be enjoyed by diners at the local soup kitchen where I donated all these cakes.

The most important thing I learned during this time was that there is no one gluten free flour mix that is good for everything. Even with regular flour you have all-purpose flour, cake flour, bread flour, whole wheat, and so on, that are used for different purposes. I knew that I could not rely on any of the ready made store bought mixes to get the results I wanted with my cakes . Every cake and cookie needed its own combination of flours in order to come out perfect. So I needed to create my own blends.

After months of learning about the traits and qualities of each gluten free flour, and trying dozens of flour recipes that I found online, I came up with two four mixes that are the basis to Tali’s Artisanal line of products – Tali’s Gluten Free Rustic Flour and Tali’s Gluten Free Tart Flour. To that I add other flours that together make each of my products unique and different in texture and flavor.woman happy1

There are many recipes out there for gluten free flour mixes, and you may have already found some that you like to use more than others. You are welcome to give the following recipe a try, as well. I like to use it to make tart shells, butter cookies and fluffy cakes.

1½ cups (240g/8.5oz) superfine rice flour
¾ cup (90g/3.2oz) potato starch
½ cup (80g/2.8oz) superfine sweet rice flour
½ cup (60g/2oz) tapioca flour

The amounts here are given in cups as well as in grams and ounces. If possible, it is better to measure in grams, because it gives a more accurate ratio of the different flours. In baking this may be crucial to the success of the baked good.

For better results, make sure that the rice flour you use is superfine, not fine. Superfine rice flour can be found in Asian grocery stores. I get my superfine rice flour online from Authentic Foods.

Tali’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix

All purpose flour in containers

 

In gluten-free baking you cannot just use one kind of flour to substitute regular wheat flour. In order to get closer results to regular baked goods, you must use a mix of different GF flour, where each flour brings a different quality to the baked good, such as crispiness, browning, crust forming, etc. Determining the right flours and the right ratio between them is important in order to get the best results possible.

To learn more about how to create your own gluten-free flour mixes, check out this link: https://glutenfreegirl.com/2012/07/how-to-make-a-gluten-free-all-purpose-flour-mix/

All purpose Tali with baked goods

The following mix is one of the flour mixes I use in my gluten-free bakery. I use it when I want to give the baked good more substance (bread like cakes), and when I want a more wholesome feel to my cakes or cookies. It is a little heavier than my gluten-free Tart Flour Mix, because of the use of the Sorghum flour.

The mix does not include xanthan gum, so make sure to add xanthan gum to your recipes.

The flours are weighed in grams to give a more accurate ratio between the different flours

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups (280g) superfine rice flour (found in Asian grocery stores)
2 ¼ cups (260g) tapioca flour
1 1/3 cups (220g) superfine glutinous sweet rice flour (found in Asian grocery stores)
1 ½ cups (200g) sorghum flour

Preparation:

To get the best quality flour and best quality baked goods, it is crucial that you get the superfine rice flour. Otherwise, your flour mix will be gritty, and so will the final products you are trying to bake.

I like to use (as you can see in the picture above) recycled good quality plastic containers. It is less fancy than beautiful glass jars, but it feels environmentally right.

Mix all flours in an airtight container.

Close the container and shake well in all directions to blend in all the flours. Keep in the freezer if possible, or in a dark, cool place.

If you use flour mixes often, you may double or triple the amounts given above. Just remember to keep the same ratios.