gluten free rhubarb coconut almond cake

My copy of Belinda Jeffrey's book Mix and Bake is much used and looks it as well. Ottolenghi's new book Sweet, written with Helen Goh, is destined to be as well thumbed. With great delight I recognised a few of Belinda's recipes in the book, including this adaptation of her flourless almond coconut and vanilla cake. I made the cake for Passover week last year and I managed to burn the base in my new oven. 

One of my workmates is gluten intolerant and each Monday when I bring in my baking she looks at it a little wistfully. I promised to make her something gluten free and Belinda's cake was the first cake that came to mind. Ottolenghi's blueberry version contains some flour but to keep the cake gluten-free, I swapped it for superfine polenta flour.

I had one stalk of rhubarb in my fridge which I didn't want to go to waste, so I chopped it up and used it in place of the blueberries. I didn't add any extra sugar But I think an extra tablespoon of sugar wouldn't go astray.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams; I use unsalted butter and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a 23 cm cake, just double all the ingredients and the baking time stays the same.

Rhubarb coconut and almond cake
100g unsalted butter, melted, then set aside to come to room temperature, plus extra for greasing
90g almond meal
30g desiccated coconut
125g caster sugar
35g superfine polenta or maize flour
½ tsp baking powder
finely grated rind of 1 lemon (1 tsp)
pinch salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g rhubarb, cut into 1cm 
10g flaked almonds

Grease and line the base and sides of a 18cm round cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Place the almonds, coconut, sugar, polenta flour, baking powder, lemon rind and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk to aerate and remove the lumps.

Place the eggs in a separate medium bowl and whisk lightly. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract and whisk again until well combined. Pour this into the dry mix and whisk to combine. Fold in 75g of the chopped rhubarb, then pour the mixture into the tin. Sprinkle the rest of the rhubarb on top along with the flaked almonds and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. 

Set aside for 30 minutes before inverting out of the tin, removing the baking paper and placing the cake the right way up on a serving plate. It can either be served warm with cream or set aside until cool.

The cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminium foil. It also freezes well for up to a month. I had my slice last night and the cake is deliciously moist. As rhubarb can be quite tart, next time I make the cake I'll add a little more sugar.

Yesterday I made the Christmas pudding which steamed up the kitchen for 6 hours and the Christmas cake is maturing in the spare room, carefully wrapped. I've been baking up a storm for Christmas and for Christmas week, which will begin Monday December 18. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now,



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