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APPLE almond GF cake torte PLUS an Italian APPLE butter cake


Still in the midst of apple picking paradise, cake was enjoyed in two distinct versions.
Both, equally competitive, however, one completely satisfies the need to go Gluten-Free.


Apple season has brought on countless recipes across our kitchen.
Here, I went specifically for the McIntosh apple.

Besides, my beloved Red Free apple...
the McIntosh fills up my fruit drawer for weeks.




My very favourite use for apples still remains the same
...dessert...dessert...dessert.  

Making apple cake always heightens my mood.  
I'm guessing I may not be alone!



Today, I'll share with you a gluten free alternative as well as the...
Italian Apple Butter cake inspiration which fueled the foundation of this delicious torte.




Two Gluten-Free flours which I use frequently found their way into this first recipe.


SORGHUM flour (Sweet White Sorghum flour) 
...a.k.a Jowar or ‘Jowar Atta‘ found in Indian specialty stores  
It's a high protein, pale pink-cream smooth flour with a pleasant, faintly sweet and grassy taste. Some may detect a very slight bitter taste, however, not really noticeable when used in proportional quantities.
It is ground from the small, milo seed (millet-like grain) of the sorghum plant which is also used to make sorghum syrup. 
Use this nutritious gluten free flour as a portion of up to 25-50% of the total flour ratio, in all purpose gluten free flour mixes and bread, muffin, cookie, pancake and pizza dough recipes.  
It is an excellent substitute for Wheat flours...especially in muffins and other quick-leavened baked goods such as banana bread.   When used in combination with some Bean flours, it produces very interesting bread results as well.
Also, in order to produce a fine crumb texture...it is best combined with a gluten-free starch such as cornstarch or tapioca.


Tips for using Sorghum flour successfully:
. I usually find this flour at a health food store and purchase very small quantity because, once the bag is opened,  the rancidity factor escalates.  I always store this flour in a sealed glass jar and into the refrigerator.
. I find that adding a little extra fat as in butter or oil, eggs, applesauce, prunes or mashed banana...goes a long way into realizing better baking results.
. Someone had also mentioned to me to try adding apple cider vinegar the next time... Apparently it improves the volume of the batter.  Note: I didn't use it in this particular recipe.



Sometimes, I find that 'Sorghum' flour can stand alone in a recipe.  
For instance it worked wonderfully in the Fig and Nut torte.  
However, some baked goods like this Apple almond torte needed a boost...
to lighten the texture without the extra flour character.  
Therefore, I introduced a proportion of Tapioca flour to the mix...a voila, success!

TAPIOCA flour / starch (a.k.a. Manioc in S. America)
It's a flavourless, high carbohydrate starch milled from the dried root of the tropical cassava plant into a powdery fine white looking flour.  Like other starches used in gluten free baking and cooking, it is also low in nutrients.  Therefore, it is recommended to combine nutritious gluten free flours with Tapioca to improve the nutritional quality of the finished product.
This flour also thickens when heated with water and milk.  It's often used to give body to puddings, fruit pie fillings, and soups.  It is also used in batter coatings and breading recipes for crisp, golden crusts. 
Its starchiness also makes it an excellent gluten-free flour to lighten the texture of baked goods.  It lends a springy texture and creates crispy crusts as well.  It however, cannot be used alone...it must be used in combination (no more than 50% of total ratio) with other flours to make delicious baked goods. 



After having made my Aunt's Italian Apple butter torte countless times...
it was time to get courageous and experiment with gluten-free flours once more.  
Here, after several combination trials...
I proudly share this absolutely delicious and wonderfully moist Gluten-Free cake with you.

APPLE and Almond 
cake torte
Gluten-Free
serves 8-10
Printer version


INGREDIENTS:
(American / Metric measures)

. 1/2 cup (120g) butter, softened
. 3 large eggs, separated (at room temp.)
. 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar 
[plus 1 Tbsp.(15ml) for topping]
. 1/4 cup (50ml) regular olive oil
. 2 tsp. (10ml) pure Vanilla extract

Flour mix * (to sift):
. 1/2 cup (65g) 'sweet' white Sorghum flour  
. 1/4 cup (30g) Tapioca flour/starch 
. 2 tsps. (10ml) baking powder (GF)
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking soda
. 2 tsps. (10ml) ground Cinnamon spice
. pinch of sea salt
Other:
. 1/2 cup (85g) roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
. 3 large Apples (preferred: McIntosh), thickly sliced
. a generous squeeze of lemon juice

* Although several GF flour mixes are easily found, they usually have unwanted stabilizers and fillers that I want to avoid.  Therefore, I continuously experiment with different blends and appropriate ratios of pure Gluten-free flours that equally work together to succeed a desirable dessert.



PREPARATION:
. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4
. Position rack in the center of the oven
. Prepare a lightly oiled 10 x 2 inch (26 x 5cm) round and shallow 'corning ware' dish or similar cake pan

1. In a medium-large bowl, on low speed, beat the butter to a cream before adding the sugar to a smooth blend.  Afterwards, gradually beat in the oil and then the Vanilla.
2. Beat the egg yolks one at the time on low-medium speed.  
3. Add the SIFTED flour mix gradually into the batter and keep beating on medium speed until all is combined.
4. In another medium bowl, with clean beaters, whisk the egg whites to a soft, holding peak.  
5. With a large spatula, fold in the almonds and then do the same with the egg whites until a somewhat smooth batter comes together.  Then, pour and spread the batter into the cake dish.  Set aside.
6. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples.  Place them temporarily into a bowl with a generous squeeze of lemon.  Mix and get ready to place them.  Leave the remaining juice behind.
7. Decorate the surface of the cake in a circular pattern as soon as they are sliced.  Lightly insert the sliced core side down.  Basically, the crescents will remain very lightly inserted in the batter.  Sprinkle the top with the additional granulated sugar.
8. Bake for no more than 40 minutes.   Afterwards, remove the cake dish from the oven and place it on a metal rack to cool.
. This cake can be served within an hour after being taken out of the oven.  No need to refrigerate this cake if eaten within 3 days...if it lasts that long!

***

The McIntosh apples are lovingly embraced by the smooth tasting butter and a touch of lemon rind.

Italian APPLE butter 
cake torte
Inspiration from the Abruzzi region of Italy
serves 8-10
Printer version





INGREDIENTS:
(American / Metric measures)

. 3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, softened
. 4 large eggs, separated (at room temp.)
. 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar 
[plus 1 Tbsp.(15ml) for topping]
.1 medium lemon, finely zested
. reserve a squeeze of lemon juice
Flour mix:
. 1 cup (150g) A.P. flour
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) baking powder
. pinch of sea salt
Other:
. 4 medium Apples (preferred: McIntosh), thickly sliced




PREPARATION:
Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4
. Position rack in the center of the oven
. Prepare a greased 10 x 2 inch (26 x 5cm) round and shallow 'corning ware' dish or similar cake pan

1. In a medium-large bowl, on low speed, beat the butter to a cream before adding the sugar to a smooth blend. Also add the lemon zest. 
2. Afterwards, beat the egg yolks one at the time on low-medium speed.  
3. Add the flour mix gradually into the batter and keep beating on medium speed until all is combined.
4. In another medium bowl, with clean beaters, whisk the egg whites to a soft, holding peak.  
5. With a large spatula, fold in the whipped egg whites until a somewhat smooth batter comes together.  Then, pour and spread the batter into the cake dish.  Set aside.
6. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples.  Place them temporarily into a bowl with a generous squeeze of lemon.  Mix and get ready to place them.  Leave the remaining juice behind.
7. Decorate the surface of the cake in a circular pattern as soon as they are sliced.  Lightly insert the sliced core side down.  Basically, the crescents will remain very lightly inserted in the batter.  Sprinkle the top with the additional granulated sugar.
8. Bake for no more than 40 minutes.  Afterwards, remove the cake dish from the oven and place it on a metal rack to cool.
. This cake can be served within an hour after being taken out of the oven.  No need to refrigerate this cake if eaten within 3 days...if it lasts that long!
***

Well, once more, that's dessert this week.
Maybe there might just be a few GF cookies in the near future .  
Off I go to the experimental board again.  



Have fun preparing for Halloween's tricks or treats.
Flavourful wishes,
Foodessa

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.


Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.