No matter the trials, 2016 also has had many moments of beauty.
Just a few days ago, I had the good fortune to be asked to house sit for friends who live in a sweet, big old farm house out in the country. This heart display, among many other things welcomed me.
Remember to stop and smell the eucalyptus, one of their friendly cats reminded me.
Dawn from one of the living room windows was so lovely my senses reeled.
The color green kept popping into my line of vision, and the solitude inspired.
I breakfasted on fingerling potato, leek and feta frittatas topped with handfuls of arugula.
And a few days later, I baked.
And, I have to tell you, I was filled with absolute joy, using this pan for the first time.
Dear readers, I sent off my cook book proposal today, and I will tell you the whole story later, but this recipe was one of those in the chapter I featured for the culinary book agents. I hope they try it! And I hope you do, too.
I want to wish you all a very happy new year. And now, the recipe!
Lemon Cardamom Bundt Cakes with Warm Strawberry Coulis
Make this recipe for someone you love. The cake is light, moist, and has a finely textured crumb. The use of coconut oil and coconut sugar add a healthful element to the divine flavors, where the cardamom and lemon roll off your tongue like cumulus clouds through a warm spring sky. The strawberry coulis is a perfect accompaniment, slightly tart, slightly sweet, and very bright. If you have an available individual non-stick bundt cake pan (making six cakes known coquettishly enough as “bundtlettes”!) by all means use it. You’ll have plenty of batter left over even so for a good 5 or 6 small cakes baked in muffin tins. Otherwise, bake this wonderful recipe in a 9 inch non-stick bundt pan and call it good!
2 c. “cup-for-cup” gluten free flour, such as Pamela’s Artisan Blend (do not pack!)
2½ tsp. ground cardamom
1½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. organic coconut oil, room temperature (not melted)
1 c. organic coconut sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. pure lemon extract
Finely grated zest of one lemon (about 1 1/3 tbsp.)
1 cup + 1 ½ tbsp. sour cream
**Coconut oil for greasing bake pans, about 2 tbsp. — melted
3-4 tsp. confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and finely chopped
A quick splash of maple syrup, agave or honey (2-3 tbsp. or to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust oven racks to center position. Lightly grease baking pan(s) with melted coconut oil.
Whisk flour, cardamom, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
In large bowl of an electric mixer, cream coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy, stopping a couple of times to scrape bowl with a rubber spatula. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed, include lemon extract and zest along with the last egg. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, about one minute for each egg.
With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of flour mixture, mixing until flour is just blended. Add about half the sour cream, blending again just until mixed. Alternate flour mixture and sour cream, ending with the last portion of the flour, mixing just until blended. Batter will be quite thick.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the surface.
For 9 inch bundt cake: bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a long toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then invert cake on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
For individual bundt cakes and muffins: bake 20 – 23 minutes, testing with toothpick, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.
Topping: Before serving, use a fine-mesh sieve to dust the top of cake with confectioner’s sugar.
For Strawberry Coulis
Warm finely chopped strawberries and maple or agave syrup in a small sauce pan over low heat until just heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve cake over a spoonful of coulis on a plate, placed to one side, so the rosy strawberry sauce stands out.
Blessings to you all!