Last Sunday – the 10th – was my birthday and I used that as an excuse to experiment and play around in the kitchen making a couple of decadent sweet treats when normally I wouldn’t do such a thing!
Ha! let’s be real, I create something sweet on a pretty regular basis, I admit it, but I do try to limit it to one treat per weekend.
Anyway, during my search for a chocolate cake recipe that I had seen in my inbox, but not filed properly and thus had me frantically searching the websites of the food emails I get on an hourly basis, I came across this maple cake recipe at www.foodandwine.com. I love, love, love maple, use it in place of honey whenever I can. And I am talking about the real stuff, the good stuff. Sorry folks Mrs.Butterworth’s and Log Cabin pancake syrup do not qualify!
And I love, love, love cake! All I had to do was tweak it to make it gluten free and I would have the perfect dessert for Day 1 of my birthday weekend!
I used almond flour for half of the flour (King Arthur GF All-Purpose for the other half), which I used to do a lot even before I went gluten free. It adds phenomenal texture to cakes, but not usually much almond flavor. With this cake, perhaps because of the maple, the almond flavor was enhanced and was a terrific complement to the maple.
This house smelled amazing while this was baking and we were so excited to eat it after dinner that I forgot to take pictures before we dug into our plates. Fortunately I remembered to take some shots the next day when I had a piece in the afternoon. This turned out to be especially fortunate because on Sunday our hounds decided to polish it off for us!
I don’t generally have to worry too much about food being on the counter with my two beagles. However, we also have a third dog, a beagle mix, who is just a bit taller, a whole lot lankier and has a tremendous reach once she gets her front paws on the counter. A reach that is even better than I thought. I had the maple cake, what was left of it, covered with foil and pushed back up against the wall at what I thought was a beagle-proof distance.
Well it was beagle proof, but it wasn’t Daisy proof!
When I walked into the kitchen, a dish towel and two pieces of foil lay in the middle of the floor. It took several seconds for the significance of this to resonate with me. There had indeed been an extra scrap of foil on top of the cake pan, and my brain was keyed in on that one. When I saw the other one, not destroyed, but still retaining the handle impressions of the Pyrex pan it had been hugging, I very slowly realized what happened…the counter where the cake had been was empty, nothing else was disturbed. Where was the pan? Eventually the clear pan, which had camouflaged itself on the linoleum, appeared by the fridge.
Daisy had already gone to one of the chairs in the living room to look guilty and insanely cute. The boys we oblivious until I exclaimed very loudly OH MY GOD!!!!!
Luckily there was no chocolate, no toxic nuts or any other lethal-to-dogs ingredient in this cake and Jolly and I had put a big hurtin’ on it, so only about 1/4 of the cake remained.
Knowing our dogs very well, this is how I’m guessing it played out. Petey was in the dog bed by the couch in the living room. Leonard was curled up on a dog bed in the office or on the bed in the bedroom, both areas where he can be the first to hear the car pull into the driveway. Daisy was on the prowl in the kitchen. When the Pyrex pan hit the floor – remaining in one very solid piece! Phew! – Petey freaked out and ran away from the noise to the office. Leonard most likely came running to the noise and thus helped Daisy eat cake. By the time Petey made it back to the kitchen he probably only had maple syrup drippings to lick off the floor.
I promise to give Petey a bite next I make it…
GLUTEN FREE MAPLE BUTTERMILK PUDDING CAKE
1 1/3 cup real maple syrup
3 TB butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
2 teas baking powder
1/2 teas salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 teas real vanilla
Butter an 8×8 pan
Preheat oven to 350
In a small saucepan heat maple syrup to boiling, boil until reduced to a cup – about 6-7 minutes. This does not need to be exact, so don’t worry about remeasuring. Remove from heat, add butter, stir until melted. Pour into prepared pan.
NOTE: the original recipe said to line the bottom of the pan with parchment, butter the parchment, pour syrup over that. I did this, but it floated up into the cake in the center during cooking, so I think it can be made without parchment.
In a small bowl whisk flours, baking powder and salt together.
In another bowl whisk egg, egg yolk, buttermilk and vanilla together.
In large bowl or stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy, 2 minutes. Then add dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with wet ingredients, mixing well after each.
Using a large spoon, dollop batter onto syrup. It will completely fill the pan, but doing it in dollops rather than pouring the batter in helps create more bread pudding type texture.
Bake 35 minutes, until golden brown and wooden pick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Serve warm with creme fraiche or UNSWEETENED whipped cream. This cake is wonderfully sweet. The tang of the creme fraiche is a great balance, as is plain whipped cream.
You can make this ahead and serve at room temperature or warm slightly before serving – yummy both ways. The dogs obviously had no problem with the room temperature version!