This is the tale of a beautiful girl called Justine who couldn’t eat what all the other little boys and girls could eat. She loved to eat cakes and pasta and pizza, but when she had wheat she would feel very bad indeed.
When others celebrated birthdays at work, Justine would sing along happily wishing them the best of days and then pass her cake slice to the next person as it reached her hands. Sometimes, people would remember that she couldn’t eat wheat, and so there would be gluten-free chocolate cake.
One can’t help but think that Justine may have started to get very tired of gluten-free chocolate cake…
Yesterday was Justine’s birthday, so at the start of the week I told Justine to pick any gluten-free cake she would like and I’d make it for her. Justine arrived the next day with Rowie Dillon’s Indulge cookbook (full of amazing gluten-free recipes) and pointed out the raspberry and ricotta cake. It looked spectacular… but even better than that – it looked really easy. I tend to save all the complicated recipes for the weekend when I have more time, so this cake was perfect for a midweek cook.
I hadn’t been feeling well on Thursday night so I was grateful that 15 minutes after starting the cake, it was in the oven cooking. When I took it out it looked just beautiful – exactly like the recipe book picture. It smelt of butterscotch and berries and I found myself using all the willpower I had not to pick up a knife and slice into it. Never has a gluten-free cake mesmerised me so and I was pleasantly surprised.
The next day we popped in some candles, sang Justine a happy birthday and sliced into the cake. No one passed up the opportunity to try this unique gluten-free cake and so the demand was healthy and was deemed a resounding success by all. Two slices later Justine asked if she could take the rest home (not that there was much left) and before anyone had responded it was in glad wrap and in her bag.
And thus begins the tradition of wonderful gluten-free birthday cakes for Justine!
GLUTEN FREE RASPBERRY RICOTTA CAKE
Adapted from Rowie Dillon’s Ingulge cookbook
150g unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
150g smooth ricotta
65g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup almond meal
100g fresh raspberries
1 cup flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.
In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar and vanilla seeds with beaters until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ricotta and beat on low speed until the ricotta is just combined. Fold in rice flour, baking powder and almond meal with a large wooden spoon.