A sign of spring in the Truckee Meadows is a farmer’s fruit stand on a street or parking lot near your house as some of the California growers begin bringing their spring harvest to the Reno area. We have one who sets up on the corner of the road to our house, and for the last three weeks, he’s been offering oranges, mangoes, cherries, and strawberries fresh from the farms. Nothing beats fresh, plant-ripened berries with their wonderful sweet taste. The first batch we bought could have been a little riper before picking, but the boxes from last weekend — perfection!
When you have sweet, flavorful strawberries, they just call out for cake and whipped cream. It’s a bit of an indulgence when you’re counting your carbs, but they are within limits when you mix the berries with a granulated sugar substitute, and you make a low carb cake. While not a shortcake, this recipe for an almond-flavored cake is moist and delicious complimenting the berries so well. You can use it for any kind of fruit you’d like for the topping or put a sugar glaze (with a sugar substitute, of course) over the top to serve with only a trio of raspberries and a mint leaf for garnish.
I made mine using Dixie Carb Counters Bakesquick, but the original recipe from Bob’s Red Mill called for almond flour. You can also use a combination of a low carb flour with almond flour. I changed the recipe to add in ricotta cheese, which adds to the moistness and flavor of the cake. Since it calls for coconut flour, I altered the egg option to 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites to give it more lift. You can use liquid egg whites for this. I changed the proportions to a small cake recipe. If you want a large cake, double the amounts of all ingredients and use a 9″x13″ cake pan.
Moist Almond Cake
Based on a recipe from Bob’s Red Mill as made by Rene Averett
6 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Egg Whites
2 tablespoons Cream or Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
3/4 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.). Prepare a 6-inch square baking pan by putting parchment paper on the bottom, then spraying the bottom and sides with baking spray.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the butter and sugar substitute and use a mixer to cream together until it is smooth. Add in the egg and egg whites and beat until they are fully mixed in. Add cream, ricotta cheese, and almond extract and mix until blended.
In a separate small bowl, mix flour and coconut flour with the salt and baking powder. Add the flour to the egg mixture in three batches and beat each addition until all the flour is mixed in. You will have a thick batter. Let it sit a few minutes. Coconut flour expands as it gets wet, so you may need to add a little water to have an easily spreadable batter.
Spread into your cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is done. Test with a toothpick in the middle that should out clean.
Remove to a rack to cool about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. If the cake has not pulled away from the sides of the pan, run a plastic knife around the edges, then put a plate over the pan and flip it. Remove the parchment paper if it flipped out with the cake.
Let cool, cut into slices and serve with berries and whipped cream or make an icing to top it.
Makes 6 to 8 servings. I cut it in 6 servings initially, but with the berries and cream, a smaller slice works great.
To my shame, I didn’t take a photo of the cake with the strawberries and whipped cream on top. I will be doing this recipe again in a couple of weeks and will add a photo then.