So long, summer…
I will miss your mangoes and your cheap berries and your stone fruit. Please come back soon, I promise not to complain about how hot and uncomfortable I am. And what’s the best way to deal with the end of summer, and indeed any sadness in general? Cake. Always cake. This one is gluten-free, full of fruit and flavoured gently with cinnamon, cardamom and only a few of my end-of-summer tears. Say hello to my gluten-free Apple, Almond and Cardamom Tea Cake (your tears optional).
Apples are abundant all year round and so are a great budget-friendly option and something most household always have a few of (Side note - Have you ever met anyone that doesn’t like apples? I’m not sure I have but if there is someone out there who doesn’t like apples please make yourself known to me; I think I’d like to study your brain). Anyway…apple and spice is always one of those classic flavour combinations that evoke warmth, comfort and happiness. Apple and cinnamon is the usual combo but the addition of cardamom really bumps it up to the next level – like taking your favourite little black dress and adding sequins.
The trick to this cake, if there even is one given its simplicity, is to make sure your apple slices are nice and thin – this will make cutting the finished cake much simpler and neater. If you wanted to up the flavour factor to the next level you could toss the apple slices in extra spice mix before adding to the cake, but that is all a matter of personal preference. I loved the balance of spice in this cake as did my family. Sultanas would also be a lovely addition, something I will definitely try next time I make this (which I can honestly say won’t be that far away). I used a combination of almond meal and buckwheat flour but you could definitely use whatever flour you have available.
Beautiful on its own as a morning tea or snack, even better served with creamy yoghurt or vanilla ice-cream as dessert. This gluten-free Apple, Almond and Cardamom Tea Cake is the perfect way to farewell summer fruits and embrace those that are available year-round.
Apple, Almond and Cardamom Tea Cake
1kg Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup coconut sugar + 2 tsp, extra
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1&1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup milk
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 22cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
2) Peel, core and thinly slice apples, then set aside. Don't stress if they start to brown - they'll be hidden inside the cake or browned through caramelisation during cooking.
3) Using a stand mixer (or hand-held beaters) whip the eggs, sugar and honey until thick and pale. Add extracts and lemon zest and beat to combine.
4) Add the almond meal, flour, baking powder, spices, salt and milk, and beat until well combined.
5) Add 3/4 of the apple slices to the batter and fold gently with a spatula to retain as much air as possible. Gently spoon the batter into the prepared tin.
6) Arrange the remaining apple slices on top of the batter and sprinkle with the extra coconut sugar.
7) Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
8) Allow to cool in tin before slicing.
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