ISPAHAN CAKE ROLL

This is my simpler, lighter take on Pierre Herme’s signature rose, raspberry and lychee yule log known as bûche Ispahan.
 
For the génoise (cake)
2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling
8 ounces mascarpone
5 ounces fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon rose water
1 (15-ounce) can lychees in light syrup (or pears in syrup)

For the syrup

Syrup from the can of lychees (or pears)
1 teaspoon rose water
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8×10 pan with parchment paper.

Beat the sugar with the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl until frothy. Gently whisk in the flour. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the egg yolk, sugar and flour mixture. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the mascarpone, raspberries, sugar, and rose water in the bowl of a food processor and reduce to a purée. Set aside.

When the cake is cooked, unmold it onto a damp towel, remove the parchment paper and roll the cake immediately with the towel. Let it cool that way, about 20 minutes. Place the lychees (or pears) on a cutting board and dice them. Pour the syrup into a small saucepan, add the rose water and heat it over low heat for about 5 minutes. Unroll the cake and remove the towel. Brush the cake lightly with the syrup, spread half of the raspberry mascarpone inside the cake and top with diced lychees (or pears). Gently roll the cake, cover it with raspberry ricotta and cut off the ends. Garnish with raspberries and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
 
Serves 6 to 8

CARROT PUDDING CAKE

For the cake
2/3 cup vegetable oil
15 ounces carrot puree *
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup grated carrots
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting
1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese
1/4 sick butter, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9-inch round pan.

Place the oil and carrot puree in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat to combine. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add to the carrot mixture and mix until well combined. Fold in the grated carrots, raisins and walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool before turning onto a plate.

Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract together using an electric mixer. Spread the frosting on top of the cake or serve desired amount on individual cake slices.
 
Serves 8 to 10
 
*Baby carrot puree works great for this cake.

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE

¾ cup canola oil
½ cup organic cocoa powder
¾ cup agave syrup (or 3/4 cup sugar)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup mini chocolate chips

 


 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a cake or bundt pan.

In an electric mixer, beat the oil and cocoa powder. Add the agave or sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt and beat again. Combine the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool the cake completely before unmolding.
 

Serves 8

COCONUT PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

This is a lighter, healthier pineapple upside down cake. The pineapple is not caramelized but simply baked on the bottom of the cake.

 
4 eggs
7 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons coconut milk (1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup brown sugar
¾ cup coconut flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
7 to 8 pineapple slices, canned or fresh
Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
 


 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.

Using an electric mixer, mix the eggs, butter, milk, vanilla and sugar until well combined. Combine the coconut flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and mix again.

Arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the batter over it. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean, 35 minutes. Let the cake cool and turn it over onto a plate. Garnish with Maraschino cherries.
 
Serves 6 to 8

WHITE BEAN LAYER CAKE

For the cakes

1 1/2 cups cooked/canned cannellini or navy beans, drained
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup agave syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups millet flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the mascarpone filling
(adapted from Giada’s Kitchen)

2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish

1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 ounces raspberries

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

Place the beans, eggs, vanilla extract, agave syrup, butter and sour cream in a food processor or blender and process to a homogeneous purée. Pour into a large bowl.

Add the miller flour,baking soda and baking powder and beat with an electic mixer until a smooth batter is obtained. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake until set, 20 minutes. Let cool and unmold.

To make the filling, put the mascarpone, cream, agave syrup and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream mixture to soft peaks.

To assemble the cake, put one cake layer on a cake stand. Top with 1-inch layer of the mascarpone filling. Place the second layer of cake on top of the first and frost the entire cake with the remaining filling. Encrust the sides of the cake with almond slices and top it with fresh raspberries. Serve. Refrigerate the leftovers.

 

Serves 12

FLAXSEED BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

4 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
2/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 cups golden flax seed meal
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg whites
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the applesauce, canola oil, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.

In a separate bowl, stir the flaxseed meal, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder until combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in the other bowl.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until you obtain stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until mixed. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Divide the batter among the twelve cups. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
 

Makes 12 muffins.

CHICKPEA BREAKFAST BREAD

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chickpea flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 banana, mashed

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup grated carrots*

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8X4 loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer or hand whisk, mix the butter, eggs, honey and vanilla until well combined.

Combine the chickpea flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Add them to the moist mixture. Mix again until the batter is smooth and homogeneous.

Fold in the banana, nuts, dates, raisins, coconut and carrots.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before unmolding.

*If you want to use store-bought shredded carrots instead of grating them, chop them into small pieces.

Makes 1 loaf.

 

GINGERBREAD MUFFINS

½ cup unsulphured dark molasses (preferably not blackstrap)
½ cup sour cream
½ stick (4 tbsps) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
½ cup unrefined brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange or apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-muffin muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the molasses with the sour cream, butter, eggs, brown sugar, orange juice and vanilla extract until well combined.

Sift the dry the ingredients (the rest) into  a bowl, add them to the wet ingredients and mix again until you obtain a homogeneous batter.

Distribute the batter among the 12 cups. Bake until set, 15 to 18 minutes.

 

Serves 12

GRAPEFRUIT LAYER CAKE

You can cut the ingredients for both the cake and the frosting in half to make a one-layer instead of a two-layer cake. If you’re not a fan of grapefruit, feel free to substitute oranges.

 


For two cakes

2 medium firm grapefruits

8 eggs

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup canola oil

3/4 cup grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups unrefined brown sugar

1 1/2 cups coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

 

For the frosting

2 (8-ounce) packages fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature

Half the grated grapefruit zest (reserved from the beginning of the recipe)

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon agave syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper.

Grate the zest of one grapefruit. Divide it in two (one half for the cake, the other for the frosting). Save both grapefruits for later segmenting.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, butter, oil, grapefruit juice, half the grapefruit zest, vanilla and sugar until well combined. Whisk the coconut flour, salt and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat again.

Divide the batter equally among the two prepared pans. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean, 35 minutes. Let cool then unmold.

Prepare the frosting by whisking all the ingredients for the frosting in an electric mixer until smooth.

Fill and frost the cake. Refrigerate the cake 20 to 30 minutes to let the frosting set.

To segment the grapefruits, cut off the top and bottom to give a stable base, trim the skin and pith and cut out the segments onto a plate using a paring knife. Arrange the grapefruit segments on top of the cake.
Serves 16

WHOLE WHEAT APPLE CAKE

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup and 2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup and 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8- to 9-inch pan with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer mix the butter, agave syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Add the eggs and mix again.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Add them to the moist mixture. Mix again until the batter is smooth and homogenous.

Fold in the apple cubes.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, about 35 minutes. Cool before unmolding.

Serves 8

Whole Wheat Apple Cake