Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Musician's Birthday, and Luscious Gluten Free Lemon Cake

            Yesterday, our wonderful Musician celebrated his 11th birthday. We had a lot of fun reminiscing about the first time we saw his picture, just after his first birthday, and how hopelessly, head-over-heels in love we fell with him. We remembered the first time we saw him, pudgy legs and black hair that stood on end, and how he used to scream and scream whenever we had to leave him, during his first year home. That included his distress when we had to leave his side for late night bathroom trips – we bonded big time, and stayed close, day and night, for quite a while.

We remembered how healed his little heart was when the Wrestler came home from Korea, and how inseparable the two became; my instant, three-year-old twins. We laughed about the mischief these two used to make, remembering the time they poured the dregs of a nearly empty bottle of laundry soap onto their train table (while I, clueless, folded laundry just feet away), and slid around on the slippery mess, until their giggles gave them away.

            I kept remembering the scripture that was put on my heart again and again during our adoption process:

            For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

            Our Musician is a gentle, loving, generous kid whose enthusiasm for life makes him a joy to be around. He has wonderful gifts, including his music, and we know God has great plans for him.

            For his birthday, I wanted to bake a lemon cake for my lemon-loving boy, but I didn’t want the crumbly texture that’s characterized every yellow GF cake I’ve ever made. I adapted a recipe I found at the Land O’Lakes site, making it dairy free, lemon-flavored and a tiny bit lower in fat. I also added a bit of almond flour, because I've found almond flour can add a nice, moist richness to cakes and muffins - and I love it with lemon. The frosting I came up with had a strong lemon flavor; we like it that way, but you can adjust to your taste by decreasing the lemon juice and adding a bit more water or some coconut milk, if you want it less lemony. The result was a wonderful, moist, lemony cake that met rave reviews. Here is the recipe for you, just in case you are craving lemon with your coffee this morning.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Lemon Bundt Cake
2 c. sugar
¾ c. Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (check for the DF/GF version)
4 eggs
2 t. lemon extract
½ c. almond flour
1 ½ c. white rice flour
1/3 c. tapioca starch
2/3 c. potato starch
1 t. xanthan gum
2 t. baking powder
¼ c. unsweetened apple sauce
1 c. coconut milk

Cream sugar and Earth balance until blended and fluffy. Add eggs and lemon extract, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add dry ingredients, and blend until well mixed. Add apple sauce and coconut milk, a bit at a time, blending well. Pour into greased Bundt pan that has been dusted with GF flour mixture. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of a section of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for ten minutes, and then invert onto plate and remove pan. When cool, enjoy plain, with berries, or frost with lemon frosting.

Lemon Frosting
3 c. confectioners sugar
2 T Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
1 T shortening
Grated rind of ½ lemon
2-3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T water

Blend sugar, Earth Balance and shortening. Add lemon rind and lemon juice and mix well. Add 1T water, and blend, adding more water a teaspoon at a time, if necessary, until frosting is spreading consistency. Spread on cooled cake and prepare to swoon.

Wishing you a blessed day, and
Trusting in Him,

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