It’s 84 degrees outside. There’s a light breeze making my iris flowers bob their heads at me this morning. Sitting out in my front yard and enjoying the fruits of my labor (all those flowers I planted and sweated over and all the rabbits I yelled at to buzz off as they tried to eat my fledgling plants.. at 89 bucks I don’t care how hungry they are… too bad).
Well, most of them made it and I get to enjoy the color and smell…ahhh. It really is wonderful to be in Arizona during the spring (short as it is).
(this is one of the roses in my garden)
With summer just around the corner, I decided to scrounge thru my cookbooks and find something yummy and beautiful to look at. Sometimes a girl just wants everything to look good, ya know.
So here it is: a rich buttery gluten free cake topped with a sweet and fragrant fruit/herb salsa.
*Go ahead and make the cakes ahead of time. they will keep in the frig overnight or leave them out on the counter if you make them the same day you’re eating them. The salsa needs to mellow for at least an hour.
Gluten Free Butter Cakes
3/4 cup sugar
3/8 cup butter, softened
3/8 cup organic shortening (Spectrum Naturals is the best)
1 1/2 tsp. gluten free almond extract
1 1/3 cups gluten free flour
1 tsp. baking powder (I use Rumfords- no aluminum)
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if flour has it already)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup half & half, or fat free half & half (either one)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease 8 4″ cake pans (Wilton carries these) or you can use a 7″ bundt pan or try a jumbo muffin pan. I used the individual cake pans in the photo so everyone would get their own special cake( it just looks snazzy that way).
Beat the sugar, butter and shortening with an electric mixer (hand or stand) in a large bowl until creamy and light. Add the eggs and the almond extract and beat again. Carefully beat in the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum (if using) and the salt until smooth. Slowly beat in the half & half.
Pour the batter into the baking pan(s) of choice and bake. The 4″ cake pans and the jumbo muffin pan will take about 20 minutes and the bundt pan will take about 35 minutes. Use a toothpick to see if the cakes are done. Insert in the center. If it comes out clean they’re good to go.
Pull out, let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sometimes bundt pans need a little coaxing , so don’t be afraid to slam it down on a plate or piece of parchment paper to get it to release. Done that many times.
Make your Fragrant Fruit Salsa
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice (about 2 depending on size)
1 Tbs. freshly grated lime zest (from the limes you are juicing)
As you chop and zest, toss everything in a medium sized bowl. use a spoon and mix everything up. Place in the frig and let mellow for an hour before serving.
Serve 1/4 cup of salsa over your individual cakes and top with some whipped topping or fresh whipped cream.
If you want to make this during the winter or because the fresh berries are way to expensive right now (not in season yet), go ahead and use frozen mixed berries. Just let them thaw a little and mix everything together. This will be a little soupier than using fresh, but more liquid will soak into the butter cakes. Not necessarily a bad thing.
You can also change out the basil with fresh cilantro or fresh mint leaves, either sounds good.
P.S. If you want to get those cute little pans just click right here. I’ve used them for lots of dinner parties. That way no one has to share and everyone gets the same size.. no fighting.