Gluten-free almond cake with clementines |

Gluten-free almond cake with clementines

Susan Hart

I have been looking at information on several ways of eating without gluten. Most recently, the Paleo Diet and the plant-based diet have been on my mind. The Paleo Diet would have us eat as hunter-gatherers did 25,000 to 50,000 years ago. The diet includes essentially whatever one could/can pick, dig or chase down. The theory is that our bodies haven’t evolved to digest the processed foods, such as grains and sugars, which are common to our diets today.

The plant-based diet is explained in a documentary called “Forks Over Knives” and would have us eat whole grains and minimally processed vegetables and fruits. No meat, and no dairy, should pass one’s lips in this protocol. It is used to prevent and repair serious heart and cardiovascular diseases, and research shows that damage can be reversed by adhering to this diet.

I know that these approaches to eating are healthy, and would be well-applied by many of us depending on the condition of our bodies. I have slipped more than a bit with this recipe, minimally adapted from, because it includes sugar, dairy and eggs. The almond flour, however, is gluten- and grain-free.

I would never recommend eating this luscious, moist, flavorful cake every day, or even every week. Every once in a while, though, the spirit needs a lift. Bon appetit!

Almond Cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar, divided

4 eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups almond flour, divided use

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round pan with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Mix in the almond extract. Stir in 1 cup of almond flour. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until stiff peaks form.

Mix 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites and the remaining cup of almond flour alternately.

Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.

Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake before inverting it.

Clementine Topping

10 clementines

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

Peel 10 clementines. Cut each one in half, then slice each half into half-moon shapes.

In a saute pan, reduce the sugar and orange juice until thick. Stir the Clementine pieces into the mixture until they are coated with the syrup. Top each slice of cake with some of the clementines – warm or chilled.

Carson City’s gluten-free discussion group will meet Monday. Please email or call 291-1070 for more information.

• Susan Hart has been cooking gluten-free for 15 years. She can be reached at