Getting in the kitchen with your kids is a great way to make lots of memories! It requires something that they will learn, something that you can easily teach them, and maybe a little bit of patience. I started this process early with my older child with yogurt cakes. Have you ever tried the one from the book Bringing Up Bebe? Order a copy <a href="http://Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)” target=”_blank”>here…some wonderful life lessons! It is great because not only does it teach children to measure ingredients (and very, very simply I promise!), but it also teaches them patience because they have to wait for their cake to bake and then cool. They. Have. To. Wait. For. Something. I know…can you imagine?!
My own mama recently had her birthday, and we wanted to make a cake for her! Well, she is as dairy, gluten, and low sugar as we are which makes cakes a little challenging. Enter Pinterest! I came across this decadent looking gluten free cake from the blogger Basil and Bubbly. Challenge accepted! I just happened to have all of the ingredients in my house, and with a slight modification (ie. subbed xylitol for the sugar), her recipe worked beautifully for my family. There is not one crumb left! It was delicious, and sometimes it is simply nice to be able to enjoy dessert guilt free. This recipe did that for us! And it was a group effort with my three year old and six year old!
I began by preheating the oven…which I probably could have waited a bit because corralling two cutie patooties while baking takes a few extra minutes. Then I sprayed coconut oil spray into a baking pan and cut a piece of parchment to lay in the bottom of the pan.
Next, my youngest washed the pears, I peeled them, and my oldest cut three of them into chunks!
We cooked the pears in lemon juice and Xylitol for about 10 minutes in a covered saucepan. While that was cooking, we placed the almond flour and the remaining xylitol in a blender to pulse. When the pears were cooked, we slightly mashed them, let them cool, then added them to the flour mix. Then, we added eight eggs….count them…eight gorgeous eggs and vanilla paste to puree. Have you ever cooked with vanilla paste? It just makes me happy! It smells amazing and comforting…kind of like a warm hug. Happy, happy memories are made with that scent! If you are cooking with vanilla flavoring…stop! Order some vanilla paste <a href="http://Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 4-oz Pure Vanilla Bean Paste” target=”_blank”>here. It will change your baking life! And it actually makes a wonderful housewarming gift…that and a homemade dry ingredient cookie recipe. Nothing warms a home faster than baking something yummy in your oven!
Okay…back to the recipe…I got distracted! Blend it all up in your blender or your food processor. We even got some help from our new emogie friend!
Almost there! By this point, our oven had been preheated for probably about 15 minutes…oops! My boys helped me pour the batter into the greased pan. I quickly sliced up the remaining pear and tossed it in a pan with some honey and lemon juice. Then we added sliced almonds over the top off the batter and fanned the pears out on top of the batter. The finishing touch was adding in any syrup left from the honey/lemon syrup.
At this point I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to eat it. Y’all, this was the prettiest cake I think I have ever made. Maybe it was my great help!! Here’s what it looked like right before going in the oven.
And after an hour….and a little extra. Still figuring out my oven in the new house! Here is how it turned out…gorgeous!!
Have fun making one for yourself, and let me know what you (and yours) think of this delicious treat!!
PEAR AND ALMOND CAKE…gluten free and low sugar
Author: Basil and Bubbly…with modifications from Necessary Delights
4 ripe but firm USA Pears
1¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons Xylitol
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3¼ cups finely ground blanched almond meal
8 large eggs
1¼teaspoons vanilla bean paste ( or vanilla extract )
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
½ cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan, and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment.
Peel and core the pears.
Chop three of the pears roughly and cook in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes with the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of Xylitol.
Remove from the heat, and roughly mash the pears in to a puree. Let cool. You will want to end up with 2 cups of mashed pears to add to the cake.
Put the almond meal and 1 ¾ cups of Xylitol in a food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times for approximately 3 seconds per pulse.
Add the eggs, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and the cooked pears and puree the mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
In a small saucepan, heat the honey, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, ½ teaspoon almond extract, and the water until the mixture bubbles.
Slice the last remaining pear into ¼” slices and add the slices to the hot honey mixture.
Remove from the pan from the heat and toss gently to coat.
Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the cake. Top with the sliced pears and spoon any remaining honey sauce over the top of the cake.
Bake for 1 hour or until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then run the dull side of a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, remove the sides of the pan, and serve.