Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mix-and-Bake Flourless Almond Coconut Vanilla Cake (Belinda Jeffery)

To begin 2014, I was given a challenging task...

I need to bake a gluten free and also diabetic friendly cake! A little bit of mission impossible? A little???

After baking this No-Added Fat and Sugar Gluten-free Banana and Rum Loaf from BBC Good Food, I'm pretty much exhausted with idea that can achieve similar standards.

I kept telling myself... Think, Zoe! Think! I need more reading and ideas...

I thought of using sugar substitution to bake gluten-free cake but came to know from the book, The America's Test Kitchen that the success of baking with artificial sweetener can be limited. In fact, both The America's Test Kitchen and diabetic living online recommend baking with Splenda Sugar Blend which is essentially a mixture of sweetener and sugar. As mentioned in Splenda website, it provides half the calories and carbohydrate of sugar and doesn't have any side-effects of baking.

Using the concept of Splenda Sugar Blend, I have decided to bake gluten-free cake with half amount of sugar and give the cake extra sweetness from poached fruits and agave syrup. What is agave syrup? According to this, agave nectar is one-and-a-half times sweeter than table sugar. Its high fructose (approximately 70 to 90 percent) to glucose ratio which also makes it lower in its GI (Glycemic Index) resulting it being the healthier sweetener.

After all my research, I have finally decided to bake this super-easy-mix-and-bake Fourless Almond Coconut Vanilla Cake from Belinda Jeffery with only half the amount of sugar in the recipe. Belinda is right! This amazing cake is really something special that you can whip up with a short notice!!! For extra sweetness, I had served this cake with poached yellow nectarine with agave syrup and this cake is fabulous! It has a slightly chewy texture and the sweetness is perfect for all of us to eat. If you have no issue with almonds or coconut in cakes, I promise that you will love this! Even the non-coconut-cake loving me is loving it!!!

Here here... Mission accomplished!

Mix and Bake Flourless Almond Coconut Vanilla Cake Belinda Jeffery
Mix-and-Bake Flourless Almond Coconut Vanilla Cake (Belinda Jeffery)
This flourless cake uses almond meal and desiccated coconut.
All you need to do is MIX!
... and BAKE!
For a healthier option, I'm serving this cake with poached nectarines with agave syrup.
Only 5 mins of cooking is required! Easy!
I have also baked a smaller cake for our family.
Big vs small! Both are equally delicious! - LOL!
Flourless Almond Coconut Vanilla Cake Belinda Jeffery
This cake is wonderfully moist! Yum!
Wait... I need to enjoy it more with the poached nectarine too!

Here's the recipe from Belinda Jeffery
(with my modification and notes in blue)

Serves 8-10

180g almond meal
2/3 cup (60g) desiccated coconut
1/4 tsp salt
250g caster sugar
(reduced to half the amount)
4 x 60g eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(replaced with vanilla paste)
1/4 tsp almond essence
(I didn't add this)
200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp flaked almonds
(about 100g for 1 1/2 of this recipe)
icing sugar, (optional), for dusting
(I didn't use this)

Preheat your oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced. Butter a 23 or 24cm shallow spring form cake tin (or cake rings) and line the base and sides with buttered baking paper. Dust the tin lightly with flour (or rice flour if you’re avoiding wheat) and set it aside. Instead of dusting, I have lined the greased tin with baking paper.

Put the almond meal, desiccated coconut, salt and sugar into a medium-sized bowl and whisk them briskly together with a balloon whisk for 1 min. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and almond essence (I didn't add this) until they’re thoroughly mixed, then mix in the cooled butter until it is incorporated. Tip the butter mixture into the almond mixture and stir them together (you’ll find that it’s quite a loose batter). Scrape this into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly, then scatter the flaked almonds over the top.

Put the tin in the oven and bake the cake for about 40 mins, or until the top of the cake springs back slowly when you press it gently. Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool, invert it onto the rack, remove the tin and paper and invert it again onto a serving plate. Dust the top lightly with icing sugar, if liked, and serve (on its own or with poached fruits as mentioned).

Note: Using one and a half of the recipe, I have baked one 23 cm round cake using spring form cake tin and one 14 cm round cake using 14 cm cake ring. Both are baked at 160°C fan forced for 30 mins (small cake) and 40 mins (large cake).

Poached Nectarines in Agave Syrup

5 yellow nectarines, stoned and sliced in thin 2 cm wedges
lemon juice from half a lemon
5 tbsp of dark agave syrup

Combine all in a saucepan and cook nectarine with medium heat for 5 mins or just tender. Remove nectarine from heat and allow it to cool completely before serving.

Note: Some of the nectarine skins might peel off after cooking. You can remove them for a better presentation.

Happy Baking
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  1. That is one of the delicious cake Zoe. I heard that baking with splenda makes bitter after baking. I haven't tried though. Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year.

  2. Happy New Year, Zoe!
    Wish you and your family good health, and everything good!
    The cake looks very moist and with almond meal, I would like this as well!
    I have not tried baking anything gluten free before, interesting info on the sugar.
    Cheers to another year of wonderful baking and cooking! :)

  3. Hi Zoe, happy new year! My oven has closed till end of next month I think & now is in the holiday mood. On the way to the city shopping, yeah!

  4. did i ever tell you i have issues reading anything with words and more words? that's why i never did well in school because i make careless mistakes... but i enjoy reading your blog... sumpah (ok.. that means promise in malay if you understand)... i love how you strain your mind and use really quality ingredients for your bakes and this is what i look out for and adore.... i love this cake... i can already feel that meal-ly texture in my mouth! bookmarked for sure!

    1. Hi Victoria,

      Opsie that I have been writing too much… I have another lengthy post today… It is about kueh bangkit. Hope that I won’t give you any headache reading so many words… I like to keep my post as short and concise as possible but I can’t help writing the things that I need to say :p

      Nice to know that you appreciate :D


  5. Happy New Year, Zoe! Lovely cake and diabetics will thank you for it!

  6. Happy New Year, Zoe! What a delicious start to 2014 ~ I will try to bake-along this year ^.^

  7. Happy New Year Zoe:D This cake looks delicious and I like how moist it looks, almond meal is pretty pricy here so I want to choose a recipe that is fail proofed before I start baking :D This one looks promising!

  8. Hi Zoe, firstly a very Happy New Year to you. Next, I would like to say thank you for hosting all these fantastic cooking events, as I really enjoy trying all the recipes and challenging myself as well as making new friends in the process.Have a fantastic, foodtastic year! -Yen

  9. Hi Zoe , I have to try this cake soon , Happy New Year , thanks for sharing :)

  10. Happy New Year 2014
    The cake looks simple to make. Looks chewy and yummy too.

  11. Happy New Year, Zoe to you and family.

    It's always great to drop by and welcome by a delicious cake. Keep baking awesome goodies!

  12. Happy New Year Zoe! Love the almond flakes on top!

  13. This is a sweet start to 2014. I like the crunchy topping of this cake,chomp,chomp!

  14. Okay , I haven't made another Bill's recipe but I'll surely try to cook some of his easy and delicious recipes sometime :D

    Zoe , you've read my mind ! Cheese ?! Maybe that's the reason why I've been hankering to buy a kilo of cream cheese lol Cream cheese is acceptable ?

    Here's wishing you and your family a Happy , Healthy and a Prosperous 2014 !!!

    1. Happy 2014, Anne!!!

      Funny that Lena said that Kumquat reminds her of Mel. Roast chicken reminds her of Phong Hong and you know what? Cheesecake reminds me of you!!! YES YES YES!!! You can use cream cheese as our theme ingredient for LTU, Jan 2014.... QUICK! Go to buy 1 kg of cream cheese... I bought mine. Have you???


  15. Happy New Year Zoe..Btw what is Agave Syrub?

    1. Hi Cecelia,

      Accordingly to Wikipedia, agave nectar is a sweetener commercially produced from several species of agave, plants that commonly grow in Mexico and South Africa. Agave nectar is sweeter than honey and tends to be less viscous and has a lower GI index.


  16. Happy new year and this cake looks fabulous...can I get a slice please :-)

  17. Oh, the peaches sound delicious in this cake.

  18. Your flourless almond cake looks so good! Wishing you a Happy New Year, Zoe!

  19. Hi Zoe, happy 2014! You have done a good job hosting and organizing blog events. A big THANK YOU!

  20. Hi Hi, Happy New Year to you ^o^
    I've never eaten a gluten-free cake before (actually dare not try la), but yours look really moist & yummy... plus I loves Coconut. Will definitely try to bake this, thanks for sharing.

  21. yes, i think you have achieved many and did very well ! Bravo! i am a little surprised to see this cake cos i remember you are not fond of coconuts in bakes..joyce is ..haha..Sme coconut combination actually tastes very nice and i'm sure this cake of yours is just as good!

  22. Zoe, you are doing so good in baking, and forever that perfect in your attempt. You better skip my recent post, as my bake is really horrible.

    Here I wish you happy new year and may your New Year is filled with joy and health.

  23. Happy New Year Zoe! So many great accomplishments for 2013 and can't wait to see what 2014 brings :) This almond cake looks wonderful and so moist! Great job on this flourless cake :)

  24. This sounds great, just what we need in January.

  25. Happy New Year, Zoe! I've been so caught up with the holiday, and baking, and all that, I'm so glad that the holidays are over!
    Love your gorgeous, moist, and yummy cake; almonds and coconut pairing...what could be more delicious?! Hugs,

  26. Your bakes always look so tempting and this one is no exception. I look forward to lots more delicious recipes from you in 2014. All the best.

  27. Zoe, it sounds like you had an incredible last year. Here's to an even better one!

  28. Hi Zoe! Happy New Year. 2014 is going to be a great year for you.
    Love all these events. Will sure take part!

  29. Stumbled on your blog through Kitchen Chaos. Another Singaporean Mum to 2 and living in Melbourne.. What a coincidence. :)

  30. Great looking cake! I love both the flavor and texture of almond meal. This looks wonderful. Thanks.

  31. Hi Zoe,
    Happy happy new year!! Am I late.. LoL..
    I love cakes with almond meal. Yours looks moist and I love the almond in it.
    "Jia you" to your new mission in 2014!!