We have quite a large cookbook/cooking magazine collection in this house. So large, in fact, that we have a whole IKEA bookshelf devoted to containing these items. It’s not quite full yet, but it’s definitely on its way there. The strange part is that I don’t actually buy cookbooks anymore, as I get most of my recipes and inspiration from fellow bloggers. But I have won quite a number of cookbooks in giveaways and I can always count on receiving a few every Christmas from my parents-in-law. And they are always welcome additions to our collection, because I find nothing more relaxing than thumbing through a cookbook in the comfy blue arm chair just off the kitchen.
One of the cookbooks I was fortunate enough to win in a giveaway was a sweet little thrift store find by Elisabeth of Food and Thrift. It is a book devoted solely to coffee cake recipes and was in brand-new condition when it came my way. It no longer is, as I have thumbed it many a time, and it may even have a splatter of batter or two on its pages. Of course, I can’t eat conventional coffee cakes anymore, so I haven’t made a single recipe as is from the book. But I have taken some wonderful inspiration from it.
I happened to pick up the book again last Saturday morning, and flipped through, when a lovely almond-crusted bundt cake caught my eye. My brain instantly started doing the low-carb, gluten-free substitution dance, and I could see just how I would make my version of this. I got out my butter to soften and began calculating in my head the proportions of the alternative ingredients I would need. I decided to make a half-recipe in a loaf pan, a variation that was suggested by the book, and turn it into a tea cake of sorts. I also decided to forego my usual base of greek yogurt, as this was supposed to be a butter cake, and I knew I needed a bit more almond flour and whey protein to help give it structure. The original cake took a full pound of powdered sugar…oh my, just thinking about that is enough to make my blood sugar rise! But I wasn’t about to try and sub in exact proportions of alternative sweeteners, so I knew my version would be a little less sweet.
The Results: If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen me crowing about this the other day. I will tell you, it turned out better than I even would have hoped. It has a lovely almond-y flavour, and it’s not overly sweet. Some might like it sweeter, but I think that the way it is makes it a perfect complement to coffee or tea in the morning or as an afternoon snack. My husband was in full agreement on this one. I am also more than a little impressed by the way it looks. I love the way the sliced almonds look on the outside of the cake, it’s very elegant. And it turned out to have a very fine-crumbed texture, virtually indistinguishable from cake made with flour. This took me pleasantly by surprise, as I think many nut-flour cakes don’t come out looking this evenly textured. Even my other cakes haven’t always looked this perfect!
Almond-Crusted Butter Cake
¼ cup sliced almonds
3 cups almond flour
⅓ cup unflavoured whey protein powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated erythritol (I used Swerve)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
20 drops stevia extract
½ cup almond milk
Preheat oven to 300F and butter a loaf pan very well. Sprinkle sides and bottom of pan with sliced almonds, pressing into butter to adhere to sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add granulated erythritol and beat until lighter and well-combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at time, scraping down beaters and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in almond and stevia extracts.
Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining almond flour mixture until well combined. Spread batter in prepared pan, being careful not to dislodge sliced almonds on the sides. Smooth the top.
Bake 60 minutes, or until top is deep golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serves 12. Each serving has a total of 6.52 g of carbs and 3.04 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.48 g.
Food energy: 259kcal; Total fat: 22.44g; Calories from fat: 201; Cholesterol: 68mg; Carbohydrate: 6.52g; Total dietary fiber: 3.04g; Protein: 9.58g.