Blueberry Crunch Cake (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Sugar-Free))Tilth : Creating Fertile Ground for Good Health : tilthforhealth.com
My friend Karen is one of the people I’ve met by happenstance. She worked for a little while with a friend of mine at a bookstore (a stop-gap measure in employment in both of their lives), and she and her husband came to a party Dan and I were also attending. Karen and I connected there, but her sweet husband had a migraine and they left early. When we reconnected at the next party, well, that was kinda it. We became fast friends with many mutual interests and beliefs–among them, a desire to eat healthfully and to support local agriculture.
Then Dan and I moved across the country . . . less than a year later. Karen was one of the people I was saddest to leave behind, and we both got teary talking about it a couple of times before my moving day arrived. So I committed to myself that I would not lose touch with Karen. I talk to her on the phone about once a week–which is saying something, because I generally hate talking on the phone. With Karen, time on the phone just flies by as we dig into this topic and that one.
Another way we’re keeping in touch is by sharing recipe suggestions over email. We have some food allergens in common, we’re both trying to control the impact of sugar on our lives, and we both enjoy cooking and baking. The recipe I altered today started with one that Karen wrote up and emailed to me after making it herself. Karen got the (wheat-based) recipe from the cookbook Vegan Brunch. I believe her version had bananas and chocolate chips, and I went another route using local blueberries and marmalade. But I knew the base of the recipe was good, because I trust Karen’s judgment.
When I converted this recipe, I was taking a sugary recipe and replacing the sugar with maple syrup. I increased the amount of flour to compensate, but I didn’t thoroughly consider the effect of the fruit-juice-sweetened citrus marmalade on the liquid part of my ingredients. So even though this cake baked up where a toothpick came out clean, in the end, it was still softer than I wanted on the bottom layer. (The top crunch layer is golden; it’s perfect.) My husband gobbled up a piece and said the effect was like a delicious, cake-y version of cobbler. Nonetheless, the next time I make it, I’m going to reduce the marmalade to 1/4 cup (I thought 1/2 cup over-sweetened the cake, but then, I haven’t been eating sugar) and also increase the flours by 1/3 to 1/2 cup. (I’m publishing the recipe as I originally made it, though. Make changes where you will, or go for cakey cobbler.) I was going to send the cake to work with my husband to have his coworkers test it before I published it here. Instead, when I ran out of the house for a few minutes to the farmer’s market, our dog Lily found the cake, which I’d left covered on our dining table, to be an irresistible temptation. So–there you have it. It’s doggie approved, if nothing else.
Blueberry Crunch Cake
Adapted from a recipe from Vegan Brunch
1/2 cup potato starch/arrowroot/corn starch
1/2 cup almond meal/superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup maple sugar–pulsed in food processor if in large chunks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus 1-2 extra tbsp. if needed
3/4 cup hemp milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of one lemon or orange
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (or use frozen)
1/2 cup all-fruit marmalade (sugar-free)
Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease an 8 inch x 8 inch pan.
Measure out the hemp milk and add the vinegar. Set aside.
Make the topping: mix all the dry ingredients and drizzle in the oil. Mix, and add more oil if it seems to dry; you’re looking for nice big crumbs. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the hemp milk mixture, maple, oil, vanilla, and zest. Sift in the dry ingredients, and mix until smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Pour the cake batter into the pan. Dot the pan with all-fruit jam, and swirl it in with a knife. Pour the topping mixture on top, patting down slightly. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool at least 30 before trying to eat, or it’ll fall apart.