Three cheers for baking with gluten-free spirits. The holidays are quickly approaching and those looking for baking inspiration need to look no further than their liquor cabinet. Baking with gluten-free spirits (amaretto, rum, vodka, sherry, brandy, etc.) is a great way to add a flavorful punch to desserts. The fine folks at Anchor Distilling Company in San Francisco partnered with Julie’s Gluten-Free Bakery in Washington to create gluten-free desserts that are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Some of the newly created recipes from Julie’s Gluten-Free Bakery include Black Forest Cake featuring Luxardo Cherries and Lemon Ginger Cheesecake made with King’s Ginger Liqueur and Luxardo Limoncello. The recipe that really caught my attention is the Amaretto Cherry Chip Cake with Luxardo Cherries and here is the recipe:
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour 1½ cups
- Baking powder 2½ teaspoons
- Salt ½ teaspoons
- Sugar (extra fine) 1⅓ cups
- Vegetable oil ⅝ cups
- Vanilla (pure) 1 teaspoon
- Luxardo Amaretto Liqueur ⅛ cup
- Whole eggs 2 large
- Egg whites 2 large
- Whole Milk ⅔ cups
- Luxardo Cherries (chopped small) 1 – 1½ cups, preference
- Mini Chocolate chips ½ cup
Preheat oven to 350 ° F. For the cake pans, spray interior with a vegetable spray, then place a parchment paper circle in the bottom of each pan and again spray with vegetable spray. Cut cake circles to fit each pan from a roll of parchment paper.
1. In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour blend, baking powder, salt, then set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, cream together the sugar, oil, vanilla, and Luxardo Amaretto Liqueur. Gradually increase the speed to medium for one minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl frequently to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the whole eggs and egg whites. Gradually add the eggs to the mixer and mix on low to medium speed for one minute.
4. Add the dry ingredients from step one and the milk to the ingredients in the mixer, alternating wet and dry. Always start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix on low to medium after each addition until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to medium to high speed for two minutes.
5. Remove the bowl from stand mixer. Add the Luxardo Cherries and mini-chocolate chips to the batter and combine with a spatula or spoon.
6. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the cakes or cupcakes twice during the baking period. When a toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Take it out of the oven, place it on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes then flip the pan over to remove the cake and let it cool completely on the wire rack. Do not remove the parchment paper until you are ready to finish the cake, this will help to retain the cake’s moisture.
If you prefer cupcakes, start by placing about ½ cup of batter into each cupcake liner. The cupcake liner should be about ⅔ full. Bake as directed above, when the toothpick comes out clean, they are done. Remove the pans from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let them rest in the pans for about ten minutes then tip the pans over to release the cupcakes. Immediately turn your cupcakes back upright to cool completely.
Top cake with buttercream frosting combined with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Luxardo Cherry Liquerur.
Yield is two 8-inch round cakes or 15 cupcakes.
Happy Holidays and happy baking.