Why, Yes! This GF cake is made with a little Tito’s Handmade Vodka (also Gluten Free) by our friend Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery and author of Blackbird Bakery-Gluten Free. Karen will be catering the official BlogHer Food Conference cocktail party during the conference taking place in our home town of Austin, Texas June 7-8th. Tito’s Handmade Vodka WILL also be served at cocktail party the night of June 7th at Brazos Hall, 9pm. (Register here)
This Texas Sheet cake recipe is from Karen’s forthcoming book from the house of Abrams, due out in December of 2013.
It doesn’t have a title yet, but will include Gluten Free savory and sweet comfort food recipes from Karen’s childhood.
Tito’s Texas Sheet Cake Hearts
served with linden nectar and salted pecans
1 cup pitted and sliced majooli dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons Tito’s Handmade Vodka
4 prunes, pitted and halved
2 bags linden tea
2 cups water
2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup gluten free oat flour
¾ cup glutinous rice flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup almond meal
1 teaspoon guar gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons black onyx cocoa powder
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
In a large glass measuring cup, sprinkle the baking soda over the sliced dates. Bring the water to boil and then add the dates; boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Pour the dates and the water back into the measuring cup. Add the baking soda. The dates will bubble and fizz which is lovely and perfect. Add the Tito’s Handmade Vodka and allow to cool until the dates have absorbed most of the liquid. In the meantime, poach the prunes.
Halve and pit the prunes. Fill a small saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and add the two bags of linden tea and the halved prunes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the prunes for at least 20 minutes and the prunes are very tender.
Strain the prunes and reserve the tea for the serving syrup. Remove the tea bags.
Carefully transfer the prunes and the dates to a food processor, and puree until thick and foamy.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 12 x 16” jellyroll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly grease the paper.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add all the dry ingredients and mix on the lowest setting to amalgamate. Add the diced butter and mix on low until the mixture looks like damp cornmeal and you can no longer see any clumps of butter.
Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla in a measuring cup and then add to the dry ingredients. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and whip until the batter begins to fluff up and cast out beautiful folds. Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl add the pureed prunes and dates. Mix just until combined.
Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and is a delicate sponge with touched with your finger tip. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for five minutes while you whip up the icing.
Simple Sheet Cake Icing
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons black onyx cocoa
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans
2 teaspoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon sel gris
Sift the confectioner’s sugar and the cocoa powders into a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter, milk and corn syrup in a large sauce pan. When the mixture boils, whisk in the cocoa powder and the confectioner’s sugar until very smooth and a loose ribbon drips off the end of your whisk. Stir in the vanilla.
Toss the toasted pecans with the sel gris and the agave nectar.
Invert the cake onto a large cutting board or serving platter while still warm. Remove the parchment paper. Pour the icing over the hot cake and smooth with an offset spatula so the icing drips off and down the sides.
Drizzle the icing with the salted pecans. Allow cake to cool completely and then place in the freezer to set the cakes—they are much easier to cut into the heart shapes when the cake is very cold.
While you wait, make the linden nectar. Pour two cups of the reserved poaching liquid into a saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons castor sugar and heat over a medium heat until reduced by half and syrupy.
Cut the cakes into hearts with a 3-inch cookie cutter, alternating the hearts right side up and upside down, so you have little to no waste.
To plate: pour a few tablespoons of the nectar into a shallow bowl. Position a heart into the middle of the nectar.