“I come from the land of the foggy, foggy dew ooh-ooh-ooh!
Where walking through the meadow in the morning is like walking through glue!
The swamps of home are brushed with green and gold at break of day.
The swaps of home are lovely to behold from far away.”
So sings Winnifred, the heroine of Once Upon a Mattress, the musical based on the fairy-tale The Princess and the Pea. I first discovered Sarah Jessica Parker’s recording when in high school, and fell for the slapstick comedy and crazy belting of the tiny star. Then I heard Carol Burnett tackle it in the original recording. For any gal who grew up reading princess fairy tales, this one kicks butt; a story of a princess so genuine all fall in love with her for her crass attitude, humble upbringing, huge heart, and ability to drink and dance them under the table.
This recipe was inspired by Kelly at IngestedRead, a submission for her September Fairytale Challenge of The Princess and the Pea. She originally inspired me to utilize whatever I was reading into a recipe (and so created my smoky, sexy American noir Big Sleep Cupcakes) as she does on her blog across the pond. In turn I evidently inspired her to open a page up to her readers and blogging friends. Please check her out – what’s better than books and sweet things?
So in daydreaming about this recipe I obviously thought of layering a gluten-free cake with, well, something. And while I wasn’t about to use real peas or kill my blood-sugar by making little ones out of fondant, I figured I could incorporate pea-like ingredients.
Pomegranate seeds. Yes.
Oh, and I have some dried cranberries and ground walnuts on my shelf. Perfect.
So I whipped up this moist, slightly-sweet honey cake with a blend of rice flours and starches, using the basic method that I used when making my Little Red Velvet Cupcakes. A few days before I had made some Pomegranate Lime Coconut Milk Ice Cream – completely dairy free, it’s smooth, creamy and delicately citrusy – one of my new favorite ice creams on its own, adding just the amount of cold-creamy-sweetness I wanted for this dessert. I also whipped up some coconut milk whipped cream, and layered them all together in a trifle glass with some fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
Result? Let’s just say I’m one happy allergy-ridden gal. It’s extremely rare that I get a more complex dessert that I can eat all of. Cookies and cupcakes are great and all, but this has everything I love about dessert: ice cream, fruit and whipped cream (one of my favorite things on the planet are those Italian tarts with custard and glazed fruit, which I miss horribly), and a not-too-sweet cake. Put them all together and it feels special. Not the fanciest combinations of desserts in the world, but one that makes me extremely happy.
Oh, and the princess of the swamp was definitely channeled today as I took these pictures: I took the ice cream out to defrost, took the dog on a quick walk and returned to a black sky and pouring rain, making it impossible to take exciting photos. I was miffed.
But it didn’t stop me from enjoying the crap outta the subject matter after.
Check out my post on Pomegranate Lime Ice Cream for that recipe and how to make coconut milk whipped cream.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free cake flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup palm sugar, white sugar or sucanat
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cup safflower oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 rounded tablespoons Tofutti “sour cream”
- almond or soy milk (directions below)
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp distilled white vinegar, separated
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda.
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Butter / spray your desired cake pan of choice
- Add Tofutti cream cheese to a liquid measuring cup and fill to just shy of one cup with almond or soy milk. Whisk thoroughly with a fork until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp white vinegar and continue mixing.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt thoroughly.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix sugar, honey and oil thoroughly on medium speed.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
- Add vanilla.
- Turn speed down to low. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with 1/2 of the milk. Make sure to mix thoroughly between additions.
- Mix baking soda and remaining 2 tsps vinegar until foamy. Add and beat for 10 seconds or until incorporated.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before removing to cool on a rack, or cool completely in pans.
- To assemble, use a round cookie cutter (fitted to whatever serving glass you’re going to be serving in) to cut the cake out in circles. Half the cake length-wise (or in thirds depending on the thickness of your cake – you want thin layers). Place one layer of cake in the glass, then top with whipped cream and few fresh blueberries. Add another layer of cake and then some ice cream. Then a final layer of cake with a jot of whipped cream and some fresh pomegranate seeds.
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- American Noir Cupcakes – A Tribute to Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep” (thedustybaker.com)
- Dairy-free Molasses Cookie Coffee Ice Cream Pie! A Recipe Swap! (thedustybaker.com)
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- Hurrican Irene Erosion – a Decadent Dairy-Free Dessert (thedustybaker.com)
- Gluten Free Basic White Cake (glutenfree.wordpress.com)