The bright, citrusy flavor of these Italian cakes combined with their distinctive moist, chewy texture makes for a light, fresh afternoon snack. Italians love these little tea cakes, and knowing that they’re naturally gluten-free, you will too!
Yield: 10 cakes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 packed tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem
Scant 1 cup unbleached sugar
7/8 cup (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted European-style butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups almond flour
2/3 cup polenta (or cornmeal)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs
2 packed tablespoons orange zest (3 to 4 large oranges)
10 blackberries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini-loaf baking tin with non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the rosemary and sugar to infuse the flavor. Add in butter and cream together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, polenta, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while, being careful not to over-mix.
Finally, beat in the orange zest and scrape the batter into 10 mini loafs and garnish each with a blackberry.
Bake for 17 minutes. The edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin when done. Remove from oven and let cool completely in tin before removing.
Note: If the batter is left to sit in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days before baking, the cakes develop a deeper flavor.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont