I'm not anti-gluten; I'm pro-delicious. This cake happens to be gluten-free, but that doesn't stop me, because just look at the thing. It is a guest post featuring a recipe from The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free: 125 Savory and Sweet Recipes Using 6 Fail-Proof Flour Blends. It is inspired by a recipe from Austin pastry chef Sandy Reinlie, a "genius" when it comes to combining flavors.
Coconut Pistachio Gateau with Marzipan Filling
For the cake
- 2 1/2 cups "cake and muffin" blend (link here)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- scant 1 cup finely ground roasted salted pistachios
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup pure olive oil
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the icing
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the marzipan filling
- 1 pound gluten-free almond paste
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- green food coloring (optional)
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- 2 cups salted pistachios, chopped
- toasted coconut
- Start by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour blend, sugar, pistachios, cornstarch, and baking powder. Beat briefly to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, egg yolks, sour cream, and extracts until very smooth. With the mixer running on medium-low, add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients in a slow, steady stream. Beat the batter on high for one minute, or until thick and smooth. Add the shredded coconut and mix until just combined.
- In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they attain stiff peaks. Using a wooden spoon, fold this mixture into the batter until there are no more white clumps remaining.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top cracks slightly and the edges have pulled away from the sides.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least an hour.
- Make the icing now. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and set the pan over medium high heat. Bring the syrup to a boil, whisking to make sure the sugar dissolves, and cook until the temperature registers 239 F (115 C, soft ball stage) on the thermometer. This will take several minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until opaque and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high until the whites are thick and foamy.
- With the mixer on high speed, pour the hot sugar syrup into the whipping egg whites in a slow, steady stream being careful to keep the hot syrup between the bowl and whisk to prevent sprays of sugar on your skin or beautiful face. Beat the meringue for 7 minutes, or until the egg whites are very shiny and hold deep folds. The mixer should be cool to the touch on the bottom. Beat in the vanilla just til combined.
- Make the filling. In a food processor fitted with the "s" blade, combine the almond paste with the corn syrup and one to two drops of the food coloring, if using. Mix them until the paste is very smooth. If the almond paste is crumbly, add a bit more corn syrup, a teaspoon at a time, until it folds in on itself.
- Lightly dust your work surface with confectioners' sugar. Turn out the marzipan mixture and roll it into a circle 1/4 inch thick and 11 inches in diameter.
- Assemble the thing. Invert the cooled cake onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper. Wrap a thread or piece of unflavored dental floss around the circumference of the cake, halfway from top to bottom, and draw the floss tight, using it to cut the cake in two layers (or do it the normal way with a serrated knife).
- Set one layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Place the marzipan disk on top. Dollop 2/3 cup of the icing on to the marzipan and spread it twoard the edges. Top with the second cake layer. Ice the cake with the remaining icing. Press the pistachios on the sides of the cake, and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut. Keep the cake under a cake dome for a few days, or in the fridge for up to a week.