A naturally gluten-free cake for Easter
Oranges and chocolate
Christy Olsen Field
Easter in Norway brings many happy things to mind for me: Oranges. Sunshine. Chocolate. Warmer temperatures. Time with loved ones.
When looking for inspiration for my Easter cake this year, I came across a recipe for turkake on the Freia chocolate website that evoked all these Norwegian Easter moments. Turkake is a portable cake that you can take with you på tur: on a hike, a ski trip, or just with your coffee on a Tuesday morning. But this citrus and white chocolate version is also worthy as the centerpiece of an Easter dessert spread!
This cake has a few special features:
• Its sunny yellow hue comes from the addition of ground turmeric in the cake and glaze, a root that is part of the ginger family and often used in Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, and gives a lovely earthy note to this citrus cake.
• The cake uses whole lemons and an orange that are simmered until soft, and then pureed to a thick pulp. Because you are using the whole fruit, this is the time to use organic and unblemished fruit. It’s worth it!
• This cake gets its richness from ground almond meal, not butter or oil. And as a bonus, it’s naturally gluten-free. If you want to make it dairy-free, substitute a vegan white chocolate or leave it out.
I’m not planning to be on the ski slopes for the Easter weekend, but I’m glad to have this cake on my table that is inspired by Norwegian Easter traditions.
God påske to you and yours!
Easter Cake with Citrus and White Chocolate
Inspired by Freia Hjemmekonditori’s Turkake med sitron og hvit sjokolade
5 cups almond meal
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp. table salt
2 tsps. ground turmeric
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. coarsely chopped white chocolate
3 tbsps. sliced almonds
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. turmeric
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350°F, and generously grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Carefully wash the lemons and orange and cut away any blemishes. Add the whole lemons and orange to a 3-quart saucepan with lid, and fill with water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer until easily pierced through with a knife. This took me about 45 minutes. Drain off the excess water, pull out any stem piece, and blend to a pulp. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together almond meal, brown sugar, salt, turmeric, and baking powder. Add in the vanilla extract and whisk in one egg at a time until combined. Stir in the orange-lemon puree with a spatula, making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Fold in the chopped white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased springform pan, and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean and the almonds are lightly toasted to golden brown.
While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the juice of two oranges and one lemon, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and salt. Bring to a boil until it reduces by half. This will only take a couple minutes! Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves. After the cake comes out of the oven, poke a few holes in the cake with a fork and pour the glaze over the cake.
Christy Olsen Field is the incoming Taste of Norway editor. She served on the editorial staff of the Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012, and the Taste of Norway page was her favorite section. Have an idea? Write to Christy at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared in the April 5, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.