I am sitting here in a cozy nook, sipping warm cider and watching the snow fall. Yes, the holidays are truly upon us and if the snow isn't a sign of the season, the Christmas songs on the radio sure gives it away :) Tomorrow we fly south for a Thanksgiving amongst family and friends and I couldn't be more excited. Since Jordan and I won't be able to eat the traditional Thanksgiving spread I am brainstorming creative recipes that will go nicely with our change in diet. We will be able enjoy the turkey and venison of course but everything else I will need to prepare special for the two of us.
There will be no pumpkin or pecan (pronounce pee-can in the south) pie on our menu so I thought of an equally sweet yet much healthier alternative to the traditional turkey day dessert. Gluten, grain and dairy free, this hazelnut cake is comprised with part almond flour and part hazelnut flour which lends such a unique flavor. And who said cranberry sauce is only meant for meat? This chutney, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and sweetened with pure apple cider and honey is a beautiful and tasty accessory to any dessert!
So for those of you who have diet restrictions please don't despair as you think about all the things you wont be able to eat this holiday. Rather, be creative and explore all of the wonderful alternative ingredients that are just as flavorful yet more gentle on your body.
I wish all of you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving! Whether you are enjoying the day with family or friends may your conversations be sweet, your meal be comforting, and your hearts be full of thanksgiving and praise!
Hazelnut Honey Cake
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cups hazelnut flour (I use Bob's Red Mill. If you want less of a hazelnut flavor use 1/4c hazelnut flour and 2 3/4 c almond flour)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grapseed oil
- 3 TBS honey
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup pure apple cider
- 1 TBS grated orange peel
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine wet ingredients in a seperate bowl and mix well. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix with a spatula until well incorporated. Grease a 9inch round cake pan and pour mixture into pan. Place in oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a tooth pic inserted into the center comes out clean.
***Important*** Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY (at least a few hours) before removing from pan or cutting. Almond/hazelnut meal is very moist and when warm it tends to be rather crumbly. When I allow the cake to cool completely I have no trouble transferring or cutting the cake.
Spiced Cranberry Chutney
(adapted from Bon Appétit)
- 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 1 3/4 cups apple cider
- 3/4-1 cup honey (depends on how sweet you like it)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 TBS grated orange peel
- 10 whole cloves
- pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens and reduces, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Drizzle on each cake slice. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated)
**Note** This sauce thickens up once it has been refrigerated! So you can make it, store it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, and then an hour before you serve the cake you can take it out of the fridge, set it on the counter and it will be nice and thick to go atop the cake....