Photo Courtesy of People Magazine
The Fourth of July has become a widely-loved holiday among Americans, and what’s not to love? One of the most quintessential Fourth of July food traditions is a red, white, and blue dessert. The three colors seem to derive from the American flag; however, the significance of red, white, and blue started a year before the flag’s creation. Shen the official seal of the United States was presented to the Continental Congress, Secretary Charles Thomson explained “Red signifies valor, white signifies purity, and blue signifies perseverance”.
Both Ina Garten and Martha Stewart may lay claim to catapulting the berry-striped flag-cake, but they were not the first ones to make it. Food52 gives a detailed history of the flag-cake. There was the patriotic “election-cake”, a heavily spiced, enriched yeast-risen cake that inns baked to feed farmers who came into town for military training and, after independence, to cast their ballots, that existed before the American Revolution. In the early 1900s, patriotic desserts were petit-fours, frosted with light icing and painted blue and red with dyes made from indigo and dried beetle. Even during WWI and WWII, flag cakes were baked to boost spirits. Unquestionably, it’s a classic American tradition to celebrate with desserts ranging from cakes and cookies to pies and ice-cream.
Today, there are hundreds of red, white, and blue cakes to honor the independence of the United States. There’s no better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with Monte Mathews’s, HipSilver’s Food, Wine, and Travel Curator’s, simple and delectable almond cake with fresh berries.
Please enjoy his recipe below.
This simple almond cake is made with just five ingredients (not counting the berries), but don’t let it’s simplicity fool you – it’s delicious! It also happens to be gluten-free!
5-Ingredient Almond Cake with Fresh Berries
6 Freestyle Points 179 calories
Total Time: 60 minutes
• 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
• 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• pinch fine sea salt
• 2 cups (200 grams) almond flour or almond meal
• 1 cup mixed berries
• powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, and flour (use almond meal or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend to keep the cake gluten-free).
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and all but 2 tbsp of the sugar. Whisk until the yolks become thick and pale in color, about 1 minute. Whisk in the vanilla extract and the salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the 6 egg whites on medium speed until they become opaque, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat the egg whites until they hold medium peaks.
With a flexible rubber spatula, stir in about 1/4 of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture (no need to be gentle here). Scrape the remaining egg whites over the yolks, and about half of the almond flour.
Gently fold them into the yolks, but only partially.
While the mixture still has a few streaks of white left, add the remaining almond flour and fold in, folding until you have a homogeneous batter. Be gentle!
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shimmy until the batter is level.
Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and springy to the touch. Let the hot cake cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edges of the cake pan.
Invert the cake pan onto the rack, remove the sides and bottom, and peel away the parchment paper. Turn the cake right side up and allow to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into 12 slices and serve with fresh berries.