I wanted to share a little about some changes going on with OHB and the direction I’ve decided to take. About a year ago I started having some health issues and made some big changes to the way I eat, and it has made all the difference. In the last few months I’ve identified gluten as a major factor in that, and while I may have spent a couple of weeks in denial of the irony of the situation (really?! gluten?!) I finally realized that as much as I love baking it isn’t worth either feeling horrible or not being able to enjoy the things I make. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve resisted making that change in this space when we don’t really eat gluten outside of what I bake, I think I was worried about sacrificing the flavor and texture of what I make by changing the flours I use. This cake, though…this cake changed my mind.
It’s dense and sweet with nutty ground pistachios and the sweet, vegetal notes from matcha powder. The cake has orange zest and juice in the batter and is then glazed with orange marmalade and served with whipped cream with the strained marmalade peel folded in. When I decided to start moving towards gluten-free baking I ordered a couple of books, one of which is Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich. Using alternative flours to add flavor to what I bake offered an entirely new perspective, and this recipe is adapted from one in the book. I hope you love it as much as I do, I may just go home and bake another couple loaves myself.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this, especially if you’ve made the transition to eating gluten-free yourself, and what pushed you to make that change. For me, I think it was realizing that there are gluten allergies and intolerances, and while gluten allergies are more fully understood the symptoms of a gluten intolerance are varied and often misdiagnosed. The fact that I feel horrible after eating gluten and great when I’m avoiding it is enough evidence for me. I’ll be transitioning this space slowly, you may see a few more recipes with traditional flours but keep checking back if you’re looking for some alternatives.
This post was sponsored by Happy Matcha, Australian makers of delicious organic, hand picked matcha sourced from Uji, Japan. I used their organic matcha but they also carry a culinary matcha that looks amazing. I’m endlessly grateful to the brands that support OHB!
- for the cake:
- 2½ cups (360 grams) white rice flour
- 1 cup (100 grams) ground raw pistachios
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon organic Happy Matcha
- 1¾ cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 sticks (1/2 lb/ 225 grams) unsalted butter, soft
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¾ cup buttermilk, shaken and at room temperature
- ¼ cup orange juice, from blood oranges if you can get them
- zest of 1 orange
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped pistachios for sprinkling, if desired.
- for the glaze and whipped cream:
- ½ cup sweet orange marmalade
- whipped cream, for serving
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of two 9 or 10 x 5 loaf pans and line with parchment paper. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
- Combine the rice flour, ground pistachios (I ground mine in a food processor to the size of breadcrumbs), matcha, sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld mixer and beat on medium speed until the mixture is the texture of brown sugar, about one minute. Add the baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, buttermilk, orange juice, and zest, eggs, vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract and beat on medium-high speed for two minutes. Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl down and beat for one more minute, until the batter is smooth and fluffy. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, sprinkle with pistachios and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and allow the cakes to come to room temperature in the pans.
- Meanwhile, heat the marmalade in a saucepan on the stove until hot, then strain the peel and reserve the jelly. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, glaze the top of the warm cake with the jelly and allow it to cool.
- When the cakes and glaze are cool, run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake and turn out onto a serving plate. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks, then serve thick slices with a generous spoonful or two of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios.