Sneak Preview! Gluten free Tito’s Texas sheet cake recipe from Karen Morgan’s next cookbook!

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In her second cookbook, Blackbird Bakery’s Karen Morgan tackles the fundamental secrets to gluten-free delicious recipes: the six flour blends and getting them right. The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free is divided by flour blends—Biscuit, Donut and Fritter, Pie and Pasta, Bread and Pizza, Cake and Muffin, and Cookie Jar—with each chapter offering easy-to-follow recipes that demonstrate the versatility of blends and debunk the notion of an “all-purpose” flour. Morgan transforms more than 100 favorite comfort foods into gluten-free delights, including jelly donuts, chicken and dumplings, red velvet cupcakes, challah, and more. These treats boast the same taste, texture, and appearance as their gluten-based inspiration, and some—like the lemon-raspberry pop tart—are even better than the original. Packed with more than 100 photographs, The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free empowers its readers to make virtually any recipe into a delicious, gluten-free version.

This book will be available fall of 2014 but you can pre oder now on these sites:

Here is a recipe inspired by Tito from Karen’s upping cookbook!

Tito’s Texas Sheet Cake

For the cake:

1 cup (230 g) sliced pitted Medjool dates

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons Tito’s Handmade Vodka

2 linden tea bags
4 prunes, pitted and halved

2 cups (235 g) Cake & Muffin Blend (page 149)

11⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (325 g) granulated sugar

1⁄4 cup (28 g) almond meal

1⁄4 cup (28 g) black onyx cocoa powder (see note)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup (2 sticks / 226 g) unsalted butter, cold and diced

3 large eggs
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) whole milk

4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

From Karen:

“Tito Beveridge (yes, that’s his real name, and yes, I thought he was kidding) is the founder of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. If it weren’t for a life-changing conversation that he and I had one afternoon, I would have thrown up my hands and walked away from gluten-free cooking forever. To show my appreciation, I figured the least I could do was bake him a cake. Tito’s a chocolate lover to the core, and I decided to add a little Texas heat (and a generous pour of Tito’s famous vodka) for a cake that will curl your gluten-free eyelashes. Like your vodka, Tito, you are one in a million.”

Makes one 9-By-13-inch (23-By-33-cM) Sheet cake; Serves 16

Make the cake: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup (240 ml) water to 
a boil. Add the dates and boil them for 1 minute. Remove them from the heat and add the baking soda—the dates will bubble and fizz. Add the vodka and let the mixture cool; the dates will absorb most of the liquid. Drain them if they don’t.

In a separate small saucepan, bring 2 cups (480 ml) water to a boil. Add the tea and prunes, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for at least 20 minutes, until the prunes are tender. Remove and discard the tea bags. Strain the prunes through a fine-mesh sieve, set over a bowl, and reserve the syrup.

Transfer the prunes and the vodka-soaked dates (with any residual liquid), to a food processor and puree until they are thick and foamy.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 9-by-13-inch (quarter sheet) jelly-roll or sheet cake pan with foil. Lightly grease the foil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Cake & Muffin Blend, sugar, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cayenne.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the dry ingredients and beat them on the lowest speed until the mixture resembles damp cornmeal, about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium-high speed until the batter begins to fluff up and fold in onto itself. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the pureed prunes and dates. Mix just until combined and the batter looks like thick pudding.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (taking the foil with it) and feels like a delicate sponge to the touch. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert it onto a large serving platter while still warm. Remove and discard the foil.

For the icing:

3 cups (300 g) confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons black onyx cocoa powder (see note)

1⁄4 cup (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons (84 g) butter

1⁄3 cup plus 3 tablespoons (120 ml) milk

1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (128 g) pecan pieces, toasted

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sel gris

3 tablespoons caster sugar

Meanwhile, make the icing: In a medium bowl, sift together the confec- tioners’ sugar and cocoa powders.

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, milk, and corn syrup and bring to a boil over low heat. When the mixture boils, whisk in the cocoa mix- ture. Keep whisking until the icing is smooth and a loose ribbon drips off the end of your whisk. Finish by stirring in the vanilla.

Pour the hot icing over the warm cake and smooth it with an offset spatula so the icing drips off and down the sides.

Toss the pecans in the oil, sel gris and castor sugar.  Scatter them over the iced cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Measure 2 cups (480 ml) of the reserved syrup from the linden tea and place it in a small saucepan with the caster sugar. Bring them to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the syrup has reduced to 1⁄2 cup.

To serve, drizzle a little of this linden nectar on a plate and top it with a slice of cake.

note: Black onyx (sometimes just called black) cocoa powder is a highly alkalized, or “ultra-Dutch-processed” cocoa powder. When the cocoa’s acidity has been neutralized, it becomes very smooth and not the least bit bitter. It lends a very dark color to whatever you’re baking—but it can dry out your baked goods if not balanced with additional fat or a proportional ratio of Dutch-process (no ultra!) or standard cocoa.

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