It has been a while that I don’t model a gum paste flower. While I was planning my holiday cake, I started to think first which flower I should use to decorate it. Well, the answer for this question was very simple! There is a flower that represents one of the most popular symbols of the Christmas: Poinsettia.
This beautiful flower is native to Mexico. Around the 17th century, the Franciscan missionaries, settled in an area of Southern Mexico, started to use them in Christian ceremony. But just in 1825, the poinsettia was introduced into the United States by Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.
There is a very interesting Mexican tale that explains how poinsettia became a Christmas symbol. A young girl named Pepita would like to offer a present to Christ Child in the Christmas Eve celebration. But she was very poor and didn’t have money to buy him a present. So an angel appeared and advised her to gather a bouquet of ragged-looking flowering weeds. As Pepita walked toward the altar, her tears fall upon the weeds and they miraculously turn into glorious red blooms of poinsettia.
Backing to the cake, I made a delicious almond cake. It has almonds, rice flour and some healthy ingredients like coconut oil. It is also a gluten free cake. For the filling I made a simple cream with medjool dates and mascarpone cheese. The combination between the sweetness of dates with the light flavor of the mascarpone creates a delicate cream.
Almond Cake with Date Mascarpone Filling
(makes 1 round 7 in cake)
2 1/2 cups whole almonds
1 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
Preheat oven to 350F
Place the almonds and rice flour in a food processor. Process until the almonds are finely ground. Combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon in a bowl. In another bowl combine eggs, coconut oil and agave. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Bake the cake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
Date Mascarpone Cream
10 medjool dates
12 oz mascarpone cream
Place the medjool dates and mascarpone in a food processor. Process until form a smooth cream.