I really wanted to make this wonderful and traditional Italian Christmas cake for a while now. Traditionally this is a slow-rise cake and it takes about 18 hours total to make using regular gluten-filled flour. In this case there is no gluten and therefore the raising method is different, and you cannot destroy the wonderful crumb that the yeast creates by punching down for a second rise.
Here is my version of this cake, which is an extremely suitable for those of us missing this delicious tradition, with the added benefit of cherries, brandy and almond paste. YUM!
Special Equipment: Panettone Cake Mold
1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup almond paste, frozen and cut into 1/2" chunks
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups + 2 tablespoons Namaste Foods sorghum flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
Place the cherries and brandy in a small bowl and soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the years, 1/4 cup of sugar and warm water. Whisk until yeast is dissolved and allow to proof for 10-15 minutes or until foamy.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk and extracts. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, soft together flours, remaining sugar, xanthan gum and salt.
Once the yeast has proofed, whisk in the egg mixture and half of the flour mixture. Combine thoroughly. Stir in the rest of the flour.
Drain the cherries and toss with 2 tablespoons of sorghum flour.
Fold the floured cherries and frozen almond paste into the dough.
Place the dough into an oiled cake pan, or for better results, a panettone cake mold. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F in the last 15 minutes of rising.
Gently sice an "X" into the top of the loaf. Place the butter in the center of the X. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.