Let them eat cake!

The momentous week is over!  My littlest has turned ONE and my oldest has turned THIRTEEN!  Very exciting -- their birthdays are 3 days (and 12 years!) apart-- and I love it.  My oldest has already proven himself as an awesome big brother to 'Middle Garcon' who is eight, and of course is completely crazy for his little sister, 'Petite Fille', who consequently took 7 steps yesterday... actually she would have take a few more steps, but I screamed, so she instantly sat down.....it was exciting!  I couldn't contain myself!  She is absolutely enjoying the new freedom that being so mobile brings having now two options: speed-crawling and walking....  Oh my.

So two cakes were made; one for the little girl and one for my big boy.  I have been experimenting with baking so much more since moving to France.  I think it's fair to say that the French are on the top of the podium for baking---anything.  One of my favorite things is how commonly almond flour or 'meal' is used in baking--in fact you have probably noticed it sneaks it's way into almost every baked good I make. Not only is it gluten-free, but very nutritious; high in protein and low in carbs--not to mention moist and delicious!

'Petite Fille's' cake was a yummy moist, rustic and simple almond-pear cake.  Call me a conservative health-nut--but she is one, and I am totally against artificial flavors, tons of sugar and disgusting neon-frosting for a birthday cake. She is a gorgeous, healthy, funny and sweet baby--and I would like her to stay that way!

Her cake was amazing!  I ate more than my share!  Here is the recipe....

Almond Pear Cake

3 cups almond meal
1 cup rice flour or any type of baking flour you prefer
3/4 unrefined sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
4 pears. peeled and quartered, or preserved pears sliced in quarters
3/4 cup reserved juice from pears, pear juice or apple juice
1 tbs. safflower oil

Blend the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl mix eggs, vanilla, pear juice and oil.  In a greased or silicon baking form, arrange pear slices.  Mix dry and wet ingredients until well blended and pour cake batter over pears.  Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 35 minutes.  Once removed from oven, let the cake cool for about 25 minutes before turning it out on a plate.  It should be slightly brown and will crack as it cools due to the moisture from the pears.....

Pretty, fresh, rustic.....country pear cake!  Enjoy!

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