Earlier this year we headed west to the desert. My brother lives in Los Angeles so we always swing through the Los Angeles airport on the way to to Palm Springs. Escaping the subzero temps of Virginia for winter in the desert felt like pure bliss. Since I grew up i Southern California getting used to winter is no easier than it was when I moved back here.
The Coachella Valley is a magical place. Palm Spring is surrounded by mountains capped in snow with the desert below. Although the area is famous for its celebrity history from old Hollywood to new, I say it’s best qualities lie elsewhere.Vast landscapes and bright blue nature are everywhere here.
The winter temperatures in the Coachella Valley are fabulous. Warm during the day and cool at night. Date farms are all over amidst a thriving artistic community. The weekly street fair in downtown Palm Springs is like nowhere else in the United States.
After gluten intolerance hit me we started seeing the benefit in having a kitchen while on vacation. Eating out is rife with problems when you have a food allergy. So, oddly, I now find myself cooking and baking while on vacation.
When my mom and I are developing gluten-free recipes we joke about whether or not you would have apologize for the recipe if you served it at a dinner party. This cake requires absolutely no apologies.
Easy enough to make on a vacation and suitable for just about any occasion. Gluten free with no apologies.
Chocolate Chip Vanilla Cake (G-F)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 6-inch or two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with cooking spray and lining bottom with parchment paper.
Combine all dry ingredients except sugar and stir to mix. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar in mixer bowl and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk and vanilla, alternately with flour mixture. Beat for 2 minutes on medium. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and continue cooling on baking rack. When completely cooled, frost layers with frosting (recipe below).
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
5-6 Tbsp. heavy cream
Beat together sugar, butter and vanilla. Beat in cream one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.