After growing up in Florida, I’m always happy to toast the end of summer on Labor Day weekend. Autumn in New York is revered for a reason, and while the chilly mornings and changing leaves didn’t magically arrive exactly on Sept. 6, spiritually I was ready to get on with the best time of the year.
That meant finding the right transitional dessert, because the beginning of the end of 80 percent humidity deserves to be celebrated. Helpfully, French bakery-cafe Maman has created a collaboration teacake with one of its favorite customers: vegan baking maven Erin McKenna.
“I always admired Erin and what she was doing even before I moved to New York and followed her business,” says Elisa Marshall, founding partner at Maman. “When she started coming into Maman, I was kind of starstruck, introduced myself, and we stayed in touch.”
When she started getting daily requests for gluten-free sweets, McKenna was the obvious choice to find the right treat. The resulting Banana Chocolate Marble Teacake ($3.95 per slice) was inspired by the ones McKenna used to make with her mom, and is just what you crave as iced tea gives way to the kind served in a warm mug on rainy afternoons.
The gluten-free cake is made with garbanzo and fava bean flour, with plenty of richness from the ripe fruit and sweetened with agave. Dense and deeply chocolatey in a way just tossing some chocolate chips into the batter can’t achieve, it didn’t actually need any tea for optimal enjoyment. But I had some — maybe it’ll cue the cool weather to get here faster.