A good couple of years back I was saying to myself that I really want to start baking flour free cakes just to see what comes up. I have tried few things, few combinations, some were good, some …. a real mess but stil edible. The trouble is, when you use such healthy ingredients, all organic and yes, some expensive too, the last thing that you will consider is to throw that away so, even the mess was …. all eatten up. ??
The bottom line is that practice makes good, or, as my mum always says “practice is the mother of learning” she is so right! It really is.
I eventually made this cake which is a repeat ever since and I have to say this cake really excites me every time I make it. Why? Well, because if I decide I want to try a new ingredient or if it happens that I am missing an ingredient, I don’t panic or go and buy it quickly, instead, I replace it with something else. The great thing is that every time I make it, it turns out just great no matter what changes I have made! It is one of those recipes that it is either not too fussed about it all ? or maybe I am the one that is not so fussed about and eat it anyways. ? I don’t know what it is but I just love it! The best testers ever are of course my kids and their tastebuds will be my best judge.
They loved it. It is crispy, flavoursome and full of personality. Definitely not one of those boring ones ??:-)).
This desert is a true delight and a real treat since it is healthy, gluten free and quite low carbs too.
I was takling earlier about changing ingredients, adding new ones, so one option for example can be adding desiccated coconut can help with adding sweetness to it and you can cut on the syrup or honey. By all means if you want it sweeter you can add as much syrup or honey at the end when serving it with a nice knob of crème fraîche or and indulgent stream of double cream ?. The eggs can also be replaced by chia seeds which you may soak for a good 20 minutes or so one tablespoon of chis seeds to replace 1 egg.
Let me tell you a bit about the rapeseed oil; it is also known as canola in the US and it is produced from the seed of the yellow-blossomed rape (colza) plant. It contains all three omega fatty acids as well as vitamin E. ??????
It is believed to be on the list of those healthier cooking oils available since it is low in saturated fat and it has a quite high smoking point thus it keeps our heart kicking healthily ?.
And because I am talking about oils and how healthy/unhealthy they are to cook with, I will be getting a little deeper into the matter so, here are few facts:
- for salads and raw eating as well as baking always try and buy a nice organic unrefined oils;
- when it comes to frying ( to be avoided if possible) if you decide you want to deep fry something, you have not done it in a while etc, rather than eating out, do it in and use a good oil that you know about its qualities. You should never go over its recommended smoke point because it release carcinogenic free radicals and, and this applies to all cooking oils really.
- Organic rapeseed oil can be used for medium high heat and is appropriate for use in baking and other oven cooking as well as medium stir-frying.
- In general high heat oil cooking is not recommended but if you really insist on one ;-)), there are some processed rapeseed oils that contain a higher amount of monounsaturated fat and these are suitable for higher heat applications but I would just stick to the one and only. Avocado oil! This has one of the highest smoke point and that is 271°C (520°F).
I did get carried away a little here, I better get down to the real baking and will tell you more about oils later ;-)) let’s just get baking.
Almond, poppy seeds & blueberries cake
- 500 g almond flour
- 350 g blueberries (organic) fresh
- 4 tbsp poppy seeds
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 150 ml rapeseed oil
- 100 ml agave syrup or honey
- 3 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- 3 tbsp coconut (optional) desiccated
- 300 g yogurt (full fat)
- 2 tbsp honey (for glazing)
- 1 lemon zest and juice (optional)
- 1 orange rind and juice (optional)
- Preheat oven at 170 C.
- Prepare an 8 inch cake tin by greasing it and set aside until the cake batter is ready.
- In a larger bowl, mix all the the almond flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, soda bicarbonate mixed with vinegar and salt. Set aside.
- Place a pan on low heat, put in the honey or the syrup and the oil. Stir well until they homogenise nicely.
- Add the lemon or the orange zest if you decide to put it in. I recommend you do put it in as it's really nice unless it's something that you really don't like to find in a cake. Zest the lemon and cut the orange rind and squeeze the juice from both , you can mix it together it's fine. Add three quarters of this juices into the honey and oil mix as along with the zest and the rind. If you don't want the orange bits in the cake just put few chunks of the peel in the oil and honey mixture just for a bit of a flavor and remove whenever you are ready to mix it with the other ingredients.
- Beat the eggs separately and mix with the dry ingredients then add the syrup and oil liquid mixture as soon as it has cooled.
- Stir well and gently until all the ingredients are well combined. Add and mix most blueberries in leaving a handfull or two for decoration.
- Place the cake in the tin and then off it goes into the preheated oven and bake at 170 C ( fan assisted) or 190 C (no fan) for about 45 to 50 minutes until golden on the outside. Make sure before putting it in the oven to tap it slightly so there are no sharp/rough edges as this will burn in no time. If you feel it's getting a bit too brown just cover it with some parchment paper. It gets all that crispy edges which I really ❤️❤️ about this cake. Don't forget to keep an eye on it.
- While the cake is baking nicely, prepare the glazing by mixing the yogurt with the lemon/orange juice remainder and the honey. Place this in the fridge until it is ready to be used which is only when the cake is out of the oven and is totally cooled.
- When the cake is cool just spread the glazing over covering the whole surface of the cake and sprinkle some old delicious blueberries.
The best results for a good topping would be to use a high fat content yogurt (full fat Greek or a full fat creme fraiche so that is not too runny, however, I have chosen this time I made this delightful desert (as seen in picture) a low fat yoghurt and as you can see it was running allover the plate ? but I can reassure you the cake tasted as delish ??!!
And..... truthfully you could do that too as the crispiness and crunchiness of this cake would love a nice juicy yoghurt so go fo it too if you like to cut down on a few calories.... why not....or maybe why should you?? You decide but I have warned you - it is good whatever you decide to have it with ..... a dollop of a good home made ice-cream ...mmmmmmmmm...... to die for!!
Enjoy it and please do let me know your thoughts on this beautiful treat, let me know what changes to the recipe did you make, what did you decide to have it with ..........how did you like it?!?!