Well it looks like the Summer is well and truly behind us and we are now being fast forwarded into all things autumnal. Whilst I’m still rocking around in cotton skirts my thoughts have suddenly turned to stews and baked goods… and yes, maybe even pumpkins. This cake (as with most of my recipes) is a concoction of ingredients I happened to have around but I think it’s already become a firm favourite – i.e. it has the Husband stamp of approval.
I knew I wanted to keep it refined sugar-free. Not because I’m anti-sugar (I’m happy to consume a little of the hard stuff now and again) but because the recent feedback I’ve been getting regarding the book is that you all love the recipes that are refined-sugar and gluten free. And so, being the helpful gal I am, I thought I’d endeavour to keep this cake as ‘healthy’ as possible – although let’s face it, no cake will ever be entirely healthy.
You might have noticed by now that I’m a wee bit obsessed with gram flour. I just love the texture (once cooked!) because holy heck that chickpea batter tastes somethin’ funky raw. Warning!!! Never, EVER be tempted to lick that bowl – trust me, i’ve tried and regretted it one too many times. Once baked though it magically transforms into the most gloriously moist cake with the perfect amount of crumb. The coconut glaze is the perfect compliment to the tangy redcurrants and is the first time I’ve been able to achieve the desired consistency without resorting to refined sugar. Yup, this one will definitely be getting made again.
what you’ll need
2 cups gram flour
1/2 ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup plain soya (or coconut) yoghurt
1/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups red currants
for the glaze
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 tbsp agave
1 tbsp cornflour
what you’ll do
pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius/350 degress fahrenheit.
combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
whisk together the yoghurt, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract and sweeteners.
make a well in the flour and pour in the wet ingredients. fold gently until the ingredients are thoroughly combined before stirring through around half of the redcurrants – leaving the remainder on the stalk for presentation purposes.
grease your bundt tin with a little coconut oil. pour the batter into the tin and bake for around 30mins.
allow it to cool for around 10mins before removing from the tin and transferring to a cooling rack.
meanwhile, whisk all the glaze ingredients together in a pan and simmer until reduced and reasonably thick. let it cool a little before spooning around the top of the cake, allowing some of it to strategically run down the sides. leave it to cool further for around 5-10minutes before adorning with the remaining red currants.
I can’t quite believe we’re a fortnight into September – where exactly did the summer go? Truthfully though I adore this time of year in Cornwall, as the tourist season is dying down and the county returns to its usual quiet self. There’s still a little buzz in the air, which makes evenings out in St.Ives or long walks on the beach all the more pleasurable… and lucky for us the weather is still delightful. It’s almost as if we get a sneaky extra bit of summer just before autumn properly hits – it’s nearly pumpkin time folks!!
I have so many recipe ideas whirring about my head at the moment but even still my blogging has taken something of an unexpected backseat – book launches and the all the excitement that surrounds them will do that. Of course, there’s another reason I can’t quite get myself into proper blogging mode again although my Dad’s illness really shouldn’t be used as an excuse for my lack of productivity of late but it’s certainly a factor.
Progress has been made and there is always light at the end of the tunnel but the realisation that things will never be the same again is a hard pill to swallow. At times it’s difficult not to dwell so instead I’m trying to counteract any negative thoughts with pro-active recipe making in the form of healthy, raw treats that will satiate the sweet tooth my darling Pa possesses without feeding that nasty tumour. I’ve never worked with macadamias much but had heard of their pie perfect demeanour, once soaked and blended until smooth. Plus, I was positively bursting to try out my new froothie and it definitely didn’t disappoint … also, I may have fallen in love with the curved spatula that accompanies it, which is the perfect tool to scoop out any food stuffs that may get trapped under the blades.
I’ve called it ‘make-do’ macadamia cream pie because I had to ‘make-do’ with just one cups worth of nuts, so I will say up-front that it could have, maybe, possibly have benefited from two, however, it’s certainly wasn’t a deal clincher. What surprised me most was the fluffy cloud-like texture of the blended nuts, which was really very different to the cashew cream I am used to … my Husband was also loving its light and fluffy credentials and practically ate the pie single handedly – er, I think we have a macadamia convert on our hands.
Now, on instagram I described this pie as ‘perfectly lovely’ and pondered as to whether every recipe had to be mind-blowingly, life-changingly awesome. Well, does it? I don’t know about you but I think I’m fine with some recipes merely being ‘perfectly lovely’ – even if the interweb would have you believe otherwise. Maybe then this recipe is a reflection of my current state of mind, which is all about embracing things (life, food, all the important stuff) for what they are and not what they could be … just like a ‘perfectly lovely’ pie.
for the macadamia cream filling
1 cup soaked macadamias
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut water
juice 1 lime
1/4 cup agave syrup
for the hazelnut crust
1 cup hazelnuts (plus 1/4 cup more for the topping)
3/4 medjool dates
for the blueberry compote
1 cup blueberries
juice 1/2 lime
2 tbsp maple syrup
what you’ll do
start with the compote by blending the blueberries, lime juice and maple syrup until smooth. press through a fine mesh sieve and refrigerate until needed.
make the crust by blitzing together the hazelnuts and dates (remember to remove the stones!) until it comes together in a dense rubble. transfer to a pie dish and press firmly until the surface area of the dish is evenly covered.
blend the soaked macadamias (overnight in filtered water) along with the coconut oil, coconut water, agave and lime juice until smooth – scraping down the sides periodically and adding a little more coconut water if necessary. once it is completely smooth and creamy, swirl through about 1 tbsp of the blueberry compote before smoothing out over the crust using the back of a spoon. refrigerate for at least an hour before serving although overnight is best.
crush the remaining hazelnuts and sprinkle over the top before serving. the remaining compote can also be served on the side.