You know how sometimes when you stop doing something it becomes harder to start up again? You lose momentum. Like with new years resolutions, you start off exercising everyday, or flossing, and then you stop and you can’t imagine starting again. Sometimes it is like that with blogging. I took a little break for the holidays and I am now having to throw myself back into this. Not because I haven’t been cooking and wanting to tell you about (I have! I do!), but because it has been a while and so I now need to squeeze it back into my life. Squeeze it into the time slot that has been filled with things like bad tv and good books.
The internet is full of cleanses right now. Everywhere you look: juices, poached fish, and freekeh. It’s all served with a side of totally objectionable language like “clean eating” and “real food”, but that is perhaps a post for a different day. Today I am here to talk about cake.
This glorious cake is from a favorite cookbook of 2014, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. Desserts are definitely not the focus of the book, but this one sounded appealing. It’s accidentally gluten free, relying on ground almonds and coconut in place of grains. It is easy to throw together, you only need a bowl and a spoon. Well, I guess you also need a scale. But buying a kitchen scale should be your new years resolution anyway. The cake is a real beaut. Moist and nutty with the comforting flavors of carrot cake thrown in for good measure. It’s the sort of thing I want to be eating in January.
[Totally unrelated question/request: Any of you Detroit experts? I’m going to be there for a couple of days in February and would love some advice on where to eat and what to do. You guys always have the best suggestions….]
In the book, Gahyour serves this with some slightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with rose water. I recommend you do this, too. But with or without the cream, it is a delicious cake. My only adjustment would be to add some salt. I added a light sprinkling of a flaky sea salt to the serving plate, you could also add a pinch of salt to the batter.
- 3 large eggs
- 200g (7 oz) superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200g (7 oz) ground almonds
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) desiccated coconut (dried, unsweetened)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 150g (5 1/2 oz)unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large carrots, coarsely grated
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark 3 (320° F). Line a 23cm (9-inch) springform cake pan with enough parchment paper to cover the base and sides. The oils from the nuts and butter in the batter prevent the cake from sticking, so no need to butter or oil paper or pan. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, coconut and cinnamon and stir, then add the butter and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Add the grated carrots and pistachios and mix again until the ingredients are evenly blended, then gently pour or spoon the batter into your prepared cake pan and bake for 1 hour, or until it feels firm to touch and a crust forms on top. Check at 40 minutes to ensure it is cooking evenly. Once cooked, allow to cool in the pan before serving.
The cake keeps well for a few days. Serves 10ish. (Because this cake is mostly nuts and coconut, it is a bit heavy—you’ll want to serve small slices.)