Walnut and Chocolate (Gluten Free) Cake

This is what I call a ‘good-for-you’ cake. One-quarter cup of walnuts, for instance, provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amount of copper, magnesium and biotin.  Dark chocolate provides you with energy, fat, minerals and antioxidants. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12. Ok there is some sugar in a cake, but you can replace it with honey and it is a cake after all, not a medicine. So, I say… Eat more cake!

walnut & chocolate cake

WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE CAKE

(An adapted recipe from Jul’s Kitchen)

Ingredients:

140 g shelled walnuts

140 g caster sugar

140 g dark chocolate

4 eggs

butter to grease the cake tin

cocoa powder or chocolate for dusting (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place the walnuts and sugar in the blender and pulse it until the walnuts are finely chopped, resembling a coarse flour.
  3. Transfer it to the bowl and add finely grated chocolate.
  4. Separate the eggs. Leave egg whites aside. Add the egg yolks to the nut mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Whip up the egg whites until they form the stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the walnuts.
  6. Butter a round tin and line it with the parchment paper, then scrape the batter into the tin.
  7. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
  8. Let it cool down completely before slicing, dust with cocoa powder or more chocolate.
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Blueberry, Hazelnut & Ricotta Cake

This recipe is taken from my new favourite book ‘Honey & Co: The Baking Book’ which is written by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, two Israelis who have set up shop in London serving the food of their native country. This book is full of authentic recipes which are easy to reproduce. I was sold immediately by the amount of unusual (for me) flavour combinations, not spoiled by complicated techniques or expensive ingredients.

This cake falls into this category too. Blueberry & Hazenuts – who would’ve thought that it goes well together. And, of course, I’m a big believer in Ricotta, which keeps the cake extremely moist while hazelnuts bring flavour and texture, and it works very well with blueberries.

Blueberry, Hazelnuts & Ricotta Cake

BLUEBERRY, HAZELNUT & RICOTTA CAKE

Ingredients:

115g unsalted butter

125g sugar

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

zest of 1 lemon

175g ground hazelnuts

250g ricotta cheese

1 x 150g punnet blueberries

75g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter the bottom of the 23cm cake tin, line with baking parchment and butter the sides.

2. Cream the butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Add the salt, lemon zest and ground hazelnuts, mix until fully incorporated. Fold the ricotta and half the blueberries into the batter and scoop into the prepared tin. Top with the remaining blueberries and the roughly chopped hazelnuts, sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

3. Bake for about 55-65 minutes or until the cake has set. Allow to cool in the tin. Once cooled, place in the fridge to help it set so that you can transfer it to a serving plate.

4. The cake keeps well in the fridge up to 3-4 days, but it is best to bring it up to the room temperature before serving so you can enjoy all the flavours in full.

Blueberry, Hazelnuts & Ricotta Cake

Almond & Olive Oil Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free)

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Seems like these days only toddlers are not talking about consuming less gluten in your diet. There are plenty of pros and cons on both sides and although it probably will benefit me as well to reduce some gluten intake in my food, I’m not quite prepared yet to go totally gluten free. But I do make small steps towards it.
I love almonds and everything with them, so I guess, when I saw this recipe, I didn’t have to think twice.  As a result, I am converted. Well, if not to gluten-free diet then definitely to trying more cakes, based on almonds and olive oil 🙂 The cake has absolutely wonderful rich flavour and smooth, tender texture, it is not too sweet and with the addition of sweetened orange cream (see the instructions below) makes divine pudding.

It is Nigella’s recipe and I changed absolutely nothing, I’m just glad to spread the word in this case 🙂

ALMOND & OLIVE OIL CHOCOLATE CAKE (GLUTEN-FREE)

(Recipe by Nigella Lawson)

Ingredients:

150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)

50 g good-quality  cocoa powder 

125 ml boiling water 

teaspoons best vanilla extract 

150 ground almonds (or 125g plain flour / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 

pinch of salt 

200 caster sugar 

large eggs

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.

2. Measure the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.

3. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.

4. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of and and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale and thickened cream. Pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.

5. Stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.

6. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.

Or in my case, I did whisk 200ml of double cream with 2 spoons of Cointreau and zest of one orange.

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