You know how I feel about cake and desserts: even when they’re made with the best ingredients, they are too energy dense for every day scoffing. That’s why making a cake is a treat – because we don’t do it very often.
But my few forays into gluten-free cake baking (I’ve made about 4 attempts in 4 years) have been disappointing which is probably one of the reasons I don’t bother. This one, however, is the most cakey cake I’ve ever made without gluten. It has a crumby texture and a soft of springiness that is completely delicious. There is a tiny bit of honey in there – about 4g per slice – so if you need to maintain strict ketosis, this may not be the best choice for you. For those who are keto-adapted and relatively fit, the odd slice shouldn’t present a problem.
I’m sharing this recipe in its plainest form but I think it would carry extra flavours well. I’m thinking orange or lemon, maybe some rosemary or blueberries, and you could even add some cocoa.
I hope you like the picture – including the fire burned edges of the baking parchment which caught light in the oven because I made such a bad job of lining the tin!!
For the batter
- 300g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 50g xylitol
- 3 large eggs
- 50ml honey
- 120ml olive oil
- 1 tsp natural almond flavour
- 1 tsp Madacascan vanilla essence
- 50ml warm water
For the topping
- 6 dried apricots – soaked in tea
- 6 pecan nuts
- (or you could use prunes and walnuts, figs and almonds)
- Heat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3 and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
- Put the almonds, baking powder, salt and xylitol into a large mixing bowl, stirring to mix together and break up any lumps.
- Whisk together the eggs, honey, olive oil and flavourings in a separate bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients with the warm water.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and arrange the apricots and pecans on top.
- Bake for 40–50 minutes, until golden brown on top, and fairly firm.
- If you are feeling wicked you can pour a couple of tablespoons of amaretto over the top when it cools a little.
The recipe above will easily feed 8 as a dessert but it also doubles very successfully for larger gatherings. Tastes great served with sliced oranges and creme fraiche.