IT IS one of those chilly British summer days when you gaze sadly into the fridge at the cucumber and the lettuce and wish that they were carrots and turnips. It’s when a comforting cake seems a very good idea. Here are three cakes for all seasons. None of them contains refined cane sugar, and one is flour-free.
For the Almond butter cake:
175g (6 oz) almond butter
340g (12 oz) coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons almond essence
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
340g (12 oz) wholewheat self-raising flour
225ml (8 fl. oz) milk or fruit purée
For the topping:
25g (1 oz) coconut sugar
100g (4 oz) ground almonds
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 3. Place all the ingredients into a food processor, apart from those for the topping, and blend them to a smooth mixture, using up to 225ml (8 fl. oz) of milk or stewed fruit to make a relatively stiff batter. Butter or line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake tin. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar, then the sliced almonds, over the top of the batter. Bake for about 40 minutes, and then test to see if it’s done.
This Almond and orange cake is an adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s clementine cake, which is superb.
1 orange or 3-4 clementines (8 oz)
6 eggs; 1 teaspoon baking powder
150g (5 oz) ground almonds
75g (3 oz) almond butter
4 tablespoon Xylitol or coconut sugar
For the filling:
230ml (4 fl. oz) Greek yogurt
50g (2 oz) cream cheese softened
50g (2 oz) Xylitol or coconut sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 3 and prepare two sandwich tins. Scrub the orange or clementines and cut them into pieces, removing any pips. Add all the other ingredients and blend to a smooth mixture. Divide it equally between the tins, and bake for about 30 minutes. Mix together the filling, and use it to sandwich the cooled cakes together.
Warm Spice cake is good with stewed fruit or fresh strawberries.
250g (10 oz) wholewheat self-raising flour
150g (6 oz) butter
200g (8 oz) honey
225ml (8 fl. oz) milk
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
Heat the oven to 165°C/325°F/Gas 3 and grease a loaf tin. Beat the butter with the honey. Sift the flour and the spices. Beat the eggs. Add a little flour mixture, then the eggs, a little at a time, and the milk. Bake for an hour or so, and then leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out.