Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Inspired By Plenty - Peach, Brazil Nut and Lavender Cake

Thank you Yotam Ottolenghi for your wonderful books 'Plenty' and 'Plenty More'. I have been very inspired by them.

'Plenty More' has an incredible array of vegetarian food, an exciting mix of ingredients and I have stolen a few ideas to try later. I was particularly interested in trying recipes for pomegranates and figs, basically because they go so beautifully together in taste and colour. I have absolutely fallen in love with Yottam's 'Smoked Beetroot with Yoghurt and Caramelised Macadamias'.

The Spiced Stuffed Potatoes Cakes were wonderful although I did cheat a little and use sweet potato mixed in with waxy potatoes. The herb stuffing inside these gave a nice little kick to the potato and teemed beautifully with the tamarind dip. I can see these ending up in my favourites file.

I've also made the Alphonso Mango and Curried Chick Pea Salad, an intoxicating blend of spicy cauliflower and sweet mango.

I am so loving trying this huge variety of vegeatables and I strongly urge you to get your hands on a copy of the book, you wont be disappointed.

However, it was the photo of the Apricot, Walnut and Lavender Cake that drew me in. I wanted to take a bite right out of the book. 

And as peaches were in abundance at the market, I decided to use Yoti's idea and make my own version of his cake, using ingredients I had in the pantry.

If you are a walnut lover, then check out the original recipe, I am sure the taste will be sensational. But as I can't eat walnuts I substituted brazil nuts. These have a little more oil in them and so the cake was very moist. 

I baked the cake to share with friends at our annual Australian Day celebrations. I think everyone enjoyed it.

Here's the recipe I used:

170g unsalted butter softened
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
200g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
3 eggs beaten
80g brazil nuts blitzed to a coarse powder 
90g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of a lemon
1½ teaspoons culinary lavender
6 peaches, stoned and quartered

For the icing;

50g sifted icing sugar
lemon juice

  • Place butter, sugar, oil and ground almonds in a bowl and beat together until soft and creamy. Add beaten eggs a little at a time until all are completely mixed in. 
  • Fold in sifted flour, brazil nuts, vanilla and lemon zest.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of lavender and a pinch of salt.
  • Line the base and sides of a 20 -23 cm cake tin, with removable base, with baking paper.
  • Pour in the cake mixture and level the top for the peaches.
  • Lay quarters of the peaches side by side, touching if possible, around the cake starting at the very edge.
  • Bake in a preheated oven 180º/170º fan forced/gas mark 5 for approximately 60 minutes. If the peaches brown too quickly, cover with foil. Cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to rest for 5 -10 minutes before turning out.
  • The icing can be made by adding lemon juice to the icing sugar to get a pourable consistency.  Brush this over the cake using a pastry brush and finish with a sprinkling of lavender.
  • Served warm, the cake is delicious.

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