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Almond Cake Extraordinaire!

I am a massive fan of almond cakes and am always trying different variations of them.  This one is an adaptation of a cake from The Health Emporium in Sydney and is just that little bit extra special with a definite wow factor when you put it on the table with the glistening caramelised almonds and shiny chocolate icing.  Sweetened only with maple syrup, it is a beautifully balanced cake - not too sweet yet sweet enough.  It is brilliant at any time of day (including breakfast!) and pairs very well with a strong black coffee.

As well as being moist and delicious this cake is full of goodness and is gluten-free.  On the dairy front, it does contain some butter so those allergic to the protein in dairy (casein) should avoid or swap the butter out for coconut oil, which I have done in the past and it works just as well.  This cake is also completely refined sugar free and with the fibre from the nuts means that it won't send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing.

Here's some of the star ingredients of this cake:

Almonds
- high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and magnesium as well as the only nut that is alkalising to the blood;

Maple Syrup
- made from the sap of the Canadian Maple tree, maple syrup is a natural sweetener that contains many minerals like zinc, manganese, calcium and potassium;

Cacao
- raw cacao powder is bursting with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients like calcium, magnesium and b vitamins.

Almond Cake Extraordinaire Recipe

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Icing:

  • 1/4 cup Cacao powder
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp water

Caramelised Almonds:

  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.  Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Using a balloon whisk, mix the dry ingredients - almonds meal, baking powder and salt - together in a large bowl for 1 minute.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients - eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and melted coconut oil.
  4. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together. 
  5. Pour mixture into the cake tin and cook for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool.
  7. For the icing, add all ingredients to a blender (I usually just use the Nutribullet as it is such a small quantity) and blend until smooth and glossy.  It will be very runny so put it in the fridge and allow it to firm up.
  8. For the caramelised almonds, melt the butter and maple syrup together in a small saucepan over a low heat then add the chopped almonds and mix to coat.  Heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly.  Then remove and allow to cool.
  9. Once the cake has cooled, spread over the icing and top with the caramelised almonds.

This cake keeps well in the fridge and improves with a day of standing.

Sources:

  • Pitchford P. (2002). Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books. California, USA
  • The Health Emporium, Bondi Road, Sydney
  • The world's healthiest foods. (2016). Available at: http://www.whfoods.com (Accessed: 9th December 2016)


 

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