Christmas and the new year are coming and you’d like a guilt-free healthy cake. Or you have recently discovered your cholesterol level has shot through the roof like me, and you URGENTLY need such a cake! Don’t panic, you can have your spelt flour, sugar-free cake and eat it with this moroccan-inspired lime, orange blossom and pistachio cake that I discovered in Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose, and adapted slightly. It’s just what you need! It’s easy to make (my 10-year-old niece did most of the work on this one), plus it’s delicious and leaves your body feeling happy and satiated without that crazy sugar high. Oh yeah …
Preheat the oven at 160° C (fan-assisted oven) or 180° C (static non-convection oven).
Butter and flour the cake mould (one 19cm round cake tin 7cm high OR two 16cm sandwich tins – you might find it easier to bake in the shallower tins)
- 225g white spelt flour (sifted)
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 80g ground almonds
- 100g pistachios (toasted and roughly chopped) – salted pistachios add a nice little extra taste dimension
- 2 large free-range eggs (about 120g)
- 250g runny honey
- 250g greek-style natural yoghurt
- 150g cold-pressed olive oil (light and with no strong flavour)
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- finely grated zest of 2 limes
- 48g runny honey (or more if you’d like a sweeter cake)
- 60g water
- 60g lime juice
- 1/2 (half) tablespoon orange blossom water (optional – if you can’t find it, leave it out)
Have a skewer (or wooden kebab stick) ready for checking the cake and to make holes in it later.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and gently pour in the wet ingredients.
- Whisk carefully until the ingredients are just combined. The less time you do this, the better and lighter the cake.
- Pour gently into the cake tin, level the top and bake in the oven for around 50 to 60 minutes (in a big tin) or 40 to 45 minutes if in a low sandwich tin. If the cake is in a big tin and gets too dark on top, cover loosely with aluminium foil after 40 minutes to stop it burning. WARNING: DON’T OPEN THE OVEN DOOR FOR THE FIRST 40 MINUTES AND YOUR CAKE WILL RISE NICELY! RESIST OPENING THAT DOOR! I did it once and lived to regret it 🙂
- When the cake is ready, it should spring back when you press the top lightly with a finger. Also, insert a skewer or sharp knife in the middle of the cake and it should come out clean. If it doesn’t, leave it in the oven another 5 or 10 minutes (or more) and keep checking. Don’t worry if the cake is a little dark, it tastes quite nice like that. Probably better if it’s not black though…
SYRUP – while the cake is baking, make the syrup
- Boil the water and honey for 5 minutes in a small saucepan.
- Add the lime juice and boil 1 more minute.
- Take off the heat and stir in the orange blossom water.
- Taste the syrup and see if you want to add more orange blossom water – careful, it’s strong stuff. Next time you make the cake you can play around with the quantities. If you want a sweeter cake (like in the original recipe), add more honey or if you love tangy stuff, more lime. If you want a cake that’s not as moist, then pour less of the syrup over it.
FINISHING THE CAKE
- When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a wire rack.
- Cool in the cake tin (don’t take it out!) for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes make holes all over the cake, for the syrup to be poured into, using a skewer (a wooden kebab stick is fine but the holes will be more noticeable).
- Use a tablespoon to slowly pour the syrup all over the cake (if you do it too quickly, a lot of the syrup can run to the edges).
- Wait till the cake is completely cold, then finally you can take it out of the cake tin and eat it! Yay!
If you like you can serve it with natural yoghurt but I really like it just plain. You can store it in airtight tupperware and it lasts up to 4 or 5 days.
Oh and here’s a photo of me with my health-conscious friend who never usually eats my cakes, but had two pieces of this one (made with half the quantities in two small rectangular tins). She even asked me for the recipe! We posed with her Birt & Tang teas because, of course, a piece of cake is even healthier with a cup of herbal tea and when you’re surrounded by packets of the stuff!!! 😉
My health-conscious brother (he is a martial arts instructor after all, with his own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club) usually sighs deeply when I make my cream cakes with lots of sugar and icing for his family, so he was really happy with this cake, asked me for the recipe, and said he wouldn’t change a thing about it! 🙂
So go on, give it a go!
P.S. Little note for you sweet reader, written in June 2015. This was my first ever post, from 6 months ago and it’s still one of my favourite cakes. Healthy, portable and delicious with an exotic blend of lime and orange blossom. It’s been a hit with my fellow climbing friends. So when I discovered the Alphabakes Challenge this month (hosted by Caroline Makes and The More than Occasional Baker) and saw the letter was O, I thought ‘Orange blossom water’ and took this cake along! Hope everyone likes it! 🙂
Have a little slice of healthy lime, orange blossom and pistachio cake!
Happy healthy eating! 🙂 x