Almond and Squash Cake – We Should Cocoa 5
We had friends over for a Nut Roast dinner on New Year’s Day and one of the dishes that I did was a squash gratin. To make this we broke into one of our enormous Boston Marrow squashes. This meant, of course, we had tons left over. We roasted and mashed some for the freezer, made squash curry, squash scone and squash soup. We still had some left over, so it seemed like an ideal ingredient to use up in this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge; as a post Christmas special, Chele has chosen leftovers, something we probably all have after the seasonal splurge. I then had to find a recipe. BrownievilleGirl came to my rescue and suggested I make these blondies, the original recipe for which came from Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache. I have been wanting to try one of her cake recipes for a long time. They are a bit different, substituting vegetables for butter, being gluten free and using less sugar than one would normally expect. I’m not convinced by the idea that butter is bad for you, but I’m willing to try butterless baking occasionally and it’s always good to expand one’s repertoire.
This is how I made them:
- Beat 3 eggs (2 duck and 1 hen) with 120g vanilla sugar until thick, pale and creamy.
- Beat in 250g squash (grated)
- Sieved and then folded in 50g buckwheat flour, 2 tsp baking powder (gluten free), 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt.
- Folded in 100g ground almonds.
- Poured half the mixture into a 9″ sq cake thingie, scattered over 100g chopped white chocolate then spooned on the remaining mixture.
- Scattered 30g almond flakes over the top.
- Baked at 180C for 25 minutes.
- Left to cool then cut into 16 squares.
This was definitely cake rather than brownie, but very nice nonetheless. I was mostly struck by the texture of the cake, which was beautifully light and not what I would have expected from a cake cooked with mostly ground nuts and vegetables. In fact, I couldn’t detect the nuts within the cake at all. I also loved its colour – yellow flecked with orange. It was moist with a nice crunch of nuts on the top. Neither was it too sweet, not until, that is, a chunk of chocolate was bitten into. This would be lovely to serve at a tea party for the health conscious or wheat intolerant; the chocolate could easily be left out for an even healthier version. Thank you BVG, I’m really pleased I tried this.