Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Vegan rhubarb macis (nutmeg) sponge cake

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    One month after Jesse's 5th birthday and these carrot dog cookies, we're celebrating the blog's birthday on French Labor Day that is a bank holiday here. So much as past since the beginning, even if the followers are not numerous, you're more and more to be around, try the recipes, leave a little comment here or on the social networks and talk about good food. This blog also made me know more about healthy (vegan) food, cooking and baking as I learned everything late, after 25 years old. I discovered food styling and photography and tried to improve my skills and I also met nice people, first online, from France, Europe and further away and for some of you, in real life!

   So to that occasion, I wanted to share a simple dessert recipe, full of flavors but that needs few ingredients, because, they are the ones I prefer, after all.

   I thought about a sponge cake and as I went back to the pick-up farm a few days ago for the first time this year, I grabbed some rhubarb because I love it and I only buy some there, never in supermarkets anymore. First, because strolling in that place is nice on a sunny day and you can choose you own vegetables, fruit and flowers, one by one, it's cheaper and it's local and almost organic food.

   About rhubarb, you can either choose red or green stalks, thin or thick, depending on what you are going to do with them. By the way, did you know that it exists different varieties of rhubarb of which the color, flavor and shape can change ? But in general, the thin stalks are said to be young, they're sweeter and don't need to be peeled. The green ones are more fibrous and sour, they'll need more sugar when cooked and to be peeled. I just put some stalks on top on the cake but next time I'll put some chunks inside too.

   For this cake, I went from my yummy cherry, almond and orange blossom little cakes recipe that I modified and made vegan. When I modify a recipe, I never know how it will turn out because sometimes, well, fail happens but there, it turned out very good, spongy and yummy! I added some macis that tastes a little like nutmeg as it is also called nutmeg flower.

   Macis is more peppery, refined and sweet and makes me think about clove, you can use it in sweet or savory recipes, you'll find it whole or already grounded. It is the envelop around the nutmeg, fruit of the nutmeg tree, only tree that offers nuts. And did you know that it used to be considered a drug that slaves used in the 16th century to calm pains, this is why it must not be consumed in high quantity for its hallucinogenic effects.

   And if you're not a nutmeg fan, you can replace it by another spice such as cinnamon, cardamom or even vanilla that go well with rhubarb, but in that case, you'll need to add more in the cake batter.

Rhubarb macis sponge cake

Prep time : 20 minutes
Baking time : 35 minutes
Serving : 4 to 6 slices (24 cm diameter)

- 50 g plant-based margarine or butter*
- 35 g neuter coconut oil, softened*
- 15 g almond butter
- 150 g organic whole sugar or 110 g xylitol (birch tree sugar)
- 125 g plant-based yogurt  (soy for me)
- 140 g flour (half whole spelt/half T65 for me)
- 120 g almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder (about 1/2 a pack)
- 1/2 tsp macis, grounded**
- 5 to 7 tbsp plant-based milk (optional)
- 4 to 6 rhubarb stalks

* or 85 g of one or another
** or vanilla / cinnamon / cardamom in higher quantity

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the butter/margarine, coconut oil and almond butter with sugar.

  • Stir in the yogurt.

  • Stir in the flour and almond meal, sifted, the baking powder and spice.

  • If the cake batter seems too thick to be mixed with a whisk, add a little more mylk, I added about 4 tbsp, it really depends on what you use for ground ingredients.

  • Prepare the rhubarb: cut off the ends of the stalks and doing so, peel them if needed. Cut in half to put on top of the cake, you can also slice them in chunks to put inside the cake batter and stir with a fork.

  • Grease and flour the inside of a cake or springform pan, pour the batter in and equalize the top, lay the rhubarb stalks down in a pretty way and bake in a warm oven for 35 to 40 minutes at 180°c/th. 6/356°f. The cake is ready when, pushing a tooth pick in, it comes out dry and crumbless.

  • Out of the oven, I found the cake a little dull so I brush the top with som apricot jam, this is a technic we often use to make buns or brioches shiny and it works out good. careful to only use chunk free jams and light colors such as apricot, peach or greengage plums and don't worry, it doesn't add any flavor.

  • Enjoy warm or cooled down.

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