Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pink Seed Cake

In case you couldn't tell, that cake is pink. Mr. Ripe bought my for my birthday a *beautifully* done cookbook. It's Nigel Slater's Tender. Now, Nigel Slater is British. So is his book, even though every now and then it seems the editor has the American in mind and says something like *this can be bought in the US...Those "tips" aside, the book is written like it's for sale in Britain. I don't know if this counts as "orientalizing" seeing as Britain is NOT part of the orient, but I feel a bit like I am committing an un-PC act of orientalizing when I say with perfectly good intentions in praise of this book that the language and style of the book are ADORABLE! I don't know how else to describe it, it's just that British charm, it's so...quaint? Charming?
In addition to the endearing prose, the premise of the book is recipes from produce from Slater's picturesque garden, and it's not only savory. On top of recipes for meat and veg (that I will certainly be trying out, especially during the upcoming colder months), Slater includes recipes and ideas forbaked items, such as this Beet Seed Cake. I try to always have a good selection of seeds on hand, so I was thrilled when I saw another good way to use them. I was very happy with the outcome of the cake, as seemed the guests I gifted it to at brunch a couple of weeks ago. Will be making again, maybe with a cream cheese frosting just for some spunk. The recipe is below; Slater also calls for raisins, but I omitted those because I'm not such a fan of raisins in my cake yet*. (*I'm working on it!)
Pink Seed Cake adapted only slightly from Nigel Slater's Beet Seed Cake
1 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t baking soda
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 c sunflower oil
1 c sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 raw beets, peeled and grated
juice of half a lemon
3/4 c mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax)
Lemon glaze (1/2 c confectioners sugar mixed well with a couple Tablespoons lemon juice)
handful of poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Beat egg whites to form soft peaks. Set aside in clean bowl. Beat oil and sugar in stand mixer or by hand. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating in between each addition. Add beets, lemon juice, seeds. Stir to combine. Add flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well. Fold egg whites into batter using a large metal spoon or rubber/silicone spatula. (For tips on how to "fold in" see this video.) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 45 min, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or slightly moist but not sticky. Cool cake on rack in pan until warm to the touch. Take out of pan and glaze, then sprinkle with poppy seeds. Let glaze set in fridge or on counter for at least 10 min before serving.

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