One of my missions as a celiac, is to make cakes that are light, succulent and won't send you into orbit with sugar crazies. I'm going through a bit of a Persian food phase at the moment, so there is always cardamom, cinnamon, rosewater and saffron in the cupboard. Poppy seeds give the cake a pleasingly nubbly texture, without affecting the lightness of the sponge.
Poppy Seed and Cardamom Cake
Suitable for Diabetics & Gluten free
For a dairy free alternative make a butter-cream filling with coconut cream and honey or date paste, or avocado, or soaked and blended cashews. Or use the meringue frosting from this recipe. Use extra coconut oil in place of butter in the cake.
140g - 5oz Ground Almonds
55g - 2oz Brown Rice Flour
55g - 2oz Sorghum Flour (or white teff)
110g - 4oz Palm Sugar or Date Paste
110g - 4oz Butter
100ml - 3½floz Coconut Oil (or more butter)
30g - 1oz Poppy Seeds
3 Large Eggs or 4 Medium
15 Green Cardamom Pods
100ml - 3½floz Milk any type
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
or 2 tsp Rosewater
Filling & Topping
200ml - 7floz Double Cream
500g Fresh peaches or apricots or fruit tinned in juice
Preheat the oven to 170c. Grease and line the bottom of two 20cm - 8” diameter sandwich tins
Put the butter in a saucepan and melt gently, take it off the heat and leave until it has cooled a little, (to make it completely dairy free use 140ml/4 ½ floz oil instead). Add the coconut oil and then the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time until completely smooth and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl put the ground almonds, sorghum flour, rice flour and poppy seeds. Sift in the bicarb and cream of tartar.
Bash the cardamom pods to split them and empty the little seeds into a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Cardamom seeds vary in strength so use your own judgement here. If the seeds inside the pods are black and oily you might need only ten, if they look brownish and shrivelled then go for twenty. I love cardamom so I always throw in a few extra! Grind to a fine powder and tip into the bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients.
Add the vinegar and vanilla or rosewater to the milk – it will curdle and that’s exactly what you want! It makes a lighter cake.
Now to combine everything. Mix the sugar/egg mixture into the dry ingredients until it is completely smooth. Then pour the vinegar/milk mixture over and fold in till it is just incorporated. Pour evenly into the prepared tins.
Put the tins in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins until springy to the touch and golden on top. When they are done leave them to cool in the tin. Remember to peel the paper off the bottom before assembly.
Whip the cream until it is floppily thick – it tends to stiffen up once everything is assembled. Sandwich the cakes together with cream.
Slice the peaches / apricots and arrange on top of the cake, drizzling over any juices. You can also grill or bake them first if they are not super ripe and slice when cold. Delicious with some Cardamom Coffee, Morrocan mint or fragrant Earl Grey tea.