A few weeks ago I went to a street party in Borum Hill, Brooklyn, with a whole roasted pig, delicious cheeses and desserts. At the cake table I found a fantastic apple tart, made by David Becker @ Friend of the Farmer. David’s cake had almost no flour and was very moist and fruity. It also seemed to be really easy to make. His cake reminded me of a fantastic fruit cake I made this summer, except that my cake was too complicated and I used milled almonds instead of flour. At home I decided to turn my summer cake into something as easy as this…
for the cake
3-4 ripe pears (or any other seasonal fruit such as apple, cherry or plums)
2 large eggs
1 cups (240 ml) sucanat
1 1/3 cup (300 ml) fresh milled almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup (60ml) whole milk
3.5 oz (100g) butter, melted
2 teaspoons of crushed cardamoms
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190°C). Peel the pears and slice into thin slices. Whisk the eggs with the sucanat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the milled almonds and baking powder. When the almonds are well blended with the eggs add milk, melted butter and cardamoms. Carefully add the pears to the mixture. Grease a baking tin, about 11 inch diameter. Fill the form with the cake mixture and bake it in the center of the oven for about 40-50 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and if you stick a small knife into it, it should come out clean. Cool the cake a little before serving. This cake can be made in advance as it taste fabulous the next day too.
In our summerhouse garden we eat breakfast on a hill of poppies. Unfortunately I can’t use these poppies to top this rich and flourless chocolate cake…
¼ lb (115 g) dark unsweetened chocolate
3 oz (90 gram) butter
1 cup (250 ml) sucanat
½ cup (125 ml) almonds, ground or finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons brandy or rum
poppy seeds, for the topping (optional)
Start by grinding the almonds. Melt the chocolate on low heat in a double boiler (I don’t have one myself so I use a stainless steel bowl on top of a saucepan of water) on low heat and stir occasionally. When the chocolate is melted add the butter, sugar and brandy. Stir over low heat. When the butter is almost melted add the almonds and stir until mixture is well blended. Turn off the heat and set aside. Crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Start to beat the egg yolks well before stirring them into the chocolate mixture. Whip the whites stiff and fold them lightly into the rich chocolate. Butter a 7-8 inches (18-20 cm) tart tin with a removable base or any cake dish you would prefer to serve it in. Spread the mixture and sprinkle a single layer of poppy seeds on top (this will give a slightly flavored crust on the top of the cake).
Bake the cake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes @ 290ºF (140ºC). It should be a little sticky when its done. Let the cake cool and serve it with whipped cream. This cake can easily be made a day before serving.
I will serve this cake for my Swedish midsummer celebration with fresh strawberries and bubbly wine. It will of course happen on top of my poppy seed hill. Happy midsummer!
This recipe is based on Elizabeth David’s chocolate cake, Gâteau Au Chocolat et aux Amanes from the book French Provincial Cooking. Elizabeth didn’t use poppy seeds and flavored her cake with both coffee and brandy.