Hoiked from a Guardian issue in October 2010, cauliflower cake has stuck with us over the years. Namely, as we like freaking people out with the name.
“What is it, some sort of Christmas cake… but with… cauliflower?!” We see the terror in their eyes and laugh heartily. Mwahahaha! Tremble before our terrifying vegetarian/vegan dish!
Okay, you’ll need a 24cm round cake tin for the following. Plus, hands to do all the mixing.
- 1 medium cauliflower, 650g-700g
- 1 large red onion—peel it!
- 100g olive oil.
- ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary.
- 10 medium free-range eggs (although you can cut back to 6).
- 20g chopped basil.
- 180g wholemeal flour (or plain, if you’re a halfwit).
- 2½ tsp baking powder.
- ½ tsp ground turmeric.
- 220g grated parmesan, or other mature cheese.
- Salt and black pepper.
- Melted butter, for greasing.
- 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds (an optional thing, it’s more for visual appeal).
Okay, from that lot what we do with the recipe is go for organic wholemeal flour. It gives the bastard more of an earthy, homely look. And it just tastes much better.
Basically, we can’t stand white bread and white flour. It’s rubbish.
Plus, you can substitute off anything as you see fit if you’re a vegan, such as the eggs and cheese. Just go for whatever you fancy as a replacement.
Anyway, there’s a very good example of cauliflower cake done right on The Lemon Apron. Behold!
Cooking it is time-consuming, but totally worth the effort. After the initial preparation, you just bake the thing really. But a few tips (and there’s a video guide further below:
- Heat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
- Break up your cauliflower into nice chunks of florets. Then boil them gently (i.e. “simmer”) in a nice pot for 15 minutes. Or 14, if you’re feeling daring.
- Get your batter going! Chop up most of your onions (although leave a few big old rings for styling) and sauté them with the rosemary.
- Take off the hob and let it cool. Then chuck in the eggs and basil. Whisk that mother!
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and turmeric into a big old bowl. Chuck in some salt and pepper (plus wheatgerm, if you have any).
- Chuck in the egg/rosemary mix and whisk that!
- Chuck in the bits of cauliflower and stir it all up.
- Get your baking tray, line it with baking parchment, and hurl the cauliflower cake mix into the cake tin.
- Arrange some big old onion rings on top so it looks all special.
- Stuff it into the oven for 45 minutes. Once it’s golden brown, it’s pretty much ready.
- If the cauliflower cake catches fire at any point, then you’ve left it for too long in the oven.
- Should the cake catch fire, panic insanely, call the fire brigade (or the army), and flee from your premises.
Minus #11 and #12, then it’s time to eat. Congratulations! You’ve just done some baking.
There’s a nifty guide to cooking it via Baking with Eda below.
A few errors there, such as not adding the onion rings to the top. But, otherwise, there’s nothing to argument about.
Oh, and the dish is mega tasty. And you can leave leftovers in your fridge to return to over the coming week. And it’s mega tasty. Give it a whirl.
And now, a bit about the top chef bloke he went and created this genius thing.
Ottolenghi is an Israeli-English chef and restaurateur with various delis in London. He also gas a bunch of cookbooks available, should that interest you.
His recipes largely celebrate vegetables, although he’s not a vegan chef.
But if you like thoughtful combinations of veg and pulses, then this gentleman is the chef for you.
— Ottolenghi (@ottolenghi) January 21, 2020
He’s also on Twitter, if you want to keep an eye on his latest recipes and whatnot. They’re great. And healthy!