I’ve had some disastrous savoury cakes. So much so that, for a while atleast, I discounted them as something that really shouldn’t be made, served, or eaten.
I’ve changed my tune.
Thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi, which is no surprise to anyone.
I don’t post recipes by others so often, but having made this one morning with the aim of having dinner ready after a late finish at work, I had to share it. It turned out beautifully – golden, aromatic, and moist, with enough flavour to really satisfy.
Once again, I struggled to get the pictures done before digging in. I’m so predictable.
Between the herbs, spices, and other seasonings, there’s a lovely balance of flavour with this cake. I switched the recipe up a bit and replaced plain flour with a finely ground wholegrain to give it even more of a healthy kick, but even without, all those veggies and eggs give a great serving of protein and fibre. Always a good thing! I’m sure you could use a rice flour, or another gluten free flour alternative, if you need to also.
Something like this would be perfect for (alongside normal dinners and lunches) larger parties. The kind of help-yourself-to-that’s-there parties because it’s so easy to slice up and share.
It’s a great veggie option to have on the table too – one I wish I’d had many a time when you’re stuck eating the inevitable goats cheese and caramelised onions. Any current or former veggies will understand that one.
If, like I was, you are a savoury cake skeptic, I can’t recommend enough that you give this recipe a shot. Dinner has long been and gone, and I’m still picking at the poor cake and wrapping up more for lunch tomorrow.
Who needs self control anyway, right?
- 1 small cauliflower
- 1 cup (130g) finely ground wholewheat flour
- 1 small/medium red onion
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary (use dried if necessary)
- 1 small handful fresh basil
- 7 free range eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup (90g) grated parmesan
- Butter, for greasing the tin
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Break the head of cauliflower into small florets.
- Boil in a covered saucepan, adding a teaspoon of salt to the water, for 10-12 minutes, until the florets are soft.
- Drain the cauliflower and allow them to steam in the colander until cooled and drier.
- Peel the red onion and cut 3 round slices. Set aside the slices for use later.
- Dice the rest of the onion.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil and a small knob of butter in a frying pan.
- Sauté the diced onion with the rosemary until the onion is soft (around 10 minutes over a medium heat).
- Set aside to onion to cool.
- Finely chop the basil.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and the basil.
- Once cool, add the fried red onion to the egg and stir to combine.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and turmeric into the egg mixture. Add the parmesan, and stir until smooth and totally combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in the cooled cauliflower florets, and fold the mixture (taking care not to break up the cauliflower) until the whole thing is combined.
- Line the bottom and sides of a springform cake pan with greaseproof paper. Rub some butter onto the paper around the sides, and sprinkle with sesame seeds (you can also add in poppy seeds or caraway seeds if you'd like). The butter should hold the seeds to the side of the pan, so they'll coat the sides of the cake once baked.
- Pour the cake mixture into the pan, and spread evenly across the pan.
- Lay the slices of onion over the top of the batter, and grate a little extra parmesan over the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for around 35 minutes. Check regularly at the 30 minute mark and remove from oven when ready. When cooked, the cake should be set and golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the cake should come out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool before serving. It's better served warm or at room temperature.
- The original recipe calls for a cooking time of 45 minutes. My cake was fully cooked at the 35 minute mark, so I recommend checking yours at this point, and only leaving it longer if it's still uncooked.