Wednesday, 23 June 2010

halvah cherry torte

For my sweetums' birthday. What can I say. The boi has a thing for cherries and middle eastern food. This isn't halvah, but it has that same dense, rosewater-spice-nut type thing going on. It's the torted-up dream of halvah. Or something.

1.5 c cooked chickpeas, drained
1c ground almonds or pistachios (I used the leftover almond meal from making almond milk)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs rosewater
1/4 c sugar + stevia to taste (or just a full cup of sugar if you want)
1/4 tsp salt

Blend all of these together until you have a paste. It should hold it's shape when you scoop it up with a spoon, like mashed potatoes before you add any liquids.

Stir in
1/4 c almond milk
3/4 c flour
1.5 tsp baking powder (not soda)
1 tbs dried rose petals (optional but pretty)

Just before putting it in the pan, stir in 2 tbs cider or other mild vinegar. spread into greased and floured pan

Top with as many cherries as you can fit on top, halved (uh... about 2 cups, after halving), tossed in juice from 1 lime. Be generous with the cherries. There is a special place in culinary hell for people who are stingy with seasonal fruits and/or chocolate in desserts. Sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp (or less) ground black pepper. No, I'm not kidding.

bake at 200C for 10 mins, lower heat, and bake at 175C for 35 mins.

Lately, I've just found rich foods unappealing. Maybe it's all the traveling, where I end up sitting on my ass too much, which is making me develop an aversion to even the slightest twinge of feeling sluggish because I associate it with being forced to sit between overly-talkative vacationers, leery men who keep touching my thigh "accidentally" and leaning closer and closer over the course of the flight and then look surprised and offended when I tell them off, or (on one memorable occasion) a fundamentalist who spent 6 hours trying to save my evolutionary biologist, queer, atheist soul from eternal damnation (he failed) - If there is a God, why does He not send me boring seatmates on long flights? Maybe it's the sun. Maybe it's because I'm having fun running, having fun working, and just generally not wanting to feel weighed down. I still wanted to present my sweetums with a yummerific birthday treat, but I wanted to enjoy eating it (that's the point, no?). Plus, we both like really *dense* cakes. No fluffy cakes here, no thank you. We tested it on/shared it with an innocent bystander (who had no idea it had been healthified), and he loved it. So there. It's not just "good for a healthified dessert", it's just good dessert. You could make it all chickpeas (no almonds), which should work just fine (and make this low-fat), but I had almond pulp lying around, so I threw it in.


medici said...

Oh my!

I am just seeing this lovely cake posted in all its CherryGlory -- and I can assure readers that, as beautiful as the cake looks on your screen (and it does), it was twice as beautiful in real time. And delicious!!! We all loved it. OO This is a cake that demanded our cares be tossed to the winds. It was that good, and perhaps better.

And can I just say -- the cook certainly knows the way to my heart. Even when there are no cherries to be seen.

Maija Haavisto said...

What an interesting crust recipe. I have used beans in baking before, and chickpea flour too, but never chickpeas. Seems like much richer in protein than most baked goods! It's too bad my SO doesn't like cherries in any other format than fresh.