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's lots of cardamom, cinnamon, rosewater and saffron in the cupboard. This cake is given a lovely texture by the poppy seeds.
Poppy Seed and Cardamom Cake Suitable for Diabetics & Gluten free
To make this cake suitable for diabetics it needs to be sandwiched with cream - the icing alternative is far too sugary! For a dairy free alternative, not suitable for diabetics, follow instructions for a dairy free ‘butter cream’ filling and use extra oil in place of butter in the cake.
Cake 140g - 5oz Ground Almonds 55g - 2oz Brown Rice Flour 55g - 2oz Organic Soya Flour 110g - 4oz Fruit Sugar (Fructose) 110g - 4oz Butter 100ml - 3½floz Vegetable Oil 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 – or (85g - 3oz Dairy-free Spread & 170g - 6oz Icing Sugar & 1 tsp Vanilla Essence) 500g Fresh peaches or apricots or 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 vegetable oil and then the fruit sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time until completely smooth and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl put the ground almonds, soya 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. To make the alternative dairy free filling, simply put the spread, icing sugar and vanilla extract into a food processor and whiz till smooth or beat by hand. Sandwich the cakes together with the cream / dairy free filling.
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.