Monday 23 September 2013

Quinoa and Hazelnut Cake

- for the September AlphaBakes challenge - the letter Q

 This month's randomly picked AlphaBake's letter - Q - is something of a challenge to most of us, I expect, although I don't think it's the worst letter of the alphabet to deal with.

A quince dessert would have been good, but it's a little too early in the year to find quince for sale. I could have made a quiche, or baked with Quark, but I began my hunt through the indices of my cookery books (my usual starting point) with Dan Lepard's 'Short and Sweet', and found this quinoa and hazelnut cake straight away.

There were several preparatory steps, such as toasting and then cooking the quinoa, which made producing this cake a long winded affair, but the cake itself was quite easy to make. It seems a miracle to me that the sloppy amalgamation of the whipped egg whites and cooked grain, which looked so strange when it went into the oven, produced something which looked like a regular cake. I was half expecting the grain to sink and cook in a separate layer.

I added a chocolate fudge frosting to the cake, because I didn't want to use fresh cream and fruit, as suggested in the recipe. Chocolate and hazelnuts are one of the family's favourite cake flavour combinations, so that change worked really well.

However, although the cake was light and fluffy and looked pretty normal, and tasted really good too, none of us liked the texture of the quinoa in the cake. It tasted like cake but felt like couscous - a most peculiar sensation! At this point, where we've each had a serving of the cake, I'm not even sure that I will be able to persuade the others to eat any more, even in the cause of not wasting food!

AlphaBakes (rules here) is a challenge based on a randomly chosen letter of the alphabet. The dish made must feature something beginning with that letter as one of the main ingredients or part of the name. It is hosted jointly by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes. Caroline is the host this month, with the letter Q, and as usual will post a round-up of entries at the end of the month.


Katie said...

What an unushal cake. I'd love to try it. Maybe using quinoa would work better in a lemon polenta type cake, where you expect some texture. Intreguing

Anonymous said...

Oh, sad that the quinoa wasn't great. I love quinoa and was excited to see it in a cake. I've seen it in flapjack before. I wonder if that would be better?

Suelle said...

Flapjack sounds a good use for the rest of the pack - the texture is completely different to cake, so the quinoa would blend in better - great idea, thanks!

Alicia Foodycat said...

*Shudder* - I cannot come around to quinoa! Such a shame about the cake though. Hopefully you can find a use for the leftovers.

Suelle said...

@Foodycat - I don't think I could eat it as a carb with a meal. For one thing, it smelled awful as it was cooking!

Caroline Cowe said...

was hoping someone would use quinoa in a bake, but I wasn't expecting it to be something sweet - well done! The frosting looks amazing too! Thanks for entering Alphabakes.