baking/ dairy free/ gluten free/ this is life

Almond Cake with Roasted Grapes and Salty Maple Almonds

almond-cake-with-roasted-grapes-salty-maple-roasted-almonds-recipe

There are some things that we do that help set us up for the day. I know that I do different things depending on which day of the week it is, and somehow these little movements remind me of where I am, in the space of the week at least.

There is a gorgeous little cafe that I visit some weekday mornings, and it’s a place where I can be creative and ideas can flow, a place for dreaming up schemes and imagining different lives. It’s a place where I can step outside of myself and think. I love pretty much everything about it – the atmosphere, the smells, the staff; and I suppose I have become somewhat of a regular. On two mornings of the week there is a waiter who is kind and gentle, one of those people where you can just tell. He always prompts my order, remembering from last time I was there. Or at least he thinks he does, you see it’s pretty close but not quite the order I have on other days, but all things considered I really don’t mind.

Maybe it’s just that I don’t have the heart to tell him, because it doesn’t really matter anyway. In the past if I’ve got something wrong I could really take it to heart, sometimes just thinking that I had done something wrong by another could upset the balance of my whole day.

What does matter to me is this friendly place and this interaction; it brings with it a feeling of belonging, for a gesture doesn’t have to be big to make you feel good. Something as simple as someone knowing your coffee order (or not quite) adds to a feeling of things being right in the world.

It’s funny the things that we feel game enough to do, and other times when we choose not to be bold. With the fluctuations of life and all that is around us, and the many different things that can affect us, I prefer to go with what feels right, rather than having to be right.

Almond-Cake-With-Grapes-Recipe

Sometimes I find myself saying to my kids “letting someone else feel happy is better than being right”, but what if they are actually the same thing? Feeling happy must be right, and letting others feel happy surely is too. In whichever form it comes, whether that’s enjoying a slightly different coffee order or making a joke of it and ordering your preferred one, let moments of happiness come however life presents them.

I have been working on a project, and it’s a big one. At least for me it is. The thing is, I have no guarantee that any of my work will come to fruition, there is no way of knowing that the effort and vast amount of time that I am putting in will ever produce my dream as I imagine it. But the process, so far, is rewarding, because with each new thing that I make I feel a little more proud of myself (something I’ve never been very good at). I am proving, to myself at least, that I think I have what it takes to do what I always dreamed of.

I’m not sure what it is that helps us feel bold, if I had figured that out chances are I would be more this way myself. But sometimes making the decision that the little things don’t matter and life is more about the overall feeling of things, allows everything to be right in a different way. I may not be where I want to be just yet, but the journey is turning out to be more enriching than I imagined.

You know, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey… so everyone always says, and I think they might just be right. If for no other reason than the destination is really just one moment; there are a whole bunch of other moments along the way that we shouldn’t miss out on because of the grandness we give that one imagined point at the end.

Enjoy discovering the things and moments that make you feel right, even if they’re not quite what you thought they might be.

Almond Cake with Roasted Grapes and Salty Maple Almonds

This is a recipe that I originally created for my project, but instead I have decided to share it with you, because I don’t want to forget all about you just because my focus has been elsewhere! It is you that I am making this project for, so I want to enjoy all the little moments along the way, to help me keep up the momentum to get to the end destination.

I love a cake that you can make in one bowl. Even better if it can be in the oven in under 10 minutes. This cake does both these things, and is possibly the most succulent piece of cake you will ever eat. And it’s really very easy; win, win, win. It also makes for a very special feeling afternoon tea.

The almond cake is really moist, and subtly sweet and fragrant with vanilla; the roasted grapes on top add an extra layer of juiciness. Don’t skip the salty almonds, they really take the cake to the next level, adding an all important crunch (for what is life without a little crunch?!) and a toasty hint of saltiness. It feels pretty special, because it is.

This recipe uses brown coconut sugar, which I don’t often use, usually favouring stevia or another alternative for sweetness. But I had some on hand and it felt right for this recipe. So, what’s the deal with coconut sugar? Well, it is still sugar, but has a lower glycaemic index than regular sugar, meaning that your body absorbs it more slowly (add to it the good fats and fibre from the almond meal in this recipe, and it will slow the absorption even further). It contains more minerals than regular sugar and is relatively unrefined as far as sugar goes. It is considered one of the most sustainable sugars in the world, which is another factor that might come into your consideration. Sugar bothers some people more than others, and as we all have different bodies, so some recipes will work for you and others not; all I can say is  trust yourself to know what is right for you and when. And as far as cakes go, it’s still pretty modest on the sugar scale (a 1/2 cup for the whole cake) although the sweetness of the grapes makes up for this.

This cake is a treat so allow it to be just that, something special. Give it the full reverence it deserves and create a moment when sharing it. Gather some friends and enjoy it together, feel the sense of belonging with your people; and share any leftover slices with your neighbours or friends at work. If it feels special, then it definitely is.

Almond-Cake_roasted-Grapes-salted-maple-almonds-recipe

Almond Cake with Roasted Grapes and Salty Maple Almonds

Gluten Free • Grain Free • Dairy Free • Serves 12

2 cups (200g) almond meal
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
⅓ cup olive oil
½ cup brown coconut sugar
½ cup (125ml) almond milk, or milk of your choice

250g red seedless grapes, stems removed

½ cup (70g) raw almonds, roughly chopped
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22cm round springform baking tin.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the almond meal, vanilla and baking powder.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the wet mixture along with the milk to the dry mixture and stir to combine.

In another small bowl, stir together the chopped almonds, maple syrup and salt.

Pour the cake batter into the cake tin, then sprinkle with the grapes and the chopped almond mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the cake tin before slicing.

Almond Cake with Roasted Grapes and Salty Maple Almonds

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (200g) almond meal
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup brown coconut sugar
  • ½ cup (125ml) almond milk, or milk of your choice
  • 250g red seedless grapes, stems removed
  • ½ cup (70g) raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22cm round springform baking tin.

2

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the almond meal, vanilla and baking powder.

3

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the wet mixture along with the milk to the dry mixture and stir to combine.

4

In another small bowl, stir together the chopped almonds, maple syrup and salt.

5

Pour the cake batter into the cake tin, then sprinkle with the grapes and the chopped almond mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 - 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6

Allow to cool in the cake tin before slicing.

Notes

gluten free • grain free • dairy free

 

 

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