Anyone can bake a cake, but tell people you steamed one and you’re sure to be awarded with much praise. Best of all, the result is an almost impossibly moist dessert. The cake will firm up if placed in the refrigerator in an airtight container overnight before slicing. A drizzle of the almond cream puts it over the top. It’s also great with a simple scattering of raspberries.
1/2 cup (125 mL) palm sugar or other natural sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
4 oz (113 g) unsweetened 100% chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp (15 mL) vanilla or chocolate extract, divided
5 large free-range eggs, separated
1/2 cup (125 mL) + 2 Tbsp (30 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp (10 mL) instant espresso powder (optional)
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1/3 cup (80 mL) + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted almond butter
3 Tbsp (45 mL) low-fat evaporated milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) pure maple syrup
In double boiler or heatproof bowl set on top of pot of simmering water, combine sugar, water, and butter. Heat for 3 minutes, or until butter is fully melted. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes, letting chocolate melt undisturbed. Stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla or chocolate extract.
Add egg yolks, one by one, to chocolate mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add flour, espresso powder (if using), and cinnamon, mixing until flour is just incorporated.
In bowl of stand mixer, with hand-held electric mixer, or by hand using whisk, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Mix about 1/5 of beaten egg whites into batter, stirring well to incorporate. Then gently fold in remaining egg whites, taking care not to deflate the mixture. Pour cake batter into 8 in (20 cm) greased cake pan or springform pan.
Carefully place cake pan into steamer with at least 2 in (5 cm) of water under tray bottom. If you are using a steamer with a metal lid, wrap lid in clean tea towel before closing so that condensation from the lid doesn’t drop onto the cake.
Steam for 18 minutes, or until surface and edges of cake are set but the middle is still custardlike when pricked with a toothpick. Remove cake pan from steamer and let cool to room temperature, covered with tea towel.
To make almond cream, combine almond butter, evaporated milk, maple syrup, and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla or chocolate extract in blender or food processor container. Blend just until mixture is creamy. If the mixture is too liquid, blend in more almond butter.
Serve slices of cake with almond cream.
Each serving contains: 415 calories; 13 g protein; 30 g total fat (12 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (16 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 103 mg sodium
source: "Full Steam Ahead", alive #363, January 2012
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.