As sweetener, I used ¼ cup of a powdered preparation containing stevia (Natreen), which is not the same as powdered stevia . If you are using a different sweetener, adjust the quantities according to package directions. (If in doubt, taste the batter.)

The cake freezes well, so can be made in advance. The recipe makes one 9-inch cake. It can be simply doubled for two layers or a larger pan. (Larger pan will require longer baking time.) 

Makes one (9-inch) cake, serving 8.

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon allspice

1 egg

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + additional for greasing the cake pan

Sweetener (optional)

1 cup apple-prune sauce (recipe follows)

1 teaspoon grated ginger

Grated orange zest

Pinch of aniseed

2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice

¼ cup ground almonds (unsweetened)

Cinnamon, to serve (optional)

Greek yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Honey, to serve (optional)

Lightly oil a 9-inch cake pan and line with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Sift together the flour, soda, salt, cardamom and allspice. Place the egg in a mixing bowl and beat until light and lemony in color. Beat in the oil and the powdered sweetener, if using. Add the apple-prune sauce, ginger, orange zest and aniseed. Beat in half of the flour and other dry ingredients. Beat in the juice. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients and the ground almonds.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a thin skewer comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan 15 minutes. Unmold the cake onto a rack and allow to cool completely.

If to be served immediately, place the cake on a serving platter. If to be frozen, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and seal in a freezer bag. 

Apple-Prune Sauce

Puré de Manzanas y Ciruelas Pasas

A thick sauce of apples plus prunes sweetens the cake. 

I made enough apple-prune sauce to make a second, larger cake next week.

Sweet pears can be substituted for the apples and dried figs for the prunes.

Makes 3 cups pureed apples and prunes.

1 ¾ pounds apples (5 medium)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

10 ounces pitted prunes

2-inch cinnamon stick

Pinch of ground cloves

¼ cup sweet wine (muscatel)

Peel and core the apples. Chop them and place in a pan. Add the lemon juice. Cut the prunes in halves or quarters and add to the pan. Add the wine. Place on medium-high heat until liquid begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the fruit, covered, until very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent scorching. Add a little water if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat. Discard the cinnamon stick. Use an immersion blender to blend the fruit to a puree. Keeps, covered and refrigerated, up to a week.

More sugar-free cakes:

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