Because of the location, we were given the theme of Flirtatiously Fruity and Succulent Savoury and I immediately knew that I wanted to create a savoury cake as I had been so impressed with the array of savoury treats at March’s Clandestine Cake Event.
Again, there was an amazing array of cakes on offer, a few of my choice favourites were Jini’s Blueberry, Peach and Amaretto Cake, Liz’s Orange and Rosemary Polenta Cake and also Mike’s delicious Tea Loaf – all of which I will be making soon!
The other highlight of the day which we’d been discussing on Twitter was whether Rob would beat his 11 slice record which he achieved at April’s event… unfortunately he didn’t but I don’t think it is a record which is going to be broken any time soon!
For my most recent birthday, a friend of mine bought me a lovely little book called Marvellous Mini Cakes by Ilona Chovancova which is full of sweet and savoury mini loaf recipes which are commonly found in France, apparently. I hadn’t actually tried any of the recipes in the book until this point, so I thought that CCC would be the perfect place to try something new.
The savoury cake that really stood out for me was the Roquefort, Pear and Walnut Cake. I love the combination in salads so I thought that this could really work in a cake – the sweetness of the pear cutting through the salty blue cheese and the nuts.
I know that blue cheese and nuts are a love or hate foodstuff and that I was risking a lot of people not wanting to try the cake because of this, but I was willing to take that chance!
All in all, really enjoyed the cake, spikes of salt from the roquefort matched the walnut and pear really well. My only criticism is that next time I’ll try and find some sweeter pears or add a bit of sugar to the cake mix to add more contrast.
This is a very very easy cake to make – the main cake batter is really simple and the whole cake took about an hour and a half to make including cooking time.
I received some lovely compliments as ever from the Clandestine crew about the cake. Surprisingly enough it was the only savoury cake on offer on the day. I think that it would work well as a nice starter, warm, with a nice watercress salad and a glass of wine!
Roquefort, Pear and Walnut Cake
(Adapted from Marvellous Mini Cakes by Ilona Chovancova)
Serves 10-12 slices
3 large eggs
90ml olive oil
125g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
100g gruyere cheese
2 handfuls chopped walnuts
1 large pear, peeled and diced into smallish cubes
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C / 160 deg C fan
Grease / line a 2lb loaf tin
Mix together the milk, oil and eggs into a bowl until just combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and again mix until the ingredients are combined eveny through the mix and there are not traces of flour.
Be careful not to over mix, as this will result in a touch bread like texture and we want cake!
Pour the mix into the loaf tin and sprinkle with a little grated gruyere.
Bake for approx 50 minutes, but do check after about 40 – the top should be golden brown. If you find that the top is browning too quickly, then cover loosely with a little tinfoil.
Leave to cool slightly in the tin then turn out onto a rack.
Not exactly the healthiest cake despite the healthy location, but it doesn’t contain butter and sugar and does have fruit in it – does that count?