I am up to my ears in cakes in my kitchen this month. Not least of all Easter Bundt cakes. It’s Easter Bundt madness. I’ve been working on a couple of stir together fun cakes so that everyone that has no time like me, can still make something for Easter that is fun and delicious too. The one above is of course a chocolate cake but it is an unusual vegan recipe that uses no dairy or eggs. Just because it is easy.
So I’ll get to the other cake in a minute but in the meantime I’ve been cooking with this heirloom Farro (spelt) couscous. It’s from North Eastern Italy where a good deal of Italy’s cereal and grains are grown. Organic farming is not new in Italy but many of the producers and farmers have tried quick industrial style growing and have now shunned that to return to traditional farming with old strains of wheat, spelt and grains. There is a ground swell here to support these farming methods strains of wheat, pulses and cereals that were once part of each regions crops. Many of these old varieties grow without fertilizers, pesticides or extra water. The belief is that a lot of the troubles with allergies and coeliac disease stem from our bodies rejecting these “new ” industrial strains that are hybridized, overly fertilized and treated with pesticides. The old local crops were all replaced with fast growing easier to harvest strains that were manufactured to produce the maximum crop in the shortest amount of time. This couscous is organic and made from an old strain of wheat.
If you’d like to win a packet head to my Face book page and let me know why you’d like to try some. You can be anywhere in Australia or the world.
Now back to Bundt madness. This is a stir together cake made with a couple of handfuls of sultanas to make it feel a little more like a big Easter Bun. The lurid colour is just for the fun of burying a whole bag of Chicken chocolates to put into the abyss in the middle. They could be eggs or anything else. This one is also made with organic spelt flour from my kitchen. I like this one because it is light and great to make cakes with ( and it is Australian)
It’s a bit of Easter fun in two very different stir together cakes. Both easy both delicious
- Spray or grease a 24 cm/ 10 inch bundt tin and sprinkle with cocoa ( instead of flour) to stop the cake sticking)
- Oven 170 C/ 350 F
- 3 cups cake or all purpose flour (375 gm)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 Tablespoons (50gm) dark cocoa
- 2 cup caster ( fine) sugar (400gm)- or (1 cup white 1 cup brown sugar)
- 2 cups (500ml) water
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar ( 40ml)
- 1 cup oil (250ml) - any oil you prefer
- 100 ml cream
- 100gm dark chocolate chopped.
- Put all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and mix well.
- Add the water, oil and vinegar and mix well until there are no lumps. If the mixture looks very think and it is not pourable add ¼ cup extra water. ( Some flours absorb more liquid- I have only had to do this on one occasion)
- Bake for 35-40 minutes in the middle of the oven. Test with a toothpick or skewer. My oven is very cool. If you have a fan forced oven just watch it doesn't get too browned on top. Maybe bake at 165-170 C.
- Leave for 10 minutes before turning out. Tap the cake lightly on the bench. Run a knife very gently around the sides and the middle tube. Put a rack or plate over the top and turn over, giving it a little tap on the bench to loosen.
- To make the icing, heat the cream in a microwave jug till hot but not boiling and add the chopped chocolate and stir till cooled and the chocolate is all melted. If you don't have a microwave then gently heat the mixture in a bowl over simmering water stirring until just melted and luke warm. Stand for a few minutes and then pour over the COOLED cake and decorate. I used a 150 gm slab of Cadbury chocolate and some eggs
- 2 cups of light spelt flour ( I used Kialla) or 1 cup al lpurpose and 1 cup of Spelt - (280 gm)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (10gm)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ginger ( or ground cardamom)
- 2 x 70 gm
- 1 cup brown sugar (165 gm)
- ½ cup white sugar ( fine)- 95gm
- 2 cups apple sauce (store bought unsweetened) 300ml
- ⅔ cup oil (150 ml)
- 1 cup of sultanas or mixed fruit
- 2 cups sifted icing (confectioners) sugar- approx
- 1 drop of Queen colour ( tube)- or food colour of your choice, use paste or any natural colour you have
- 1- Tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon boiling water
- 1 Tablespoon soft butter ( 20-25 gm)
- Mix all of the dry ingredients for the cake including the sugar and spices in the bowl of a mixer ( or in a bowl with a hand whisk)
- Mix the eggs, vanilla, apple sauce and oil together and then add to the dry ingredient with the sultanas. mix well.
- Pour in to your prepared tin. bake for 45-50 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean. It's done
- Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes before taping around the sides with your hand to loosen. Run a small knife around the centre to loosen too. Put a rack on the top and invert, giving it a little tap as you go.
- Cool before icing
- Make the icing by putting the sugar into a bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a tiny drop of colour along with the butter and the tablespoon of boiling water. Stir well. If there isn't enough liquid add more juice a teaspoon at a time till you have an icing the consistency of tomato sauce. Decorate with any chocolate or nuts and fruit if you like.