When you eat the seasons you can’t help but rejoice when you reach that time of year when there is food a plenty. Late summer is such an amazing time for food, there are an abundance of vegetables around and at last there’s plenty of fruit to be found. And I don’t mean in the supermarket!
Wander outside and keep your eyes peeled in hedgerows and parks. There’s berries galore to be found and this year there is a bountiful crop of sloes to be found! The hot start to summer followed by a whole load of rain has left the blackthorn bushes dripping with sloes. You’ve endured the rain so you may as well enjoy its fruits.
I know that sloes are synonymous with gin but I have a love for spelt cake right now and I think a little sloe compote makes the perfect accompaniment.
The cake is made with spelt flour, ground almonds, coconut oil and a little xylitol sugar. I won’t pretend its like a Victoria sponge, because its not. But what it is, is healthy, tasty and filling. The high sugar content in ordinary cakes combined with lots of fat and innutritious white flour will give you a sweet fix but won’t leave you satisfied. There’s just nothing in there to nourish you and make you feel full so you keep on wanting more. This spelt cake however will leave you feeling great. Spelt is a whole-food unlike wheat which means it retains all its nutrients which can be easily absorbed by your body due to its high water solubility. See, you really can have your cake and eat it.
I will let you in on a secret, I was actually going for a slightly marbled cake, using the sloe compote but I didn’t quite put enough in. To get a more marbled effect don’t over stir the compote into the cake batter but also be careful not to add too much as your cake might not come out in one piece.
Sloe spelt cake
125g spelt flour
100g ground almonds
75g xylitol sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
200ml almond milk
80g coconut oil
1/2 tsp almond essence
For the compote:
150g sloe berries
2 tbsp xylitol sugar
- Start off by greasing a 8″ cake tin and lining the base with baking paper. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
- If you’re coconut oil is solid, place it in an ovenproof dish for a few minutes when preheating your oven to melt it.
- Weigh out all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stir through and set aside.
- Wash the sloes and remove any stalks. Place them into a saucepan and just cover them with water, bring them to the boil then simmer on a low heat.
- Once they start to break up, drain off the water and rub the fruit through a sieve into a clean pan.
- Return to the heat and add 1tbsp of xylitol sugar and stir until dissolved then remove from the heat.
- Return to your cake mixture and stir in the almond milk and coconut oil.
- Promptly pour half the mixture into the cake tin as the batter will quickly start to thicken.
- Spoon in a few tablespoons of the compote, lightly swirl into the batter before pouring the remaining batter on top.
- Be careful, unlike me, not to let the compote go to the edge of your cake as you will end up with blackened edges to your cake, like I did.
- Bake at 180C for 40 -45 mins until a knife pushed into the cake comes out clean.
- Carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack and cool.
- Serve with the remaining compote.
Happy foraging. Happy caking.