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This is a savoury cake which is utterly delicious. Strangely it doesn't really taste of cauliflower, just a light cheesy eggy herby - well - cake. It's quite rich, nice as a light meal with a leafy salad. From a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, the original recipe said to use a 24cm round cake tin with a loose bottom but I didn't have one. The quantities below will fill two 20cm round tins. Also the original recipe called for Parmesan but I didn't have any so substituted a mix of mature Cheddar and Red Leicester. Sorry I am not sure what the equivalent American cheese would be. My fussy youngest son loved this, didn't recognise the cauliflower though. Fussy, sorry discerning husband and 'eat everything' older son wolfed it too!
- 1 head cauliflower, about 500-600g
- 1 medium red onion, peeled
- 85 g olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
- 8 medium eggs
- 15 g chopped basil
- 150 g plain flour
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 200 g grated parmesan cheese or 200 g other mature cheese
- salt and black pepper
- melted butter, for greasing (if necessary)
- 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (optional) or 2 teaspoons black onion seeds (optional) or 2 teaspoons plain sesame seeds (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
- Break the cauliflower into medium florets and put them in a pan with a teaspoon of salt, cover with water and boil for 15 minutes until quite soft.
- Drain the cauliflower and allow it to sit in a colander until all the excess water goes.
- Meanwhile, cut a few rings off the onion, about 5mm wide, and set aside to go on top of the cake. Coarsely chop the rest.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently saute the chopped onion and rosemary for 8 minutes.
- Remove frying pan from the heat and allow to cool.
- Whisk the eggs, add the basil and whisk the mixture into the cooled oil and onion/rosemary mixture.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and turmeric into a large bowl, then add your cheese, 1 1/2 tsp of salt and lots of black pepper.
- Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients and whisk to get rid of any lumps.
- Add the cauliflower gently, you want to leave some florets whole and break down some. Stir gently but mix thoroughly.
- Line 2 20 cm round loose based cake tins with baking parchment. If you have doubts as to whether the paper and/or tins are non stick brush the sides with butter, or do it anyway if you are adding the sesame seeds.
- Toss the sesame etc seeds around the sides of the tin (if using) so they stick to the sides.
- Tip the cauliflower mix half in each tin and arrange the onion rings on the top.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and set so a fork stuck in comes out clean.
- Allow to cool until just warm or at room temperature (if you can bear to wait that long).
This is Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe. Just a small correction; he calls for 10 medium eggs or 8 large eggs. I also think it serves closer to 8.