March 11, 2012
Already Cooked Apricot Quinoa Cakes
I've certainly cooked with quinoa before.
It's not the weired, way-out, freaky health food it once was, but now is sold in nearly all supermarkets and features in a recipe or two in most mainstream cooking magazines.
Touted as a SuperFood, quinoa is certainly gaining popularity, but its gluten-free veggie-sourced perfect protein is something the Incas knew about a few thousand years ago before being vigorously suppressed during the Spanish Occupation while being forced to grow gluten-full wheat instead.
But I've never cooked with already cooked quinoa before.
The idea intrigued me and the thought of a cake that's high in protein, low GI, includes fruit, and made with a super food was just way too hard to resist, surely all the good bits outweigh the bad bits? It may actually be bad for my health not to eat this cake.
Don't you agree Readers Dear?
I gleaned this recipe straight from the pages of the March issue Australian Gourmet Traveller. Its a lovely recipe, but one that needs a bit of fiddling about really. I don't mean to be disrespectful to its creator, but if I make it again it will have a few changes.
1. dried apricots instead of fresh
2. no oven roasting, and instead of sticky wine I'd just use straight orange juice with maybe a spoon of honey and plump the dried apricots in the microwave
3. cooking the quinoa in the rice cooker with orange juice or apricot juice for an extra boost
4. baked a bit lower for a bit longer. My cakes had a bit of a chewy edge that I actually really enjoyed, but could probably be off putting to others with crunchy odds and ends of quinoa grains getting stuck in their teeth.
I also found that although the recipe stated that it served 8 using 200ml darioles, I had enough mix for 12 using 250ml. Perhaps I whipped my eggs and sugar longer? Anyway, I found them nice and light this way and plenty enough for a single serve.
Roast Apricot, Almond and Quinoa Cakes
This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
550 gm (2½ cups) raw caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
16 small apricots, halved
60 ml dessert wine
Juice and thinly peeled rind of 1 orange and ½ lemon
90 gm (½ cup) white quinoa, rinsed
200 gm butter, melted and cooled
260 gm (1¾ cups) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
60 gm flaked almonds, plus extra for scattering
Preheat oven to 200C.
Scatter 220gm sugar and vanilla seeds in the base of a roasting pan large enough to fit apricots snugly in a single layer. Arrange apricots cut-side down in roasting pan, pressing into sugar, then turn over.
Drizzle with dessert wine and citrus juices, scatter with citrus rinds and roast, spooning pan juices over apricots a few times during cooking, until golden and tender (20-25 minutes).
Transfer half the apricots and 40ml pan juices to a food processor, process to a purée and set aside (reserve remaining apricots and syrup).
Meanwhile, bring quinoa, vanilla bean and 250ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid evaporates and quinoa is tender (12-15 minutes).
Drain through a fine sieve to remove any remaining liquid, then spread on a tray to cool and dry (15-20 minutes; discard vanilla bean).
Preheat oven to 180C.
Whisk eggs and remaining sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (6-8 minutes)
Add butter and whisk to combine.
Sieve over flour and baking powder, stir to combine,
Stir in apricot purée, almonds and quinoa
Spoon into 12 buttered and floured 250ml metal dariole moulds, smoothing tops.
Scatter with extra almonds, bake until cakes are golden and centres spring back when lightly pressed (20-25 minutes).
Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature with roast apricots and syrup.
So Dear Readers, have you come across any recipes that it would be just plain wrong not to make? And do you ever simplify a recipe to suit yourself too?