the nut factor

24th June 2009

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“…has the nut factor.”  A term used by a friend recently to describe my husband.  Now, I know you’re thinking that was a little uncharitable of her, but she was not describing his intelligence or his mental stability.  It was his approach to physical exercise and his training methods that she was referring to.  A man who has a freakishly, natural gift for any form of endurance, speed or strength and sets training goals that are completely unrealistic to the majority, even the fit.  I, myself, must work consistently to make small gains.  Aahh, the gifted…. Anyway, this got me thinking about nuts and their little packets of goodness.

So, I decided that a healthy, filling snack that would sustain the hunger pangs between meal times and also taste good was on the agenda.  Gingerbread Cookies from a café in Israel and an Apricot Cinnamon Nut Cake on a ripped out page of a magazine from many years ago, formed the basis of this experiment.  A fairly compact, dense, crusty, cake formed.  Actually, it was more like a bread.  Butter, refined flour and refined sugar were removed. Wholegrain flour, nuts, fruit, spices, eggs were all in…., however I am still yet to find a workable substitute for the brown sugar.

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gingerbread apricot nut cake 

ingredients :

180g good quality dried apricot halves

warm water, to cover

175g wholegrain SR flour

1½ tsp baking powder

1½ tsp cinnamon powder

1½ tsp ground ginger powder

¼ tsp ground cloves

3 eggs

½ cup brown sugar

175g pureed apples (I used tinned with no added sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g mixed nuts (I used almonds and pistachios, roughly processed)

honey

preparation :

Place dried apricots in bowl and cover with the warm water.  Cover and let sit for at least 1 hour.  Drain and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Oil a 22cm springform tin, lining base with baking paper.  Dust tin with flour.

Place all dry ingredients, except sugar, in bowl.  Whisk till combined.

Add eggs and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix until frothy.  Add apples and mix till combined.  Add the vanilla and the dry ingredients mixture and blend until just combined.

Spoon half the mixture into prepared pan and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and completely cover the top with the apricots.  Spoon the remaining mixture in blobs and spread evenly with spatula.  Press nuts into surface.  Reduce oven to 170 degrees and bake for a further 30 minutes or until cooked through.  If desired, drizzle honey over cake after 20 minutes, then continue for the remaining cooking time. Cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing.

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Shared goodness by Donna

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