One of the many I reasons I love food is that it brings people together. I recently joined miss delightfulcrab‘s monthly supper club, which occurs on Sunday evenings. Different people take turns hosting the event, and the host chooses the theme: last weekend’s theme was Mediterranean (they have had other awesome themes like “favorite childhood meal” and “colors of the rainbow” and “thai feast”…the creativity goes on and on.)
Mediterranean basically means ANYTHING goes; as long as you can find it somewhere along the Mediterranean sea, you’re good to go! I decided to make Vegan Pistachio Tea Cakes from my favorite new cookbook (also featured in this recipe).
I knew it was a huge risk making something brand new for a group of people, but that didn’t stop me. As usual, it was a scramble to the finish (I felt like I was competing on Top Chef), but I made it on time and the cakes turned out pret-ty good. I bet you can’t tell they’re vegan. I totally recommend this for your next picnic/brunch/anytime. Snack away!
Vegan Pistachio Olive Oil Tea Cakes
You will need a mini-muffin or tea cake pan (makes cute mini bundt cakes), although a 9-inch cake pan works too.
For the cake:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
2/3 cup shelled pistachios (3 oz), toasted
1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy yogurt
6 oz soft silken tofu
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/4 cup shelled pistachios (1 1/4 oz), toasted and chopped
TO MAKE THE CAKE-
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan, then line with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan and oil the parchment paper (or use baking spray with flour).
2. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until finely ground. But don’t over do it, or they’ll turn into nut butter.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yogurt, tofu, sugar, olive oil, and vanilla and beat at medium speed until well combined.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Add to the tofu mixture and beat until well combined. Add the ground pistachios and beat again until incorporated.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester, bamboo skewer, or toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool briefly, then invert into a wire rack ,remove the pan, and let cool completely.
TO MAKE THE TOPPING-
1. Slice the orange and lemon in half, then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Remove the seeds. In a medium saucepan, combine the orange, lemon, water, sugar, and Grand Marnier. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat, cover and simmer until the fruit is soft and pliable and starting to break down, about 1 hour.
2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse repeatedly until thick and chunky. Spread the topping evenly over the top of the cake. Garnish with chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds (optional – I couldn’t find them at the store) before serving.