I’ve written so much about Yotam Ottolenghi that he feels like an old friend. But if he’s not familiar to you, please feel free to click on the links below this recipe and you’ll read all about this Israeli-born chef of Italian origin who has been the toast of London ever since he opened his first take-out place in Notting Hill.
Among his many achievements, Ottolenghi is also a Food Columnist for The Daily Mail, not to be confused with The Daily Meal that I write for. The arrival last fall of Ottolengh’s latest cookbook, “Sweet” (Ten Speed Press 2017) was greeted with much fanfare, especially around our house. Here, at last, Ottolenghi had tackled Baking in a book he wrote with his pastry chef, Helen Goh. Helen adds yet another layer of geography to the Ottolenghi story. She was born in Malaysia, emigrated to Melbourne, Australia when she was ten and moved to London where she’s work with Yotam since 2006.
For Easter, Andrew went all out with his desserts. A Three-Bean Vanilla Bundt cake might have been enough for the ten of us gathered for the holiday. But hold on, there was one guest celebrating Passover which happened to fall squarely in the Easter calendar this year. So Andrew made Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie cookies to let our observant friend observe. And he made Ottolenghi and Goh’s Coconut, Almond and Blueberry Cake. According to Ottolenghi himself “Take the word ‘cake’ out of this title and this pretty much reads like a list of superfoods.” Having apparently turned completely English on us, Goh and Ottolenghi went on to say that this cake is “simple, wonderfully moist and also versatile, as good warm for dessert with double cream as it is at room temperature when it’s time for tea.” (Double Cream, in case your English is American, is whipped cream.)
Andrew thinks that this cake would be an ideal breakfast cake, replacing coffee cake with its coconut, blueberries and almonds. All I can say is the cake was absolutely perfect, the berries juicy, the coconut and almonds crunchy and a lovely wedge of it a perfect ending to a wonderful meal…or teatime…or breakfast. Here is the recipe which I’m giving you with both English weights and American cups:
Yotam Ottolenghi's Coconut Almond and Blueberry Cake
This cake is about as versatile as you can get. For dessert, serve it warm and top it with Whipped Cream. For tea, eat it at room temperature. Or serve it in lieu of Coffee Cake at the breakfast table.
- 200g/ ¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, then set aside to come to room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 180g/ 1 2/3 cups ground almonds
- 60g/ 2/3 cups desiccated coconut
- 250g/1 ¼ cups caster sugar
- 70g/ ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. self-rising flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tsp)
- 200g/ 1-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
- 20g/ ¼ cups sliced almonds
- Step 1 Grease and line a 9 inch spring form or 23cm round cake tin. Preheat the oven to 350F 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Step 2 Place the almonds, coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk to aerate and remove the lumps.
- Step 3 Place the eggs in a separate medium bowl and whisk lightly. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest and whisk again until well combined. Pour this into the dry mix and whisk to combine. Fold in 1 cup/ 150g of the blueberries, then pour the mixture into the tin. Sprinkle the last of the blueberries on top along with the flaked almonds and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Keep a close eye on it towards the end of cooking: the large number of eggs in the mix means that it can go from still being a little bit liquid in the centre to being well cooked in just a few minutes.
- Step 4 Set aside for 30 minutes before inverting out of the tin, removing the baking parchment and placing the cake the right way up on a serving plate. It can either be served warm with cream or set aside until cool.
- Step 5 This will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminium foil. It also freezes well for up to a month.
For more of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes, click on these links: