I have always been totally enamored with all things Italian; I studied Italian in college, read Italian cookbooks to fall asleep, and married a 100% Sicilian man. Olive oil is the quintessential Italian oil, and it varies in complexity and flavor more than any other oil out there. Almonds (also an Italian staple) are a natural, sensual counterpart to Extra Virgin olive oil, and this recipe is based on the traditional cake from Italy, but is gluten and dairy free and honey-kissed.
I made this cake because it is finally Spring in the Land of Enchantment, and I was looking for a vehicle for the incredible magenta redbud flower pods growing on the tree outside our window. I love edible flowers because well, it’s like eating this magical, nectar-filled mystery. I imagine taking in the beauty and it floating through me to all the places I need it most.
Spring means love and fertility and rebirth and renewal. This cake is a celebration of All of these things. It is simple to make and you can and should use any edible flower you can find, even those beautiful “weeds” smiling at you from the cracks in the sidewalk, dandelions. Just use only the petals. Finally, imagine as you are creating this for yourself, for your lover, for your friend or your child, the surprised smile that comes from something simple and amazing.
Almond and Olive Oil Honey Cake with Flowers
What You Need:
* 9 inch springform round cake pan
* 2 cups of almond blanched almond flour (I buy Honeyville’s: when it goes on sale)
*1 tsp. baking powder (adjust leavening by reducing by 1/2 at higher altitudes)
*1/2 tsp baking soda (reduce by half at higher altitudes)
*1/2-3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
* 4 eggs, beaten (room temp)
*2/3 cup & 1-3Tbsps. of honey separated
*1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
* 1 whole organic lemon, zested
* 1/2 to 1 cup of Redbud edible flowers or any sweet edible flower (not nasturtiums 😉 )
* I added about 2 Tbsps of chioggia beet powder because the color is amazing and we had it in our pantry from the fall harvest- you could add this if you have it, but it is totally optional.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your cake pan with olive oil and sprinkle with almond flour, making sure it is well coated to prevent sticking. Whisk the almond flour, baking powder and soda, & sea salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the 2/3 cup of honey and olive oil. Add zest from 1 lemon and mix with the dry ingredients. Mix lightly, and then fold in about 1/4 cup of the flowers. If you have beet powder, mix that in carefully also. Add the batter to the pan and spread evenly, and put in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
For the sauce: In a small saucepan, gently warm the honey, 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, vanilla extract, until honey is melted and all is combined. Wait until cake cools completely. Pour or brush sauce over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in, and then cover in the remaining flowers. Serve with fresh whipped cream, coconut cream or ice cream. Enjoy!!