Author Notes: This cake is a winter spin on Yotam Ottolenghi's Cauliflower Cake recipe (from his Guardian column, The New Vegetarian). It is wonderfully moist, and makes a great canvas for your favorite flavor combinations. Here, I've used Garnet Yams, a good strong blue cheese, sage infused olive oil, and a crust of finely ground toasted walnuts.
Because the blue cheese in this recipe is salty, I try to be conservative when salting other elements as they cook.
- 1 1/4 pound garnet yams (about 2 large or 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1/3 cup sage-infused olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped fine
- 1/3 pound walnuts, toasted and finely ground
- 2 ounces Parmesan Reggiano, grated
- 5 ounces Stilton or Roquefort, crumbled
- 8 large eggs
- scant 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 180 grams, if you have a scale)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (preferably an aluminum free brand, such a Rumford)
- 1 tablespoon white pepper, freshly ground (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 handful fresh whole sage leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the yams with a small amount of olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, or until they are tender, being careful to remove them before they overcook and lose their shape. Set aside.
- While the yams are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and sauté the chopped onions until soft (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool, slightly.
- Lower oven temperature to 350.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, turmeric, parmesan cheese, white pepper and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, chopped sage, sage oil, and onions. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, whisking to remove lumps. Gently fold in the blue cheese and roasted yams.
- Butter generously the sides and bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Sprinkle the ground walnuts over the sides and bottom of the pan. To get good coverage, you may need to press the walnut meal against the surface. Very fine meal will adhere more easily.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 45 minutes, until the cake is golden and set. Before baking you can lay your whole sage leaves on top of the cake (8 is a good number), or save them and garnish the cake with fried sage leaves.
- Check the center for doneness, using a toothpick or cake tester. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- To make a quick sage oil, put 1 cup of olive oil (not your best) in a food processor, along with 1/2 cup of fresh sage leaves. Blend and transfer to a small pan. Warm the mixture over medium heat until fragrant. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. I always strain the oil a second time, through a coffee filter, but it isn't necessary.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Walnuts & Sage