Friday, October 29, 2010

Cauliflower Cake

It's great to welcome back Chriesi from Almond Corner as our host of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've had cravings for cauliflower.

cauliflower© by Haalo

There's certainly no shortage of cauliflower recipes on this blog and each recipe highlights just how versatile the often maligned cauliflower can be. There's the unusual cauliflower couscous, Italian cauliflower fritters, Indian inspired cauliflower pakoras, cauliflower and stilton soup and to finish off, that all time favourite, cauliflower with bechamel sauce

The dish I'm making this week is Ottolenghi's Cauliflower Cake which would be best described as a crustless quiche. There's lots of eggs and lots of cheese and having made it, I think it's one of those recipes that can be constantly adapted - changing the cheese types or herbs or spices used will totally transform the dish. I'd also recommend replacing some of the cauliflower with broccoli or brussels sprouts.

cauliflower cake© by Haalo

Cauliflower Cake

1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
1 red onion
small sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
8 large eggs
large handful basil leaves, ripped
170 grams plain flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon turmeric (this just enhances the colour)
200 grams cheese (I used a mix of parmesan and cheddar)
sea salt and ground white pepper

From the medium sized cauliflower I managed to get 720 grams of prepared florets. I don't think you need to be too obsessed about the weight - if you're under or over it really shouldn't matter.

Boil the cauliflower until soft, drain well and allow to cool completely. While the cauliflower is cooking prepare the onion.

Cut the onion in half and then cut a few slices off each half to use as decoration - roughly chop the rest of the onion. Heat a little oil and a knob of butter in a pan over a low heat and add the chopped onion and rosemary - sauté gently until softened and golden. Set this aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder and turmeric together into a bowl. Add in the grated cheese, salt and pepper - use a fork to mix the cheese through the flour.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the basil and cooled onion mixture - pour this into the combined flour mixture. Whisk to create a smoothish batter - it won't be perfectly smooth due to the cheese and onions.

Now tip in the cooled, cooked cauliflower and still using a whisk stir it until evenly distributed through the batter.

Pour this into a well-greased and baking paper lined springform pan - top the cake with the reserved slices of onion.

For the best result I'd probably use a silicon tin as the cheese content of this cake makes it prone to sticking even in non-stick pans.

Bake in a preheated 170°C oven until cooked through and golden - about 40 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the pan used.

Before trying to un-mould, make sure you run a flat-blade knife around the edge to ensure it won't stick.

cauliflower cake© by Haalo

As it's Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday, entertaining is certainly on the agenda - so I've also made this cake in a more portable form.

cauliflower cake© by Haalo

I've made individual cakes using a large muffin tin - you should get somewhere between 10 and 12 cakes from the mix. Time taken to cook is around 20 minutes - for best results do use silicon cases. While you can enjoy these straight from the oven, they are just as good served cold.


  1. This looks so delicious. What a creative recipe.

  2. What a wonderful recipe. I will have to take it to try. Cauliflower is so yummy!

  3. Thanks Kalyn - generally you can't go wrong with an Ottolenghi recipe, they are creative and highly adaptable too

    Thanks Kirsten - I hope you do make it, it's just so delicious!

  4. One thing is very good about it is that all ingredients are easily available. Directions are given properly. Thanks for such a nice post.

  5. Ottolenghi is incredible. I've tried a few of his recipes and want to do this one now. Beautiful photos too.

    You mentioned adding broccoli or brussels sprouts next time instead of all cauliflower. Was that because of a bland taste? Or, just to vary it?

  6. I love cauliflower and always looking at different ways of using it. This looks delicious.

  7. The portable version looks so elegant! Great use for the poor old cauliflower - I must admit, it doesn't get much chance to shine in my house.

  8. cauliflower cake sounds intriguing and delicious at the same time! i love ottolenghi's recipes.

  9. this looks really delicious and easy. I love cauliflower! I like the hints for making one large cake or the smaller muffin sized. Thanks for the post!

  10. Thanks HCR

    Thanks Claudia - I suggested those ingredients as variations, the cake isn't bland at all if made with just cauliflower.

    Thanks Susan - it's proved to be a hit here

    Thanks Marisa - this cake would probably convert any anti-cauli people out there

    Thanks Limecake - i love his recipes too

    Thanks Deb!


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