November 01, 2011

Grain-free, sugar-free zucchini mini-cakes with mint yoghurt

Week 5 of my sugar-free challenge is now well under way. I have certainly broken the habit of looking for that 'something sweet' after meals and found a heap of alternative ways to enjoy baked treats. Not even the fresh new-season mangoes can lure me in at this point! My trustworthy kitchen garden is also providing some special treats - lots of different kinds of mint are flourishing and they can certainly give that extra sweetness and freshness to salads, as well as a bowl of plain yoghurt sprinkled with cinnamon.  


These zucchini cakes have taken a bit of experimenting, but I think I've finally nailed the recipe. The secret of baking grain-free (I think) is that you need to bake them a little longer than you'd think. They stay moist, and these little cakes are certainly that without being mushy. I couldn't help myself but add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds in the mix, too. They certainly can't hurt, right? Experiment with warm spices too, if you like. Ginger, clove and nutmeg would all go really well in these cakes.

Grain-free, sugar-free zucchini mini-cakes with mint yoghurt
(Recipe inspired by Lee at Supercharged Foods via Sarah Wilson)
(makes 4 small cakes)

100g almond meal
100g chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs (unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
2 large eggs (organic, free-range)
1 tablespoons brown rice syrup*
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons milk/coconut milk
200g grated zucchini

fresh mint, to serve
plain yoghurt (no added sugar), to serve

* brown rice syrup is available at health food stores. Rice syrup is a low glucose alternative to other sweeteners, like raw honey. You can leave this out altogether, if you prefer.

1. Preheat oven to 170C and grease a 4-cup cake tin (each about 200ml). Alternatively you can use one small (18cm) cake tin.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. 

3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and whisk in the brown rice syrup, coconut oil and milk. 

4. Fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Squeeze out excess water of the zucchini and fold that in as well. 

5. Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the cakes feel firm to touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving. You can freeze these, but they are best eaten within 2 days. Serve the cakes with plain yoghurt mixed with finely chopped fresh mint.