I've been in a major rut in the kitchen lately. The last four or five things I've baked to sell at the gym have bordered on inedible, and I've had a string of dinners that have been, well, lacklustre, to put it mildly. When Philippe, the most enthusiastic eater you'd ever want to have at your table (or not want, depending on whether or not you're trying to save leftovers) neither speaks nor finishes his bowl, you know you're in trouble. Last week I even went so far as to buy a brownie mix, something I haven't done in years, thinking that I needed a sure thing, a winner, a confidence booster to get me back in the game. I replaced the eggs with "flax eggs" and ended up with a weird, greasy, plastic-y brownie roll-up that literally boiled in the oven, burned on the edges, and came out about 1/4 inch thick. (The really sad part is that I ate it anyway.)
Anyhoo...all that sadness and despair ended yesterday with this wonderful jackfruit cake. A Christmas miracle! It's very easy to put together, and has the lovely, light, distinct flavour of jackfruit. I've made it twice already, and especially like it with the additions of a bit of coconut and walnuts. I'm back! (Fingers crossed) And I hope you enjoy it.
2 cups flour of choice - I use 1 cup wheat, one cup unbleached all purpose
1/2 cup naturel cane sugar
2 T ground flax seeds
1.5 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 cup drained canned jackfruit (save the syrup!)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup reserved jackfruit syrup
3 T unsweetened applesauce
2 T oil (unrefined coconut or canola)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup large, unsweetened coconut shreds - lightly toasted
- Lightly oil a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350.
- Combine the first five (dry) ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Blend the jackfruit, coconut milk, syrup, applesauce, oil (and cardamom if using) in a blender or magic bullet until smooth.
- Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just incorporated. If using coconut, fold it in.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and sprinkle the walnuts on top if using.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the centre comes out clean.
I haven't worked out the ratios perfectly yet, but here's something to play with if you're interested. After making this recipe you'll have about a cup of reserved jackfruit juice and a cup of coconut milk left over. Mixing them with chia seeds (and an optional pinch of cardamom) makes for a sweet, creamy pudding. 1/3 cup whole chia seeds isn't quite enough - I tried this and got a pretty runny (but tasty) pudding. 2/3 cup ground chia seeds is way too much - I tried this and got an instantly firm (but tasty) pudding that could stand up on it's own. Somewhere in between is the sweet spot - I'll keep working on it, but let me know if you come up with anything!