I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so when I jump into the kitchen it's always about what kind of treat I can dream up. At one stage I was burning myself out teaching so much yoga. One night I thought: "Enough is enough, I'm exhausted but I've got to do something else, so I'm going to bake a cake. A super healthy cake." And I did! The first time it didn't hold together so well, but the good news is I've had a few chances to perfect it. If you can't get fresh peaches and figs, just add whatever seasonal fresh fruit you have. This recipe is pretty adaptable.
Fig, peach and cardamom paleo loaf
300g almond meal
60g coconut flour
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of salt flakes
375ml almond milk
3 eggs, beaten
80ml maple syrup
125ml coconut oil, melted
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped (or a dash of vanilla extract)
1 peach, cut into segments
6 fresh figs, cut into segments
50g coconut sugar (or muscovado, panela or raw sugar)
butter or macadamia nut butter, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200C and grease either a 20-centimetre loaf tin or a 23-centimetre round cake tin with coconut oil.
2. In a big bowl, mix the almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Slowly pour in the almond milk, whisked eggs, maple syrup and coconut oil. Add the vanilla seeds and then fold it all together.
3. Gently fold in the fruit, saving a few peach and fig segments for the top.
4. Arrange the reserved segments on top of the mixture and sprinkle with coconut sugar, then bake for 45-50 minutes. It might take a little longer depending on the size of the tin you are using. You'll know it's cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
5. Enjoy with fresh organic butter (super paleo) or fresh macadamia nut butter.
Makes 1 loaf
Extract from The Happy Cookbook, by Lola Berry, published by Plum $34.99.