No jaunt to Barcelona is complete without a trip to the elusive dive that is La Cova Fumada - an inconspicuous tumbledown tapas treasure trove, where one might wait an hour on the footpath outside before finally being able to jostle in; to happily feast at the edge of an already occupied table, or standing at a corner of the bar. It is worth the hungry wait - all is forgiven as pulpo, freshly caught sardines fried in olive oil, divine artichokes, and of course the specialty - La Bomba, are fired roughly onto the table. It is customary/mandatory to wash all this down with a carafe of wonderful, watery, cheap red wine (no matter if it’s 11am).
Maybe it’s the warm weather, but I’m dreaming of tapas today. One of my favourite tapas dishes is Berenjenas con Miel de Cana - a traditional Andalusian dish of thinly sliced aubergine, coated in a light batter and fried until crisp, greasy, and golden. It is then generously drizzled with Miel de Cana, a ‘sugar cane honey’ that looks like a light molasses. This cane honey is a local delicacy in Malaga. Olive oil and sea salt seal the deal to create an absolute taste explosion.
As an expression of my appreciation for this delectable dish, I decided to let it inspire today’s cake. So here goes - a honeyed aubergine cake. Eek! Don’t be afraid. There is no vegetable taste whatsoever; the aubergine simply lends a creamy, mild taste and texture, and the lemon dominates in terms of flavour. This cake is sugar-free, but I like to drizzle it with a little good honey.
½ a large aubergine (around 150g)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 medium free-range eggs
40g coconut flour
30g ground almonds
~20 drops liquid stevia
2 tsp vanilla extract
15g extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Sprinkle of sea salt
1. Preheat your oven to 180C, and prepare a cake pan.
2. Cut ½ aubergine into 3-4 large chunks, and roast for around half an hour. Allow to cool.
3. Add aubergine to your blender/ food processor, and blend until completely smooth.
4. Add in the remainder of your wet ingredients.
5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, before adding them slowly to your blender/processor.
6. Pour into your pan, and bake for approx 30 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool, and then top with the below frosting and/or drizzle with honey.
Optional lemon-tahini topping
Combine the following:
15g vanilla protein powder
30g icing erythritol
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp light tahini
1 tsp vanilla extract/ bean paste