Whole wheat, Olive oil, eggless cake with Peaches or Nectarines..
Egg less cakes were never an option for me as I would always think why eating cakes when one can't eat eggs. You can judge I am not much of a cake eater. Or any desserts for that matter. I always thought here is no point experimenting with an egg less cake if you don't have to avoid eggs for some reason.Adding eggs to cakes makes it more nutritious and more lighter on the Glycemic load scale. Suits me.
It's not that I never baked an egg less cake before. There have been guests of the pure vegetarian types who have wanted a cake from me and I have obliged with an egg less variety but there was always some fruit in the batter as baking a Banana bread/cake or an Apple sauce cake was the easiest option with my limited experience of egg less baking. Of course I used to add either buttermilk or whey in combination with baking soda to get the cake more fluffy but there would always be a slight excuse that it is an egg less cake so the sponge is not that good. The taste has always been good as fruits and nuts never fail.
This cake was a breakthrough in a way that it was as fluffy as a white flour cake made with eggs. The reason for egg less option was that it was to be made for my sister and brother who visited me yesterday and my sister was avoiding eggs for the holy month of Shrawan. I decided to go with Olive oil and homemade yogurt this time. And whole wheat for obvious reasons. I have stopped stocking white flour at home now.
You can see that this cake is baked almost like a pie. A very thin layered cake so it bakes evenly. That is the main reason that allows the air bubbles to blow up without being weighed down by the batter as is the case in a taller cake.
A wide baking pan, the cake batter spread out thinly in a layer just about 1 cm thick, fruit slices laid on top and baked to perfection. That is all about this awesome cake. Of course the ingredients do play a role in it's texture and taste, the thinness is the key. The cake is just about 2 cm in thickness.
The baking tin I used is 29 cm by 25 cm, I measured it for you. So choose the right baking tray for this recipe as the thinness makes this cake special.
1 cup packed* plus 2 tbsp whole wheat flour (Atta)
1 cup homemade yogurt (3% fat)
1/2 cup Olive oil (I used Leonardo Olive oil)
1/2 cup sugar (lesser would be better if you like mildly sweet cakes like me)
1 tbsp homemade pineapple jam**
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp Pineapple essence
1/3 cup of chopped Almonds
3 large Peaches or Nectarines
*the cup gets packed when you scoop out flour, loosely packed when you top up the cup with flour.
** if you don't have a homemade Pineapple jam, just take one thin slice of Pineapple, puree it and cook it with 2 tbsp sugar till thick, just takes about 3 minutes in the microwave for this quantity. Don't worry if it is a bit runnier than a jam. You can also use one Peach for this purpose. I had some Pineapple jam and added it to give a depth in fruit flavor.
Mix the whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Keep aside.
Line the baking tray with a greased butter paper sheet and keep aside.
Halve the Peaches, remove the stone and slice the halves thinly and keep aside.
Switch on and pre heat the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, add the Olive oil, yogurt and sugar and whip till smooth. No need to emulsify it completely. A quick whisking just to make everything smooth and sugar almost dissolved.
Remember to reserve a tablespoon of sugar for sprinkling on top of the cake.
Tip in the flour mix and whisk again to make a thick batter. Just a minute of whisking is enough. Do it quickly as the soda bi carb (baking soda) looses it's fizz if you whisk the batter too long.
Add the Pineapple essence, Pineapple jam/preserve/Peach puree and the chopped almonds and mix well again.
Pour the batter in the lined baking tray. The batter is thick and doesn't spread on it's own. More so because it has to cover a wider area. Use a knife or a sweeping stroke of your palm to spread the batter across the tray. I told you it makes a thin, about a cm layer of batter in a baking tray. Fill in the corners well.
Arrange the Peach slices on top. Sprinkle the reserve sugar over the slices as it helps glazing them while they cook.
Slide the baking tray inside the oven and bake the cake at 200 C for 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as each oven behaves differently and you wouldn't want your peach slices browned.
In this cake the peach slices were arranged touching each other but as the batter fluffed up during baking and Peach slice shrunk due to dehydration, they spaced out naturally. So take care to arrange them closely to begin with. The spaces between the peach slices have become pinkish brown.
Let the cake cool down. Lift up the butter paper holding one end , tilting the tray a bit and the cake would slide out easily over you kitchen platform.
Cut the cake in squares and serve as required. You would like to slide a flat knife blade under each square of cake to lift them up.
This cake would not keep well for long as there is sliced fruit on top that has not been much dehydrated. Consume within three days maximum if it lasts that long in your family. Mine was distributed.
The inclusion of Pineapple in the batter is a very good idea as it gives a rich fruity depth to the cake. The homemade yogurt makes ita little tart along with the natural tartness of the Pineapple and the Indian peaches I used. That was another great thing with this cake. And that helped with the aeration too in combination with baking soda.
The Peach slices make a beautiful topping and no one would miss a glaze or an icing over this cake. You might like to serve or with a dollop of cream for a plated dessert.
Do not skip adding Almonds or some other nuts in the cake as it gives a nice texture to it. Of course the taste gets richer, the Glycemic load lighter and you get a healthy cake to eat. Thinner, smaller serving size.
What more would you want from a healthy cake?