A rich cake made from acorns, maple syrup and eggs. Inspired by traditional uses of chestnut flour.
a dense cake made with nothing more than acorn flour, eggs, maple syrup, and a little bit of technique. Instead of using acorn flour raw, I hydrate it by cooking it into a mash beforehand. The flavor is slightly reminiscent of coffee cake, but don’t expect a light, airy fluff—the acorns add a certain weight to it you’ll feel. It’s something to behold, simply sliced, possibly warmed, with a dollop of whipped cream and a cup of coffee. You could probably substitute other nut meals for acorn, but I haven’t tried.
Makes one 8-inch (20 cm) cake
1tablespoonmaple or white sugarfor dusting the pan
5ounces1 cup140 g acorn flour, finely ground and sifted
1cup240 ml water
4ounces225 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1cup240 ml maple syrup
1teaspoonvanilla extractor wild vanilla extract, the recipe for this is in my book
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-9in (20-22cm) springform pan, then sprinkle with maple sugar.
Toast the acorn flour lightly in a skillet or oven until just beginning to darken—don’t allow it to burn—then set aside to cool. Meanwhile, mix the water, butter, and maple syrup and bring to a boil, then add the toasted acorn flour and cook just until it thickens and a paste forms, then transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover it with cling film, and cool to room temperature.
Mix the cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
In a stand mixer, beat the eggs until light-colored with a whisk, add the vanilla and cinnamon mix, then gradually add the acorn paste.
Mix until combined, then beat the mixture for another minute or two until you get a fluffy batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just barely cooked through—if the middle if puffed and upright, it’s overdone and could potentially taste dry. When in doubt, underbake it slightly, as it will continue to cook with the residual heat as it cools. The texture should be smooth, a little reminiscent of a flourless chocolate torte, but with slightly more texture.
Serve with whipped crème fraiche, whipped cream, or sour cream. The cake will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 3-4 days.