Friday, 9 June 2017

Spinach Cake with Matcha-Lime Frosting

Is this blog about the vegetables? Or is it about cake? Sometimes, it can be about both!

Why yes, we are celebrating - I'll have more to say on Sunday.

When I spotted a few amazing green spinach cakes on Pinterest I had to make my own. After the first attempt, I thought it needed a bit more in the way of flavour. "Can't tell it's spinach" said one poster, and it's not immediately obvious, I have to say, although it comes through in the finish.

Since I was already thinking green, I went with matcha and lime, to echo and sharpen the earthy, leafy flavour of the spinach. Into the frosting too. The result was a treat for the eyes and the tastebuds.

I have to admit I used frozen spinach as the deer have eaten all the fresh spinach. Still, that means this could be made all year round...

12 servings
1 hour - 30 minutes prep time
plus time to cool and frost

Spinach Cake with Matcha-Lime Frosting

Make the Cake:
150 grams (5 ounces) blanched spinach - could be frozen
the finely grated zest of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon matcha
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup mild vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups soft unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash, clean, and blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Squeeze as much liquid from it by hand as you can, then weigh it carefully. Or, you can use frozen spinach, in which case it too should be thawed, squeezed to reduce the liquid, and weighed. 

Line an 8" spring form pan with parchment paper, and butter or oil the sides. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the spinach into the bowl of a food processor, with the lime zest, lime juice, matcha, and vanilla. Process until very finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.

Add the sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs and quickly process again until just smooth.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Scrape in the wet ingredients and stir until well blended. Scrape into the prepared spring form pan, and spread the batter out evenly.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until firm to the touch or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.

Let cool before frosting.

Make the Frosting:
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
the finely grated zest of  1/4 lime
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
a little milk or water to thin the frosting if needed

Cream the butter and lime zest, and mix the icing sugar and lime juice into it until the icing is a good, spreadable consistency. You will likely need to add a little milk or water to achieve that. You could use more lime juice, but the frosting will then be a bit too strong and overwhelm the more delicate flavour of the cake. 

Last year at this time I made Taco Salad.

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