This little marvel is one I’m quite proud of, I must say.
It’s not quite like anything else I’ve tasted—think of a cross between a quiche and what you would think of as cake, only savory.
If you’ve seen my recipe for Sourdough Breakfast Cookies, you may already know of my delight that is baking with legumes. (And this has absolutely nothing to do with “baked beans.” In fact, I’m bringing a whole new meaning to the term.) As I’ve said before, do not be frightened away from the beans. They replace flour beautifully. It’s quite magical.
If you know of Anna Jones’ cookbooks and blog, this creation was inspired by her “Amazing Cannellini Cake,” which is absolutely what she says it is. You can find that delicious recipe in her book A Modern Way to Cook.
Now, without further ado, a recipe for a clever centerpiece to grace your weekend brunch, weekday dinner, or midday picnic. Enjoy!
Savory Breakfast Cake
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
4 oz cremini mushrooms, small dice
4 – 8 spears of asparagus, small dice
18 oz butter beans (or other white beans), home-cooked or two (2) 15-oz cans drained and rinsed
3.5 oz | 100 g almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning veg
50 g avocado oil (or olive oil, or coconut oil melted), plus more for cooking veg
*optional: a few dollops of hot pepper sauce for the top (e.g., I used Trader Joe’s “Bomba” Calabrian Pepper Sauce)
*additional spices, as desired (e.g., white pepper)
Special kitchen equipment:
- Food processor
- 9-inch spring-form pan
- Parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prep the pan. Use a bit of oil to grease the pan (I like to use coconut oil for this, as it’s so easy to spread). Line with parchment on the bottom and sides.
- Prep veg. Press the garlic and let it sit to activate all its goodness prior to cooking. Preheat a skillet, adding a bit of oil just before adding the veg. Dice the mushrooms, cooking over medium heat until nicely browned. Remove the mushrooms, and set aside in a medium bowl. Next, mince the onion and sauté with a bit of salt until translucent and soft, stirring frequently. Add the garlic to the onions, cook for about a minute. Dice the asparagus while alliums are cooking. Scrape the onions and garlic into the bowl of the food processor. Cook the asparagus lightly until bright green; season with salt. Remove from the skillet into the same bowl as the mushrooms.
- Make the batter. Measure the almond flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Mix together with a whisk or fork until no lumps and well combined.
- Blitz the beans, onions, and garlic in the food processor until broken down and coming together into a fairly smooth consistency. Next, add the eggs one at a time, blending until well incorporated before adding the next (scrape down the bowl of the processor with a spatula as needed).
- Tip the contents of the food processor into the bowl of flour. Add the 50 g of oil and the mushrooms and asparagus, then fold everything together. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well to ensure all the flour is incorporated.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth out the top. If desired, dollop four (or so) globs of hot pepper sauce on top, using a knife or spoon to loosely marble it into the top.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 400 F, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 F. Bake for another 30 minutes. The cake should feel set when gently touched on top, but may still have a bit of a “give” or “wiggle” to it.
- Cool for 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Then, run a thin knife or spatula around the side to ensure it isn’t sticking to the side before removing the spring side. Cool completely before serving.
- Store any leftovers covered and at room temperature for up to a day or so. Any longer, I recommend storing in the fridge. Consume or freeze within 3 to 4 days.