After sharing Pumpkin Black Bean Posole recipe from Vegan Eats World '300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet' (Da Capo Lifelong Books, October 2012) by Terry Hope Romero, the Vegan Latina who calls Queens home, here's a sweet treat with greek origins.
Walnut Spice Sticky Cake
makes one 9 x 13-inch sheet cake
A wholesome, sticky cake bursting with some of the most popular flavors in Greek sweets: walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, and even olive oil. Enjoy this rustic cake as a homestyle dessert or as an aromatic coffee cake at brunch. Barley flour is a common sight in Greek baked goods and, though a wholegrain flour, it gives this cake a delicate crumb and nutty flavor; nutritious whole spelt flour can also be used. With any cake, but especially ones made with whole-grain flour, mix the batter just long enough to moisten; mixing by hand is the best way to avoid overmixing.
The orange juice syrup topping gives the cake a pretty sheen and makes it soft and tender. It also
helps keep the cake fresh longer.
1 1/4 cups barley flour or spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
one 6-ounce cup vanilla or lemon soy yogurt (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup plain or vanilla soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
finely grated zest from one organic orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch metal baking pan or a
9-inch springform pan, place it on the bottom, and spray the insides of the pan generously with olive
oil. Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl sift together barley or spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, all of the ground spices, and salt and form a well in the center.
2. In another bowl whisk together until smooth the soy yogurt, soy milk, flaxseeds, orange zest,
orange juice, olive oil, vanilla, and sugar. Pour this liquid mixture into the center of the dry ingredients
and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the dry ingredients into the wet only long enough to
moisten; don’t overmix. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped walnuts, spread the batter into the pan (no need to spread into the corners of the pan; it expands during baking), and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts on top of the batter. Bake for 36 to 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay).
3. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a vigorous boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. The syrup should be thin (not thick like pancake syrup). Remove from heat to cool.
4. When syrup has cooled down slightly, remove cloves and cinnamon stick, then pour syrup evenly over the cake while it’s hot. When cake is completely cool use a thin, sharp serrated knife to slice into wedges. Store cake tightly covered at room temperature.
(* Recipe reproduced from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero- October 2012- by permission of publisher Da Capo Lifelong Books)