Hello there dear neighbors ! I hope life is treating you well. I have to tell you that I have had a hard time finding an English name for this “cake aux tomates séchées” recipe. You see, the word « cake » in French (pronounced « kek »!) has two meanings : it can either be something sweet, usually made with dried fruit, somewhat similar to a Christmas pudding, or a picnic type of loaf, containing eggs, flour, some vegetables, and often bits of meat, such as ham, or even tuna or shrimp. Here I am talking about the savory kind, that you can eat warm or cold, sliced up, at picnic time or served with drinks as a healthy appetizer, which is exactly what I did last Saturday night as we had people over. To make this loaf, I opted for a mix of only two different gluten-free flours, without gums, and no starches. There were several reasons for this : after having reorganized my drawers and kitchen cabinets (using some of the advice found in the famous Konmari method), I wanted to stay in a « let’s keep it simple » mode ; I am kind of tired of having to get so many packages out of the pantry whenever I want to bake ; and I feel that it might even be better for us, especially my husband, if I stay away from gums and starches which may (or may not) contain sulfites. He is feeling so healthy he even climbed a tree to cut branches last week, at his age, I mean, well over 60, something he wouldn’t have done five years ago. His weight is where it was when we met, that helps too ! So we must be doing something right, let’s keep it this way !
This loaf did not raise a great deal, probably because I used plain old baking soda instead of gluten-free baking powder (again, no garantee that this would be sulfite free) but it did not taste dry. The buffalone mozzarella and the grapeseed oil helped. The basil came from my garden : I put three organic young plants in the dirt a while back and they are doing fine… as long as we remember to water them when the weather gets too dry. I may have a green thumb after all ! I have started stocking up for the winter : I wash and thoroughly pat the leaves dry before delicately placing them inside a glass jar, recycled from when I used to buy jam in the store !
Enough chatting, dear neighbors, let’s start cooking !
– 40 to 50 g (1.4 to 1.75 oz) organic sun dried tomatoes ; when I buy them I make sure there is no vinegar or citric acid in the list of ingredients. If you find them too dry you can always soak them in a little warm water for about an hour before using them
– 5 g chiseled basil, or around 1 TBSP
– 3 eggs
– 120 g (4.25 oz) silken tofu
– 100 ml grapeseed oil
– ½ tsp unrefined all natural sea salt, no need for more as the tomatoes are salty !
– 90 g (3 oz) rice flour
– 90 g (3 oz) « white » teff flour, this does not mean it was bleached or treated ; white is just a different variety of teff. I chose it as one of my guests was a growing teenage boy, my cousin’s son Théo, and I didn’t want a very dark loaf which might have discouraged him from trying it!
– about 60 g (2 oz) organic buffalone mozzarella (to be substituted by anything « cheesy », or a dairy-free option, that you like and tolerate, provided it is soft)
– ¼ tsp baking soda and some freshly squeezed lemon juice to activate it
(Preheat the oven to 185°C / 365°F, fan-forced, or 200°C / 395°F traditional heat, and line a rectangular loaf pan with greased lining paper. Note that mine is slightly smaller than a traditional American meatloaf pan. Rather than playing around with the given amounts, why don’t you try making muffins with the batter, decreasing the cooking time to maybe 40 minutes? Don’t forget to let me know!)
1. Chop up the basil. If desired, remove the thin peel from the dried tomatoes. Chop into small bites.
2. Blend together silken tofu, eggs, salt, and grapeseed oil. Add in chopped basil.
3. Mix in flours, stirring with wooden spoon until well combined.
4. Add tomato bits and diced chunks of mozzarella.
5. Put the ¼ tsp baking soda onto the batter, squeeze some lemon juice over it; baking soda will fizz.
Combine well. Batter is ready !
6. Pour into lined cake loaf pan (or muffin tins) and bake for about an hour, inserting a knife blade after 55 minutes to check for doneness : blade should come out clean.
Cut up into thin slices at serving time. As I mentioned above, this loaf can be enjoyed while still warm, cold, or quickly warmed up in the microwave.
P-S : For my guests I also made my summer vegetable « macédoine » salad and a red bell pepper hummus dip, which I know Théo loves. For dessert, I showed them how to make « instant » banana ice-cream, dairy-free and sugar-free. When they left, Théo said to his mom « See, I ate a lot of vegetables and fruit tonight, and it was good ! » Out of the mouth of babes…