Nettle & Honey Cake ~ ‘Possibly the Best Cake I’ve Ever Had!’
Posted by Rachel - 7 April 2014
Nettles, in a cake?! I know what you’re thinking – what a bizarre combination, and to be honest, even the kids were adamant they weren’t going to try it; “Yuk” – was apparently their response on the way to meet me. However, at a glorious Spring foraging walk last year at Cape Cornwall, the whole big, green(ish) cake was devoured, and yes, the children were practically in it before it was cut, and ate every last smidgen.
“That’s possibly the best cake I’ve ever eaten” commented one participant – well even I was bowled over by that! So I thought it was time I shared the recipe with you.
I was brought up around baking - friday was baking day in our household, with cakes and snacks being made by mum for the coming week. Three hungry daughters, all with sweet tooths – we were familiar with kneeling on chairs to stir large bowls of cake mixture, placing dollops in paper cases, and carefully ensuring a fair amount missed the cases for us to clean up with light fingers and sticky mouths.
As an adult, my love of cake making, and the alchemy of cooking has remained with me. I can’t boast my mother’s finely honed skills, though I can slowly line a cake tin, and since my teens have experimented with a broad range of cake recipes, from the classic sponge to sweetening with malt barley to adding wild twists.
Nettles, you may know, are a personal favourite of mine, and I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate them into both savoury and sweet dishes. Why miss out on their fabulous nutrition just because you favour cake over soup? No need I say, here’s the recipe. Based on a Devonshire honey cake, it’s rich, sweet in a wholesome way, and utterly, enjoyably cakey;
300g self-raising flour
250g clear honey
100g dark muscovado sugar
3 large eggs beaten
2 (gloved) handfuls of raw nettles
225g butter 300g self-raising flour 100g dark muscavado sugar
Weigh out the ingredients, next preheat the oven at 140C, 160C, gas mark 2. Line a 20cm diameter cake tin with grease proof paper.
Lining a Cake Tin
Grease the sides and base of the tin with a little butter. Cut around the circle of the tin, with a couple of centimetres extra. Cut into the circle, just as far as the size of the tin base. Place inside, folding the paper up where the cuts are so they are rising up the tin sides. Do similar with measuring the cake sides, cutting into the edges again, and holding onto the base. You may need to add a little butter to the cut edges so the paper sticks to each other and holds the shape of the tin.
Using gloves, place nettles in a vegetable steamer (or saucepan with minimum water in) and steam or simmer for 5 minutes. Remove excess liquid (through a sieve or squeezing with a wooden spoon) and blend with a food blender, once blended, squeeze a little extra liquid out, though not too much that you remove all the flavour!
Raw Nettles Blended Nettles in Sieve
Next, break the butter into pieces & put in a pan with the sugar & honey. On a low heat, stir until melted, transfer contents into a mixing bowl,adding the nettle pulp & put aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.
Beat the eggs and add into the butter/sugar/nettle mixture, then stir in the flour. Pour into the cake tin & bake for about 1 hour 10-20 minutes.
Or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when pressed & a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Remove & leave to cool a little before slicing. Delightful while still warm. Or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when pressed & a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Remove & leave to cool a little before slicing. Delightful while still warm
Nettle Cake can next be experienced at the;
PLENTIFUL WILD FOOD WALK with NETTLE CAKE on Sat 3rd May 2014, 2-4.30pm Prussia Cove, West Cornwall.
Adults £25, under 16s free
For details and to book please go to; http://www.wildwalks-southwest.co.uk/calendar.php
Leave a comment
Rosehip and Custard Tart - 29 October 2016
Groundbreaking: New Seaweed Book - 8 June 2016
Alexander Muffins - 22 February 2016
Wild Foccacia on Scilly - 5 October 2015
Foraging, Yoga and a Paleo Diet - 28 April 2015
Alexander and Three-Cornered Leek Frittata - 23 March 2015
Foraging on the South West Coast Path - 6 November 2014
What would Happen if Everybody Foraged? - 16 July 2014
Big Bellys ~ Wild Venison & Sea Buckthorn Tart - 9 June 2014
Gorgeous Places to stay in Penzance - 28 April 2014
Is it better to be a Happy Pig or a Sad Philosopher? - 26 February 2014
Foraging for Valentines (with Chocolates!) - 5 February 2014
Why Cornwall is Excellent for Foraging (even in Winter) - 2 January 2014
‘Tis the Season to Cook, Create & have Fun! - 17 December 2013
Mackerel Salad with Blackberry Dressing - 21 September 2013
Savoury Oatcakes with Wild Carrot Seeds - 14 August 2013
How to Make Elderflower Cordial & Elderflower Sorbet! - 10 July 2013
Summer Feasting – Comfrey, to eat or not to eat? - 24 June 2013
Foraging with Corporates ~ Gathering Momentum - 2 May 2013
The Secret of Pig Flop & Superior ‘Asparagus’ - 2 April 2013
Making coffee from cleaver/goosegrass seeds - 5 February 2013
Wild Swimming & Christmas Chocolates - 26 December 2012
Wild Apple Curd & Hogweed Seed Meringue Pie - 2 November 2012
Making Rosehip Fruit Leather - 29 October 2012
Wild Berries in Austria - 27 September 2012
Catching the last of the Elderflowers… - 23 July 2012
Eclectic Foragers & Spaghetti Seaweed - 1 July 2012
Mad March Spring Foraging - 1 April 2012
I’m in Love with Nettles! - 12 March 2012
Sorrel - 22 February 2012