This recipe is a vegan and gluten-free copy-cat of Ottolenghi’s famous Cauliflower Cake recipe. While our ingredient lists look worlds apart (the original has 10 eggs), it is a testament to how remarkable this way of cooking can be, when you have a few tricks up your sleeves. The eggy-ness of this recipe, is bonkers, and the flavour, delightful! It's gentle enough for children to eagerly devour, while full of subtle notes of sophistication, to please the most opinionated cooks.
This recipe is delicious warm or at room temperature, making it perfect for a picnic or take-from-home lunch. Yes, it has a long-ish ingredients list, but don’t fear, the method is straightforward.
- 500g cauliflower florets (1 small cauliflower/1/2 a large)
- generous glug olive oil
- 1 onion, diced small
- 1 large sprig rosemary, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped/minced
- 300g firm tofu, drained
- 1 cup (250ml) unsweetened plant milk
- 1/3 cup (30g) chickpea/besan flour
- ½ cup (78g) rice flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp vegan 'chicken' stock powder
- 1 1/2 tsp black salt
- ¼ turmeric
- generous grind pepper
- 1 tbsp vegan basil pesto
- small handful parsley, finely chopped
- large handful grated vegan cheese
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
To Decorate: sesame/caraway seeds, ½ red onion, sliced into thick full moons (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180C/360F.
- Steam or boil the cauliflower florets for 7 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Add the glug of olive oil to a small fry-pan and add the onion, rosemary and garlic to it. Sauté until soft, then set aside.
- Blend all of the Egg Mixture ingredients together in high-powered blender or food processor until smooth.
- Pour the Egg Mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add in the onion mixture, along with the cauliflower florets, pesto, parsley, grated cheese and fennel seeds. Mix everything together so that the Egg Mixture coats everything. It's meant to look lumpy.
- Line the bottom and grease the sides of a 24cm spring-form cake tin (or similar tin/dish). Sprinkle a small handful of sesame/caraway seeds around the sides and on the bottom of the greased tin. Spoon in the mixture and smooth over the top. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and then submerge the red onion into the top for decoration.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, moving it to the top shelve to help brown up for the last 20 minutes if necessary. This is best eaten warm, not piping hot, but you do you. So wait or eat straight away.