The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

Use local eggs and organic flour in this flavourful dessert

Something that you just might not know about me is that I LOVE vanilla. Not the fake vanilla extract that you find in your grocery store, but the real deal. If you have not tried it, real vanilla beans and pure vanilla extracts are a treat that you have waited long enough to try. Trust me.

My favorite brand of pure vanilla is Nielsen Massey. They offer superior quality vanilla products including Pure Vanilla Extract Blends, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla (the worlds finest), Organic Vanilla Extract (for those of us trying to eat greener!), Tahitian Pure Vanilla, Mexican Pure Vanilla and a host of other vanilla products including vanilla powders, pastes, sugars and of course, Pure Vanilla Beans. Their products are sold at fine retailers across Canada and, although they might seem a touch pricier than the vanilla with the orange cap that you are used to purchasing, one whiff will have you hooked. (Also, remember a little goes a long way with vanilla so that $10.00 bottle should last you several months). 

The following recipe is one of my all time favorites and it makes use of the purest form of vanilla, the vanilla bean (if you can’t find vanilla beans, just substitute a tbsp (15 mL) of pure vanilla extract). But please, please do not use that junk from the grocery store!

Vanilla Bean Almond Cake with Fresh Berries

Ingredients

Heaped ¾ cup (175 mL) all purpose flour

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

Generous pinch of salt

1 cup (250 mL) sugar

1 1/3 cups (325 mL) blanched almonds

1 vanilla bean, finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 large organic or free-range eggs

Icing sugar for dusting

Whip cream (optional)

Fresh berries for serving


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease a 10-inch (27 cm) bundt cake pan.

2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Place sugar, almonds and vanilla bean into the bowl of a food processor and process until vanilla bean has completely broken down into tiny bits and almonds look like breadcrumbs. Add soft butter and process until soft and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing well after each addition. Carefully add flour mixture and process until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared tin and smooth top. 

4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre of the cake comes out clean. Loosely cover with tin foil if cake is browning too quickly. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool. Turn out onto a serving plate, dust with icing sugar and serve with whip cream and fresh berries and a warm cup of tea!

For more information on Nielsen Massey’s Organic Vanilla please refer to http://www.nielsenmassey.com/organicvanilla.htm.

www.delish.ca

Photo: istockphoto.com/Moncherie