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Will Torrent’s cauliflower apple cake
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Baking with cauliflower might sound unusual, but when it’s married with the flavours of apple, white chocolate and coconut, it really works
150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g cauliflower, in small florets
150g caster sugar
2 small braeburn apples, grated
2 eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g desiccated coconut
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
75g white chocolate, chopped
150g unsalted butter, softened
175g icing sugar, sifted
1 1⁄2 tbsp whole milk
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a deep, 18cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Simmer the cauliflower in boiling water for
16-18 minutes, until really tender. Drain, run under cold water until cool, then pat dry well with kitchen paper.
2. Whizz the cauliflower in a food processor, scraping down the sides, until finely chopped. Pulse in the butter, sugar and apple. Gradually add the egg, pulsing between additions, before sifting in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Pulse again, then fold in the sultanas and coconut until combined.
3. Spoon into the cake tin and level the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (cover loosely with foil after 35 minutes if it browns too quickly). Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then completely on a wire rack.
4. For the buttercream, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth; set aside to cool slightly. Using electric beaters, cream the butter until pale, light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Gradually beat in the icing sugar, then the milk and vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate until evenly combined.
5. Put the cake on a stand and, using a large serrated knife, slice into two layers. Spread the base with 1⁄2 the buttercream, then top with the other layer of cake. Spread the top with the remaining buttercream. Dust with the cinnamon, and sprinkle with toasted desiccated coconut, if liked.
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