spice-cake

Greek Walnut Spice Cake

spice-cakeMakes: 12 servings

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS
CAKE

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (Arbosana, Arbequina)
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup barley flour (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

SYRUP

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 small strip orange zest (1-by-1-inch)
  • 2 whole cloves

PREPARATION
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once halfway, until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.  Whisk whole-wheat flour (see Measuring Tip), barley flour (Of all pourpose), baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Combine yogurt with orange zest and juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth; gradually whisk into the egg mixture along with oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring well in between until just blended. Fold in 1 cup of the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 45 minutes.

To prepare syrup: Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, orange zest strip and cloves in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a few times. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes (you will have a scant 1/3 cup); remove the zest and cloves. Let cool.

When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a toothpick, pierce the top in about 18 places and brush the syrup over the cake 3 or 4 times, allowing it to seep in each time. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and let cool for 30 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife; cut into 12 squares. Enjoy warm or room temperature.

TIPS & NOTES
Make Ahead Tip: Store at room temperature under a cake dome or in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Ingredient notes: Barley flour has a mild yet distinct flavor, which some describe as slightly sweet and malty. Barley is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores; it’s often available in bulk. Store in the freezer.

 

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