From Kate Heyhoe’s Cooking Green
- Green Goodness: Bakes in slow cooker using almost no fuel; kitchen stays cool
- Prep/Cooking Times: 15 minutes prep +2-1/4 hours unattended
- Prime Season: Year-round
- Conveniences: Quick ‘n’ easy dessert; small slices serve many
- New Green Basic: Use as no-oven, slow cooker template for other quickbreads and cakes.
This rustic and distinctive cake can be addictive with tea at breakfast, with cheese at lunch, and after dinner with grapes and fresh fruit. It’s inspired by a cake in Lynn Alley’s book The Gourmet Slow Cooker, and it’s like the sweets served at Mediterranean cafés and coffee houses—moist with lemon-honey syrup, fruity with olive oil and oranges, spiked with cinnamon and yogurt. Cornmeal and almonds give it texture you can taste. And unless you mention it, no one will guess it’s made in a Crock-Pot.
For easy mixing and one less bowl to wash, measure the wet ingredients starting with the yogurt into a 4-cup measuring cup, then add the eggs and whisk.
- 1/2 cup olive oil (mild, or mix of mild and fruity), plus extra for greasing
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (double-acting)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (1 cup) plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)
- 2 teaspoons orange oil or 1 tablespoon orange extract
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, or pine nuts
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 5-quart slow-cooker insert (crock) with a small amount of olive oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Set in the paper and grease it.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and salt. Separately combine the yogurt, remaining olive oil, orange oil or extract, and eggs, beating with a wire whisk. Pour the yogurt mixture into the bowl holding the dry mixture and combine until uniformly mixed. Stir in the nuts. Pour the batter into the crockery insert.
3. Lay a folded dishtowel across the top of the crock (covering the batter without touching it), cover with the lid, and cook on high 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until the edges turn brown and pull away slightly from the insert, and a wooden skewer poked in the center comes out clean. Lift the insert (using potholders) out of the cooker and let it rest, uncovered, 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife or spatula. Place a plate over the top and, holding it securely (it’s hot: use potholders), flip the crock over, so the cake falls onto the plate. Remove the parchment. Let the cake cool slightly.
4. Stir the honey and lemon juice together until completely combined. While the cake is warm, poke holes in the top with a fork, about 20 times. Spoon the glaze over the top and sides, letting the glaze seep in slowly before adding more. Serve in thin slices.
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