The credit for my love for baking goes to Facebook to a great extent. The food forums that I have joined there puts forth such interesting and exciting recipes that even a non-baker would be eager to give it a try. Today's recipe is a part of one of these forum's Masterchef Monday. The original recipe was a date and walnut cake (with 80 gms date and 120 gms walnut). However, I do not have a great liking for both and so decided to alter these ingredients with almond and pistachios. I had a pack of cream crackers lying on the shelf from time immemorial and I was so glad I could use it now. This recipe is definitely a keeper and once you make the basic one, you are sure to come up with some more interesting variations. I already have a few ideas floating on my mind. The best part is this cake is butter free as well as flourless. So you won't be going on a guilt trip after you finish off two or three slices at one go, or may be more! So now enjoy your afternoon tea.
10-12 cream cracker/ marie biscuits (approx 50 gms)
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pistachios, ground to a coarse powder
1/4 cup ground almonds (soak the almonds and then peel off the skin and let them dry completely before grinding)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
A pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
A pinch of salt (I did not add as my crackers were already salted)
A handful of almond silvers
In a food processor or grinder, put the biscuits and the sugar and pulse till the biscuits are of a gritty texture (coarse to fine). Now add the ground nuts and pulse 2-3 times. Keep aside. In a bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar. You need not bring it to a stiff peaky state, if you are using your hands. However, you can do so if using a electric beater. Both ways the cake will have almost the same effect. Now beat the egg yolks, vanilla essence, and baking powder. Add the biscuit mixture and mix well. It will be like wet sand. Finally, fold in the egg whites gently without over mixing. Garnish the top with a few almond silvers.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree celsius. Line a 8" baking dish with parchment paper and pour the batter onto the dish. Tap the bottom and bake in the pre heated oven for 20 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Take out from oven and let it cool on the dish for 5 minutes. Before transferring to a wire rack, pull out the sheet and cool completely.