Traditional karidopita is definitely an indulgence. It is usually made with breadcrumbs, lots of butter and sugar. This variation uses rice malt syrup and raw honey for sweetness and contains a lot less butter than traditionally used. Ensure you use a good quality butter – we recommend an organic and grass fed variety. This recipe is gluten free, grain free, paleo and lactose free and is easily adaptable to be dairy free. It is full of warming spices and an earthiness that makes it a perfect winter dessert.
FOR THE CAKE
375 gm walnut kernels
125 gm almond meal
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp baking powder
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 cup rice malt syrup (or raw honey)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
75 gm unsalted good quality butter, melted (try coconut oil if you need this to be dairy free)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp brandy or cognac
FOR THE HONEY SYRUP
75 ml raw honey
75 ml water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
60 gm roughly chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp raw honey
Preheat oven to 170C and line and grease a 20cm baking tin with baking paper. Prepare the honey syrup by mixing the honey, water and vanilla in a small pot over a medium high heat. Allow to come to a boil and cook for 2-3 mins until reduced slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
Place walnuts in a food processor and grind them into a “semi-fine”” meal. There should be a mixture of fine and coarse bits. Place this in a large bowl and then add the almond meal, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Stir to combine.
Place the eggs, honey, orange juice, melted butter, vanilla and cognac or brandy in a separate bowl. Mix well and pour into the walnut mixture. Stir to combine and then pour into baking tin.
Cook the cake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to rest for 10 mins in the tin before inverting onto a plate. Pierce the cake with a skewer to make a number of holes on the top and pour over the cooled honey syrup. Allow to cool completely before sprinkling with the crumble topping.
To make the crumble topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until a crumble consistency is achieved. Spread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 min until golden and fragrant.
Recipe adapted from Souvlaki for the Soul