Lemon tendercake with blueberry compôte
Nigella's best vegan cake.
When I was in a café in Kansas City, I ate more mini lemon bundt cakes than a human being should be able to manage in one sitting. But I can’t tell you how easy it was. Oh, and did I say they were vegan? As is this. The café gave me their recipe, but I have played fast and loose with it, and turned it into a tender sponge, to be topped with coconut-milk yogurt and – like a retro cheesecake topping – blueberry compôte.
For the cake
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 150ml/5fl oz vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 150g/5½oz caster sugar
- 275ml/9½fl oz coconut milk
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the compôte
For the topping
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease the sides and line the base of a 20cm/8in springform cake tin with baking paper.
To make the cake, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk the oil, sugar and coconut milk together in a jug, followed by the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of juice and the vanilla extract.
Pour the jug of liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, whisking to combine, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes, by which time the top will be golden brown, the sides shrinking away from the tin and a cake tester should come out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave the cake to cool completely in its tin. It may sink slightly as it cools.
To make the compôte, put the blueberries, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, caster sugar and 50ml/2fl oz of cold water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring gently every now and again, for a couple of minutes until the blueberries have softened. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix 1½ teaspoons of cold water with the cornflour in a small cup and stir the paste into the compôte. Put the pan back over the heat and stir gently for about 30 seconds until bubbling and thickened. If you feel it has become too jammy and thick, simply add a little more water and stir it in over the heat. Pour the compôte into a small heatproof bowl or jug to cool and set.
Just before serving, remove the cold cake from its tin and place on a cake stand or plate.
Mix the coconut-milk yoghurt and vanilla together, spoon the icing sugar into a tea-strainer, then sieve it over the yoghurt and stir it in before spreading and swirling this soft mixture over the top of the cake. Loosen the blueberry compôte a little with a fork and gently spoon on top, leaving a gleaming white frame. Serve immediately.
Don’t shake the tin of coconut milk, as it’s best to get as much of the thick creamy part as possible. However, please don’t worry too much about it: the better-quality cans of coconut milk tend to be thicker anyway. But you are not allowed even to think about using light coconut milk.