Recipe & Photography: Emma Galloway

Although not a true peppercorn from the pepper vine, pink peppercorns have a similar peppery flavour, albeit a slightly fresher almost sweet and citrusy version. While great used in savoury dishes, it also lends itself to sweet applications too! I love pairing it with strawberries in the summertime, and its flavour adds a subtle peppery note to these pretty little gluten-free cakes. I cooked mine in mini bundt tins; however, they could also be cooked in paper cases in regular muffin tins or as a large cake (you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time). The sweet tang of the lemon icing adds a little something something, but should you be wanting to stick with a relatively low-sugar option, simply cook the batter in muffin tins and serve un-iced. You can find buckwheat flour at most supermarkets and health food stores, but if you don’t have a problem with gluten, white spelt or regular wheat flour can be used in its place. Find pink peppercorns at selected supermarkets or substitute for freshly ground black pepper if unavailable.

Makes 9 mini cakes

¾ cup ground almonds
⅓ cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
¼ cup raw sugar
1 tsp pink peppercorns, finely ground plus extra to garnish
finely grated zest 1 lemon
pinch fine sea salt
1 large stalk rhubarb, finely diced (approx. 1 cup once finely diced)
2 large free-range eggs
⅓ cup light flavoured extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup milk of your choice (I used rice milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Icing

½ cup pure icing sugar
lemon juice

Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 9-tray mini bundt tin.

Place ground almonds into a medium bowl, sieve over buckwheat flour and baking powder. Add sugar, ground peppercorns, lemon zest and salt and whisk well to combine. Add rhubarb and mix. In another bowl combine egg, olive oil, milk and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir until just combined. Divide cake batter between tins and bake 12–15 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside 5 minutes before removing from the tins and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. When cakes are cool, sieve icing sugar into a bowl and add just enough lemon juice to reach a thick pouring consistency. Drizzle a little over each cake and scatter the tops with extra ground pink peppercorns. Best eaten on day of baking, but will store airtight for 2 days.

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