Barley coffee and hazelnut plumcake

The good intentions continue and the pantry is gradually emptying, a metaphor for this period in which I am also trying to clean up the burdens of life that I have been carrying with me for a while, more and more convinced that no one can choose for you what is good and what is bad. The kitchen, as always, comes to the rescue and translates: eliminate what is not needed, stop waiting for the right opportunity and do.

I had a bag of wholemeal barley flour still sealed, I chose to rely on Marianna for breakfast the next few days. So here I put together my new end-of-meal companion, barley coffee, with barley flour and toasted barley powder to make a very fragrant plumcake. Barley is an ancient cereal with a high nutritional value with refreshing and emollient qualities for the digestive system. Some time ago I went back to drinking barley coffee like when I was younger, I found a company in the Marche that produces a very good and organic one, slightly flavored with anise, which I particularly like. The history of barley coffee in Italy is very interesting: a common drink at the beginning of the last century, it was made at home from harvesting, to roasting and finishing with the grinding of the barley, it allowed real coffee to be replaced even during periods of crisis

The toasted hazelnuts they complete the work by giving the plumcake an intense aroma that is released already during cooking. I made some changes simply for personal taste: I inserted a teaspoon of toasted barley powder that I found some time ago from a Parma producer but which can be replaced with the more well-known baby barley if you can't find it. I also replaced the sunflower oil with extra virgin oil and eliminated cinnamon and ginger because I only wanted to taste the toasted barley.

This morning, together with the slice of toast, I also ate a slice of this plum cake and I can confidently say that it has rightfully entered the top ten breakfast desserts.

Barley coffee and hazelnut plumcake

  • 100 g of wholemeal barley flour
  • 200 g of spelled flour
  • 1 teaspoon roasted barley powder
  • 100 g of toasted hazelnuts
  • 16 g of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of bicarbonate
  • 250 ml of barley coffee
  • 1 egg
  • 120 g light brown sugar
  • 60 g of extra virgin olive oil (with a delicate flavour)

Prepare barley coffee using the moka. Let cool. Coarsely chop the toasted hazelnuts.

Turn the oven on to 180°C. Line a 26 cm long cake mold with baking paper. Mix the dry ingredients, except the hazelnuts, and sift them into a large bowl. In another bowl mix the lightly beaten egg, coffee, sugar and oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the sifted ones, mix quickly with a spoon, add the hazelnuts and mix a couple more times.

Pour the mixture into the mold and bake for 45/50 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cake rack before cutting into slices. The barley flour makes it less compact but crumbly and light, which is why the slices will tend to crumble slightly.


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