Sprouts – they are definitely the marmite of the vegetable world. You either love them or you hate them. I have to admit that as a child I hated them with a passion. and as much as my Mum would try to disguise them by mashing them in with cabbage, I could always detect their unique taste and flavour!
However, now as an adult I actually like them and do not need to add them to another vegetable to enjoy them, I will eat them as they are , although I especially like them on Christmas day when I cook them with pancetta and chestnuts! It is no surprise then, that both my children do not like brussels sprouts so when I was recently asked if I would like to try some Flower Sprouts and encourage those who do not enjoy eating regular sprouts to try them, I was up for the challenge!
Flower Sprouts are much prettier to look at than brussels sprouts, and, according to the description, are a mix of kale leaves and sprouts in flavour.
Before my vegetables even arrived for review, I had made my mind up that I would make a cake using them, after all, many cakes containing vegetables, such as carrot, courgette, beetroot and sweet potato, taste delicious and more often than not even fussy veggie eaters will eat a cake containing hidden veg! I had seen a recipe back along for a kale cake, and so I knew that that had worked so why not Flower Sprouts? I also know from Slimming World that you can use sweet potato in a cake, to reduce the sugar intake and add natural sweetness and flavour, and I thought another hidden veggie for extra goodness too!
With regards to the cake flavour, I know that sprouts work well with hazelnuts and orange and cranberries – all very festive for this time of year aswell. So I steamed the Flower Sprouts and then blitzed them as finely as I could in a food processor before adding to my cake batter along with the other ingredients.
(I have to own up, I did not haver any sweet potato at the time, so I used some frozen sweet potato mash that I had own my freezer instead, which worked! But really a regular sweet potato cooked would be better….probably!)
The cake batter looked and tasted nice so I was feeling confident that this cake was going to be ok – just had everything crossed that I could fool my family once it was cooked and finished! Anyway, into the oven it went
And out it came
I decided to top it with some orange icing – to add some extra tang and sweetness, and to fool the boys into thinking this was a carrot cake which they would be eating
It was such a pretty colour inside: the little greeny purple flecks from the flower sprouts, the orange from the sweet potato and the Christmassy cranberries.
But the real test was seeing if I had fooled my brussel sprout hating children
*trumpet fanfare if you please*
It worked – they thought it was yummy!!!!
If you fancy tricking your children into eating more veggie goodness, then here is how I made this Flower Sprout Cake
- 125ml olive oil
- 300g self raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 100g light brown sugar
- 140g flower sprouts, steamed until cooked, and then blitzed in a food processor
- 140g sweet potatoes, peeled and grated (or use frozen as I did!)
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g ground hazelnuts
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- juice 3 clementines
- Juice of 1 orange
- 2 heaped tbsp icing sugar
- Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan)
- grease and line a 20 x 30 baking tray/ovenrproof dish
- steam the flower sprouts for 3-4 minutes as stated on the packaging
- place the cooked flower sprouts into a food processor and blitz them until they are minuscule
- in a large bowl, place the oil and the sugar and beat well for 5 minutes
- add the eggs, maple syrup, the flour, ground hazelnuts, bicarb, baking powder, clementine juice and spices and beat well for a few minutes more
- add your cooked sweet potato mash and the flower sprouts and cranberries and mix well
- pour into your lined oven dish/baking tray
- cook for about 30 minutes until cooked all thew way though the middle
- leave to cool in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack
- once the cake is completely cold, make your icing by mixing the icing sugar with the juice of 1 orange
- spread over the top of the cake
- serve and enjoy
For more conventional ways of cooking with Flower Sprouts, please check out these recipes:
Flower Sprouts are currently available to buy in Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, M&S, Asda and Sainsburys
I was sent Flower Sprouts for the purpose of a review and was compensated for the ingredients I used.