Green Man Cake

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Cake
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
1 c. spelt flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. dried mint
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
4 oz. (by weight) fresh spinach
1 c. apple butter
¼ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1/3 c. olive oil
3 tbs. freshly brewed chamomile tea
Goat Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
pomegranate arils
Pomegranate Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350°, lightly grease and flour two 9” round baking pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients.  Set aside.  Add into the jar of a blender: spinach, apple butter, sugars, olive oil, and tea.  Puree until completely smooth.

With the back of a wooden spoon, make a well in the flour mixture and pour in your bright green sludge.  Stir just until the wet and dry mixes are completely combined.  Batter will be thick.  Spread into prepared pans, taking care to smooth the tops.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the cakes are lightly browned and test done.  Place on wire racks to cool completely.  Ice with Goat Cheese Frosting and refrigerate until time for dessert.  Plate slices with pomegranate sauce and a sprinkling of pomegranate arils.

Goat Cheese Frosting
5 oz. soft goat cheese (chevre)
6 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the goat cheese and butter.  Sprinkle salt evenly over creamed mixture, add vanilla and mix well.  Starting with the mixer on low, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, increasing speed and beating very well between each addition.  Frosting will be very thick.  Use immediately, and refrigerate until serving.

Pomegranate Sauce
3 c. pomegranate juice
2/3 c. sugar
Juice of half an orange

Add all ingredients to a saucepan.  Simmer over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half, approx. 30-35  minutes.  Remove from heat, allow to cool completely before serving alongside Green Man Cake.

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Some things are instantaneous.  Others take time.  This cake is a bit of both.  An idea and ingredient list that hit like a lightning bolt…but took more than a year to work out the fine details.  There is a lesson in all of this.  Green Man reminds us that everything happens at its own pace.  That there is time for both patience and persistence, and that sometimes they are two sides of the same coin.

Rustic, dense, and the very best kind of weird, this yummy cake is meant to be shared.  Whether you decide to celebrate with friends or with family, do not forget to take a moment from your day to place a slice outside.   After all, Green Man would be very unhappy if you shared his cake with others and not him.

Happy Winter Solstice and Blessed Yule!

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