I love to make these around Christmas-time. They are deliciously moist, flattish but light and are a crowd-pleaser.  Prune-haters also usually like these cakes, provided you keep it a secret that they contain prunes!  They will keep in an airtight jar in a cool place for about 10 days.  I love spices so I generally also add some extra.  I add a generous pinch of ground cloves and ground ginger but you don’t have to.

Makes 16 small cakes about 1cm high

60ml water
85g ground almonds
1/2 level teaspoon mixed spice
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
175g pear, peeled
50g dried stoned prunes (with no sulphur dioxide additive), preferably organic, finely chopped

1.  Put prunes and water in a small pan and simmer till water is absorbed
2. Combine with the almonds and mixed spice
3. Grate the pear into the almond mixture and stir
4. Fold in the egg white to make a thick paste
5. Place 16 dessertspoonfuls of mix on a greased baking tray
6. Bake 170C (or 155C fan) for 20 mins or until lightly browned

Why these are better for you
First of all these cakes have some high quality protein from the almonds and egg white.  This means that the sugars from the pears and prunes only gradually hits your bloodstream (protein slows down absorption of sugars in your gut).  This is good news if you like to keep your energy, mood and blood sugar levels fairly even.  Sulphur dioxide is a preservative that can have unpleasant effects on your digestive system.  Mixed spice, like all spices, contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and slow the ageing process.   Cooking damages foods, so these are not as healthy as eating raw food (e.g. my raw green tea macaroons on this blog).  But sometimes you just want cake anyway…