A low-carb variation of my Cauliflower Cheese Cake, this mini version holds crumbles of highly-umami blue cheese, almond flour and pink peppercorns. Eat hot or cold.
Preheat the oven to 160C fan/350F. Spray a 1 lb loaf tin with oil spray and line with a strip of nonstick baking parchment paper that overhangs a bit. This will make it easier to lift out.
Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces; finely chop the shallot or onion.
Steam the cauliflower for 8 minutes then allow to cool a bit. If using a microwave, add pieces to a Pyrex bowl along with 2 tbsp of water and cover with a plate. Cook on high for three minutes.
While the cauliflower is steaming, heat the oil in a sauté pan; add the chopped shallot/onion, sautéing gently until translucent and softened – about five minutes for the onion, less for the shallot. Stir in the thyme, turmeric, black pepper and nutmeg, sautéing a further couple of minutes. Finally stir in the cauliflower until coated. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, dry whisk or sift the almond flour and baking powder, stir in the blue cheese and fold in the eggs and mustard, if using. Stir in the cauliflower, Dijon mustard and half of the pink peppercorns.
Scrape the blue cheese cauliflower loaf mix into the prepared loaf tin. If you wish, sprinkle over the remaining pink peppercorns, pine nuts and sesame seeds. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Pull from the oven and let sit on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Use a thin knife to loosen the edges, then pull up the blue cheese cauliflower loaf and cut into thick slices. Serve warm or cool/cold.
Getting ahead: prepare the cake as described and bake for 20 minutes. Cool quickly, cover the tin with thick foil and freeze until use. Bake from frozen at 160C/350F for about 20 minutes, uncovering the foil for the final 10 minutes.
Soft food diet: blend the cauliflower, onions and herbs before mixing with the remaining ingredients. Serve with plenty of gravy.
Go large! To make this for a crowd, double the ingredients and pop into a 23 cm round cake tin and bake for 50 minutes.
Tweak it: if your tastebuds don't accommodate blue cheese, sub in a best-quality Cheddar cheese or part Cheddar and part Parmesan. Bold flavour is key.