This cake has a heck of a story behind it.
One fine day last year, Meredith and I thought it would be a lovely idea to conduct a grand feast at my house for the purpose of generating some great photos and enjoying one another’s company and cooking.
We had the ambitious idea of completing a wholefood layer cake of such rustic beauty that it would melt the hearts of all our foodie viewers. And yes, what you see before you is a grand masterpiece that we are totally proud of. The back story however, is a little less graceful.
Unlike Meredith, I am not the most skilled baker. The precision freaks me out, and there are just so many variables that can leave the recipe a disaster. To make the cake really special, we decided to both cook our own sections, which would be alternatively layered between a cashew & coconut icing, and topped by edible flowers.
I created a vision for my spelt butter cake layers with cardamom & orange blossom flavours. I’d made the basic cake before, and it had the most beautiful, dense crumb so I was confident it was going to turn out perfect.
In the oven it went, and after forty minutes the skewer came out totally wet. I decided it needed a little more time. Fifteen minutes later, still no clean skewer. So I turned it up and left it for another twenty minutes.
By the time I returned, the cake was completely black on top. My smoke alarm began to protest. I took the cake out of the tin; hoping I could carve the blackened top off. Devastated, I was confronted by the likeness of a molten lava cake; with the liquidy insides pouring out from within. It turns out I had the oven set on grill the whole time. This surely had to be the most epic-baking-fail in the history of civilization.
Anyway, I ended up baking a second cake minus the grill setting and I just got it baked in time for our photo-shoot, thank the Lord. Meredith’s cake of course turned out wonderfully. Shortly after, we received a knock on the door from our favourite flower queen Heather from Gypsy Flora, generously embracing a bucket full of blooms, including some darling edible flowers to top our experimental cake.
Lo and behold we managed to get the darn thing assembled, and to be honest I was completely awe struck by what we pulled off. And the finished product was unbelievably yummy. This cake is a great one to make with friends if you are up for making a creative masterpiece and impressing the pants off everyone
Just remember to hit the OVEN setting, and all should go well!
Spelt, cardamom & orange blossom layers
300g rapadura sugar
1.5 tsp ground cardamom
2.5 tsp baking powder
250g softened butter
70g desiccated coconut
250g white spelt flour
40g orange or lemon juice (or a mix)
30g organic full cream milk or coconut milk
20g orange blossom water
Lightly grease and line 20 cm x 30 cm cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
Combine sugar, coconut, baking powder and flour. Set aside.
Whisk together eggs, butter, citrus juice, milk, and orange blossom water.
Combine wet and dry ingredients with an electric mixer, or by hand; until lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth.
You will need to cook the cake in two sections; therefore you can choose to pour half the mixture into the tin and cook it, then cook the second half after. Alternatively if you have two tins of the same size you can cook the two halves at the same time.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely.
If the cake has developed a rise, you will need to use a very sharp knife to carve each section of the cake into straight, level layers that will sit on top of one another without falling over.
Almond and Honey cake layers
recipe from Love Bake Nourish
4 tbs almond meal
150g unsalted butter
180g honey, melted if not runny
pinch of salt
Grease a 20cm cake tin. Beat all of the ingredients together thoroughly with an electric mixer. Scrape into tin and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
Follow the same instructions to cool and trim the cake from above.
1 cup cashews soaked overnight (or attest 4 hours)
5 tbs coconut oil
5 tbs coconut milk
5 tbs raw honey
1-2 tbs rose water (or to taste)
Drain the cashew and blend with the rest of the ingredients until very smooth, then freeze stirring occasionally until the consistency of regular frosting or whipped cream.
Once all four layers have cooled and been trimmed to the same size, place onto your chosen plate for display – or a cake board and turn table. top with a small amount of icing so that it reaches to just before edges. repeat with the rest of the layers and then use more icing on top swirling around the top of the cake to finish smoothly.
Ask your local florist if you can order in some edible flowers. It will be totally worth it. Cover with whatever ones you like to add some serious beauty and floral flavours to the cake. If you can’t get the flowers any soft seasonal fruit would be beautiful and delicious with some toasted almond flakes or orange zest to emphasise the flavours of the cake.