April 23, 2017

Paleo Vanilla Cake

I wanted a good English recipe for St George’s Day to take to lunch with friends.  Usually (always) if I make a cake it’s a good simple chocolate cake but I thought I’d try a traditional Victoria Sponge, paleo style. Unfortunately, I used today to try out Trader Joes new and organic coconut cream for the first time… FAIL. It’s relabelled, same name, newly organic, and NOT the same. It would be great for a smoothie but sadly it doesn’t whip. At all. So I thew in a lot of cocoa, a splash of honey and vanilla, some extra almond flour and made a cheat ganache to rectify it!  I did it in a blender and just added and tasted until it was a consistency I could spread.  I’m going to guess the solid part of 2 cans of cream with 1 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup almond flour, 2-3tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla and a tiny pinch of pink salt. It worked but next time I’ll be getting a different brand and doing a real whipped coconut cream for a real Victoria sponge.

The cake was perfect though. Fluffy and simple with a touch of almond because I love that flavour, and just right for fresh fruit and whipped cream!

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INGREDIENTS

8 oz virgin coconut oil (softened but not liquid)

10 oz raw honey

6 eggs at room temperature

1tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

10 oz blanched almond flour (not meal)

2tsp baking powder

2oz arrowroot starch

1oz coconut flour

To top:

16oz fresh strawberries

2 cans good quality coconut cream

DIRECTIONS

24 hours before you start, place your coconut cream in the fridge.

When you’re ready to bake: I used a stand mixer to whip this one up but you can either do that, or just a good fork, spoon and bowl.  Start by beating together the soft coconut oil, honey, and extracts until they are fully combined and smooth. Ideally they’ll get to a ‘whipped’ consistency that will give the final cake the right fluffy smooth texture.

Note: If you don’t get that texture because your coconut oil is hard, it’s ok just mix them as well as you can, or blend them together in a food processor then pour it out into a bowl to continue. 

One by one, crack in the room temperature eggs and using a fork beat them into the mixture. Make sure each egg is just beaten in before adding the next one.

In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients then pour them into the wet mixture.  Using a spoon this time, gently fold them into the wet ingredients without beating. You want to keep as much air in the batter as possible.

When the batter is smooth again and all the flours have been well combined.  Pour it into an 8″ deep cake tin (or two 7″ tins) and bake in a preheated 350F oven.  If you do just one cake it will take 60 minutes but every oven is different so check it after 40.  If you do two cake tins it will take less time.  You’re looking for a cake that is just springy to the touch, doesn’t wobble when you touch the pan, and is going a golden brown colour round the edges.

Turn the cake(s) out onto a rack and leave to cool.

When the cake are cool, remove the coconut cream from the fridge, open them and spoon out the solid white part into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Whip the coconut cream until it is fluffy and will form soft peaks. Place it back in the fridge for 20 minutes, then spread 1/4-1/3 of it onto it onto one half of the cake.  Slice the strawberries into roughly 1/4 inch thick layers and spread them over the cream.  Dollop another 1/4 of the cream on top and then top with the second layer of the cake.  Finally spread the remaining cream on the top of the cake and finish by placing the remaining strawberries around the edge.

I finely grated a few squares of chocolate in the middle of the strawberries to serve.  If you don’t plan to eat the cat right away, store it in the fridge until an hour before you want to eat it then pull it out!

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