Actually, that title should probably read, ‘Radiantly extravagant, (mostly) Raw, (definitely) Vegan Five Layer Tropical Fruit Maple Pecan Birthday Cake, but it wouldn’t fit in the title bar.
It’s been a while since I posted about food, but this creation should be documented before I forget what I did! We’re so spoiled here at Kaliyoga with our amazing, Macrobio Vegan chef, Marici, and our raw food goddess Radiantly Alessandra, but sometimes they need a day off and so for Alessandra’s birthday we decided to create her a legendary cake inspired by her love for travel in Tropical countries – she is a raw foodie, but not so strict so I took a couple of little liberties for flavour and just down to sheer availability (or lack of) certain ingredients I’d have liked to have used.
So, firstly – I’ll apologise for the approximations of quantities, I make everything by eye and feel and intuition, so I never weigh anything, in fact its a small miracle that I even remembered most of what I put in. But if you want to have a go, use my description as a guide and allow your own intuition to guide you too.
Five Layer Tropical Love Cake
The order from the bottom up was
1 – Berry sorbet
2 – White coco tofu mix
3 – Mango Basil sorbet
4 – Pink coco tofu mix
5 – Fruit topping – I used 3 large passion fruit and the saved 2 tbsp of berry sorbet plus a handful of rose petals and a few borage flowers so that it represented the gorgeousness of Alessandra.
The day before…
I soaked 4 large handfuls of almonds overnight, then skinned 1/3 of them (please feel free to save yourself the hassle by buying ready-skinned almonds)
I also soaked 3 large handfuls of desiccated coconut in 200ml rice milk overnight
On the day (early morning to allow time for all the layers to freeze – you can also make the whole thing a day or two before) …
I took the 2/3rds of almonds that were not skinned (skin on) and put them in a food processor with 2 handfuls of pecan nuts, 1 handful of sesame seeds, a large splash of coconut oil and a small splash of maple syrup for flavour.
I pressed this base in to the tin (a small quiche tin lined with baking paper) and put it in the freezer.
The rest of the layers are made in a powerful blender (we have the JTC Omniblend).
Coco almond tofu layer
First I blended 250g silken tofu with the soaked coconut, half a tin of coconut milk, juice of 1 lemon, 1 large frozen banana, a small splash of maple syrup and the 1/3 of soaked almonds with skin off – although soaked cashews are probably preferable but I couldn’t find any locally.
I then divided this coconut tofu mix in half (into old jam jars) and set aside in the fridge.
Berry sorbet layer
Next I blended 1 small punnet of blackberries/brambles with 1 small punnet of black currants (topped and tailed) and half a frozen banana to make a sharp jammy layer.
From this mix, I set aside 2 tbsp for the topping at the end, 2/3rds for a layer on its own
Pink Coco layer
Then I mixed the remaining 1/3 of the berry sorbet in the blender with one half of the coconut tofu mix from the fridge to make a pink layer.
Mango sorbet layer
Next was a whole large ripe mango (scooped out insides no skin of course) and a handful of basil leaves in the (cleaned out) blender for the yellow mango sorbet layer.
While I was making layers the base was cold and set so I poured over the first layer nice and evenly – in this case the berry sorbet – but you could put it in any order you liked.
Then back in the freezer to set hard.
Then repeat pouring all the layers over and putting back in the freezer until they set.
It takes a few hours to become soft if it is fully frozen, so when you want to eat it, put it in the fridge to become soft enough to cut – it is 35 degrees C here in Puglia, southern Italy at the moment, so if you live in a cold climate you might need to defrost it outside of the fridge.
We served the cake with a plate of sliced local early season figs (Fioroni) with tahini and sesame sprinkles and a glass of very chilled local while wine.
We spent the evening sitting around a Fire pit decorated with flowers, singing songs we remembered from our childhood, watching the sky blaze with colour as the sun set and and staring at shooting stars as night fell. Wherever you make this cake, may it inspire you to have a celebration with your own group of gods or goddesses.