I watch a lot of food TV. Like a lot. Seriously a lot. And I always have.
I remember back in the day watching Emeril before I had to go to bed. Those were the days when the shows were more about cooking and less about competing, though I do see that each has a place on the screen and each sparks creativity for me.
It’s soothing to watch Giada or Ina or Ree cook. I’ve watched Giada roast pork or Ree put peanut butter in the middle of cookies and want to do it myself right then. I’ve also bought a sweater because I saw Giada wear it. And I really want the bar stools and drawer pulls Selena Gomez has.
I can’t help but challenge myself to come up with what I would make using the ingredients in the Chopped basket or on Baking Championship.
And oh yeah, I love Great British Baking Show. Watching it does calm me down, but it also inspires me to create more impressive desserts that force me to push myself in terms of baking skill and flavor combination. They make me want to bake masterpieces.
I’m not quite there yet, but this cake is inching closer to a Paul Hollywood handshake.
It started with a desire to roast some berries, even if I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with them. I absolutely love roasted berries – how all the juices come out and become syrupy, the flavors intensified. The addition of aged balsamic takes all those great things that come from roasting berries a step further. Flavor. Syrup. Complexity.
Instead of making a simple classic vanilla cake, I went with a blueberry cake to keep the spring berry flavors going. And then my favorite cashew cream cheese frosting to bring everything together in the most magical way that screams spring and Easter – just in time for the holiday this weekend.
Happy Easter! Happy Spring! I know I am not alone in hoping this is a season of hope and progress.
A grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free layer cake loaded with fresh blueberries, blackberry and blueberry balsamic jam, and slathered with cashew cream cheese frosting.
2 1/3 cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cups tapioca flour, ¾ cup coconut flour)
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
½ cup olive oil
¾ cup maple sugar
¼ cup coconut sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
2 ½ heaping cups fresh blueberries
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2–3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/325 degrees F convection. Oil two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, olive oil, coconut sugar, maple sugar, and vanilla until lightened in color and texture and fully incorporated. A hand or stand mixer may also be used. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined.
Add half the flour, followed by the milk, then the remaining flour, along with the baking soda and powder. Stir in the blueberries until the batter is combined and lump free.
Divide batter equally between the two pans and bake about 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan. Cakes may be made up to 1 day ahead of assembly.
Make the roasted berries. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment. Spread the berries into an even layer. Drizzle with syrup and vinegar, and stir gently to combine. Bake about 50 minutes, stirring frequently, until syrupy and jammy. Cool completely on the pan. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate up to one week.
When ready to assemble, make the frosting. In a high powered blender, place the syrup, lemon juice, and almond milk. Place the drained cashews in the blender. Blend on high, using a tamper if necessary until creamy and smooth. Give the frosting a stir, add the vanilla, and blend one more time.
To assemble the cake, place on cake layer on a stand or serving plate. Spread some frosting around the perimeter of the cake and fill the center with berries. Use a lot, though you will have some leftover for just about any use – toast, oatmeal, salad. Top with the other cake layer and heap the cake with frosting, covering the top and sides. Garnish with fresh berries and edible flowers if desired.
Cake may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes