I love making cake. Really, really love it. If I were going to go pro, I would open a bakery and make CAKE. But alas, I don’t get to make it often. Cake is a bit fancy. It’s not everyday. And things don’t get fancy around here very often. Not to mention, I don’t need to have cake lying around every day of the week. I used to fantasize making cakes and then just giving them away, but then I felt guilty about that. “Eating all this cake isn’t good for me, but here, you have some.” Didn’t quite feel right. So, I mostly just bake cake when I really want to decorate a beautiful edible treat or there’s something special going on. This time it was the former.
This cake came to me as a lay awake at 2:00 AM. I was so excited about it that I couldn’t fall back to sleep. (This actually happens to me quite frequently and is super annoying). I love that great ideas come to me at any time, don’t get me wrong, but I end up getting so excited that I am up for hours and HOURS. Seems counter-productive, but I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. It would be nice if I were the type to get out of bed and execute my ideas at 2:00 AM, but I am decidedly NOT that person. And I’m pretty sure my family would dagger-eye me back to bed if I started clanking pots and pans at 2:00 AM.
This whole grain cake is made with a roasted blackberry and blueberry puree, covered in fresh fruit, and then topped with two decadent sauces: a white chocolate hemp sauce and a blackberry and blueberry sauce. Eeeee! So good. And only sweetened with maple syrup and honey. I have tried this cake multiple ways: once with just the berry sauce (great!), once with just the white chocolate sauce (great!), once completely plain with berries (great!), once with greek yogurt as a frosting (excellent!), I think you get my point. The one aspect of this cake I would not change is the fresh fruit. In my world, each bite should have a generous portion of fresh fruit!
I shared this cake with a new friend of mine and it made me realize, once again, how nervous I get cooking/baking for people I don’t know very well. Do any of you ever get nervous about this?
When I don’t know a person’s taste preferences, I get really anxious serving them. And I find myself constantly biting my tongue, working hard not to apologize or give unnecessary explanations about what they are eating. Such as, “I added a lot of salt because I love salt, but maybe you don’t.” ” You really don’t have to eat this.” “This might not be as sweet as you’re used to.” And on and on…
In addition to all of the above neuroses, I am also super paranoid when I cook for new people, thinking that they will feel obliged to eat what I made for them. I frequently feel compelled to say, “Here I made this for you, but you can totally just throw it out if you don’t want it.” Which is not quite the sentiment I am going for. It also makes for a really awkward moment as I am serving something to say, “Don’t feel obliged to eat this.” It seems to add a note of severity to an otherwise delightful gathering.
But this time I decided not to do any of this! As each apology and unnecessary explanation twisted its way to the tip of my tongue, I swallowed it back down. I did a bit of internal squirming, but I managed to keep my mouth shut, which I was happy about.
The cake was a total success from my perspective. My sister went nuts for it. She is the absolute best audience! She is not the type of person who will eat anything, but if I make it for her she will, and 9.9 times out 10 she loves it. I don’t think I am as good a cook as she is a taster. But I am grateful to have her tastebuds to please.
I don’t want you to feel obligated to make this cake or anything, but here’s the recipe (winky face…I haven’t kicked the annoying emoji habit yet, either…sorry).
- 2½ Cups whole spelt flour
- 2 Teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- ½ Teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ Cup maple syrup
- 1½ Cups blueberry and blackberry puree (2 cups blueberries + 2 cups blackberries + 1½ cups water roasted in oven)
- 6 Tablespoons ghee melted (90ml) (or substitute coconut oil)
- 1 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Leftover blackberry and blueberry puree from cake recipe
- ¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon lemon
- 1 Teaspoon maple syrup
- 3½ Tablespoons (50g) Cacao butter
- ½ Cup hemp seeds
- 2½ Tablespoons raw honey
- Seeds from ½ vanilla bean scraped
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- ½ Cup water
- Preheat oven to bake 350F.
- Measure fruit and water into a small baking tray and roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and oozy.
- Leave on counter to cool and allow the juices to thicken (about 30 minutes).
- Sift all of your dry ingredients together.
- Using a a blender, blend together the roasted fruit and cooking liquid until smooth. Blend very well so that no large blackberry seeds remain*.
- Measure out 1½ cups of the berry mixture into a bowl with the other liquid ingredients (except for the apple cider vinegar). Whisk together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together. Whisk gently until you have an even mixture.
- Spray your bundt pan with cooking spray.
- Mix in the apple cider vinegar just before pouring the batter into your pan.
- Bake for forty-minutes at 350F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler
- Combine melted cacao and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend on high until the sauce is completely smooth.
- Store in a glass container in the fridge. If the sauce solidifies melt it again by putting the glass container in a pot of simmering water. If you want to use the sauce immediately, after blending place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to allow it to thicken just a bit.
- Add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon lemon to the leftover blackberry and blueberry puree you made for the cake. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Garnish with fresh fruit and pour on your two sauces in alternating layers.
*What remains of the blackberry seeds after blending can be filtered out by straining the puree. I didn't do this because the seeds don't bother me.
Now let’s decorate this thing! Decorating cake is ALMOST as good as eating cake, almost…