ALMOND CAKE WITH CULTURED RASPBERRY FILLING and PROBIOTIC CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free and Vegan substitutions listed.

This is one of my all-time favorite cake recipes. You will need to make the cultured raspberries a few days in advance, or if you don’t have time to make the cultured raspberries you can sub them with raspberry compote or jam. I have also made this cake with dairy free coconut frosting. The base cake is extremely versatile and good just on its own as well. For a vegan version be sure to use vegan replacement eggs such as flax eggs and vegan butter.

ALMOND CAKE

Adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts, this cake is best made in the food processor. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and let the mixer run until the almond paste is finely broken up. There are a few notes at the end of the recipe, including some almond paste tips and suggestions.

Makes one 9-inch or 10-inch (23-25cm) cake

1 1/3 cups (265g) coconut sugar

8 ounces (225g) almond paste

3/4, plus 1/4 cup (140g total) Cassava flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (8 ounces, 225g) unsalted vegan butter, at room temperature, cubed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

6 large eggs, at room temperature (for vegan sub with flax eggs)

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Grease a 9- or 10-inch (23-25 cm) cake or spring form pan with vegan butter, dust it with flour and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. (See Note, below.)

2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup (35g) of flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup (105g) of flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Once the almond paste is completely broken up, add the cubes of vegan butter and the vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth and fluffy.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition. (You may wish to open the machine and scrape the sides down to make sure the eggs are getting fully incorporated.) After you add all the eggs, the mixture may look curdled. Don’t worry; it’ll come back together after the next step. (or vegan replacement eggs)

6. Add half the flour mixture and pulse the machine a few times, then add the rest, pulsing the machine until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, but do not overmix. (You can also transfer the batter to a bowl and mix the dry ingredients in, which ensures the dry ingredients get incorporated evenly and you don’t overbeat it.)

7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center. (I start my frosting now.)

8. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp or serrated knife around the perimeter, loosening the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.

Once cool, tap the cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper, and set on a cake plate. (Tip: Warm the bottom of the cake pan directly on the stovetop for just a few seconds, which will help the cake release.)

Once the cake has cooled, I split it horizontally then add a layer of the cultured raspberry’s then frost the top with the probiotic crème cheese frosting allowing it to drip down the sides. I decorated the top with roses from my garden and some fresh raspberries.

STORAGE AND TIPS

This cake will keep for four days at room temperature, well-wrapped. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

Notes: For this cake, I used a 9 inch pan whose sides are 2-inches (5cm) high. Some readers noted that the batter rose higher than their pan, although I’ve made this cake well over a hundred times and have not had that problem. So, use a standard size cake pan whose sides are at least that high, not a layer cake pan, which is shallower.

In the United States, Solo and Odense are good brands of almond paste available in supermarkets. I’m partial to the almond paste from American Almond Products, which is marketed in home baker-sized containers under the name Love ‘N Bake. 

This is one of those cakes that’s hard to mess up. There’s no sifting or folding or tricks, and it keeps well for several days. In fact, it gets better if it sits a day or two before serving. Occasionally it will sigh a bit in the center, which is normal and adds to its character. (So, no need to panic if it settles as it cools.)

Almond cake

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

2 cups raw cashews (soaked about 1 + hour, drained and rinsed)

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

1/2 cup maple syrup 

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 capsule powdered probiotic or 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon pink salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1.placing all frosting ingredients in a high-speed blender.

2.Blend until creamy, frosting like texture is reached.

3.Store frosting in airtight container in refrigerator until use.

CULTURED RASPBERRY FILLING

2 cups raspberries

¼ cup warm water

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon culture starter

INSTRUCTIONS

1.Combine warm water and honey in a cup. Stir until honey is dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature.

2.Add the culture starter to the honey water and stir until dissolved.

Add the raspberries and the honey water mixture to a bowl.

3.Gently mash up the raspberries to release some of the juice and to incorporate the honey water evenly.

4.Add the raspberries to a glass jar and seal loosely with a lid or cover with cotton and secure with a rubber band.

5.Set out on the counter in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for 1-3 days.

The berries are ready when air bubbles have formed, and they are fizzy. They will taste slightly tart when ready. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

ABOUT CULTURING RASPBERRIES

These yummy raspberries are very versatile. Blend them into a sauce to put on weekend pancakes or add to sparkling water for a probiotic raspberry spritzer or add chia seeds to make a chia seed jam.

You will need a veggie culture starter to ferment the berries. I use Body Ecology’s Vegetable Culture Starter for this. One packet will last for several batches, and it has a long list of beneficial bacteria in it. These bacteria will flourish in the berries and honey making a food good for helping you maintain a healthy weight and heal digestive issues.

After 1-2 days the raspberries will begin to bubble and fizz. Put them in the fridge at this point because they are ready to use.

This cake is well worth the effort. It is always a guest favorite and such a pretty cake.

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Thanks and happy cooking!

Colleen

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