Hazelnut Cardamom and Strawberry Layered Cake
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This cake just “sort of happened”. Ever have moments like that happen to you in the kitchen? It all started with some fresh almond pulp that was sending me subliminal messages in my sleep that I needed to use it for something. A few days later, I was at Costco and low-and-behold, they had organic strawberries!! I am becoming more and more impressed with their selection of fruits and veggies. So I knew would be able to make my dream come to fruition. From there, it is all a blur.
For this recipe I used fresh, moist almond pulp. You could use whole nuts, processed down to mealy texture but it will change this recipe completely. It will certainly be more dense. So, play around and have fun with it, just realize it may not turn out the same.
This cake needs to be eaten right away or frozen. Bob actually preferred eating the cake basically frozen. It had sat at room temperature for about 15 minutes. The truth of the matter was that I had a slice of cake sitting on the counter for testing. You see, I always have to sacrifice a slice or portion of any recipe that I make. So, for this cake, I cut a piece while it frozen to see how it would fare sitting out at room temp. I like to see how the texture is affected, if the frosting would get runny and so forth.
Bob walked by the cake and asked if he could have a taste. How can I possibly tell that man “no”. hehe I always set a timer so that I remember to check my test piece. At 30 minutes, the timer went off. I walked over to where I HAD put the piece of cake and …. it was gone. I went on a hunt for it and in the living room, on the floor, next to Bob’s chair, sat the plate….empty…. not even a crumb! Well fiddle, there went that test. haha But then, I guess that it better to find an empty plate on the floor than a plate with a piece of cake on that is only minus one bite…right? So, I started my test over and here are the results. After 30 minutes of sitting at the room temperature of 73 degrees, the cake part was starting to get a bit mushy, party due to the juices from the jam seeping into it. The frosting held up wonderfully. So, my recommendation is to eat the cake anywhere from 15-30 minutes after taking it out of the freezer. Return the leftovers immediately to the freezer.
Ingredients: yields 7 cups batter
- 2 cups hazelnuts, soaked and dehydrated
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 cups organic strawberries
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, pulse the hazelnuts along with the cacao, cardamom and salt, till the hazelnuts are broken down to small pieces.
- Add almond pulp, honey and lemon juice. Hold off on the almond milk… only add this to the recipe if the texture is dry and not holding together. If needed, add 1/4 cup at a time. Almond pulp will always vary in moistness, this is why I use the almond milk for adjusting. Mix everything together till well combined.
- Press half of the cake batter into plastic-wrap lined cake pan. Set the other half aside and cover with plastic.
- In the blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, maple syrup and chia seeds together. Blend until smooth. I recommend fresh because frozen strawberries will release quite a bit of liquid and make the cake soggy.
- Pour over the first layer of the cake, spread evenly and place in the freezer for 4+ hours or until frozen.
- Remove the frozen cake from the freezer and add the remaining cake batter on top of the strawberry layer. Press the dough down evenly and firmly.
- Return to freezer for 4+ hours or until frozen.
- Frost (I used “Milk” Chocolate Cake Frosting) and eat right away or keep in freezer. When ready to eat, allow to thaw for about 15 minutes. If left out to warm completely to room temperature, the strawberry layer will seep into the cake and make it very soggy and mushy.
Additional Cake Tips:
- How to frost a cake. Click here.
- How to slice a cake. Click here.
- How much frosting is needed for a cake? Click here.
- Need a basic white frosting recipe? Click here.
After pressing the bottom layer of the cake batter in, pour the strawberry puree over the cake.
Tap the pan on the counter lightly to work out any air bubbles and so it will rest evenly. Place in the freezer till firm.
Once the strawberry layer is hard, place the top layer of the cake on top. Gently press evenly and firmly.
Return to the freezer for 4+ hours, or until frozen. This will help with frosting.
I am always thinking and looking for creative ways to present my foods.
This is a metal sign that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. I thought it was perfect.
This is one of my favorite dessert pans. It makes for easy removal. I flip the pan
upside down and push it out onto the serving dish.
I had wrapped the base with plastic wrap to make it easier to lift off of the base of the cake.
Now we are ready to put the first, thin layer of frosting on the cake. This is what we
call the “crumb” layer.
It’s looking a bit rough right now, but the second layer of frosting will more smooth.
Place the cake back in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
I put s second layer of frosting on and used a metal ruler to smooth it out. They have
official cake decorating tools for this job, but I love my tool box toys!
This next step is optional but a lot of fun. I placed a paper towel on the smooth cake
surface and rubbed over the top of it. This smoothed out any spatula markings and also
embossed the cake with the pattern from the paper towel. Next time you buy paper towels
you will be looking at them a bit differently. Do this step on the top and sides.
Here is the end product. A bit hard to see but at least you can see how smooth it is.
Next, get the piping bag ready. Make sure your frosting is firm but workable. The
glass will act as a stand while filling the piping bag.
Fill the bag about 3/4 of the way full, leave enough room at the top so you can close
and twist the bag closed.
Make sure that work out any air bubbles in the piping bag. I used a tiny tip for my
scroll work. You can use any size to accommodate your cake.
I did this design on all four sides. Be patient, use a steady hand and have fun.
Forgive me but I missed snagging a picture of the second piping tip that I used.
I did the rope design on the base of the cake. You can watch videos on You Tube for
instructions or other ideas.
Next, I placed the strawberries on the cake. My cake is square but I wanted to do
the berries in a circular pattern. I used a plastic lid as a template so my circle would
start off round.
Place the strawberries around the template and then remove.
Keep in mind, you can use different fruits for this cake too.
Continue to layer the strawberries in a circular fashion, over lapping each other till
you reach the center of the cake.
Making that first cut is always a tough one. All I can say is breathe!
Piece of cake!
Remember my “test” piece of cake?