When the order finally made it to my neck of the woods (hee haa), I decided to celebrate with Mishka's Blueberries and Whipped Cream Cake - an ingenious variation of my Strawberry Shortcake that she made using blueberries. Since I still have tons of blueberries in the freezer (yay!), how could I resist? (Ahhhhh! Me and desserts...)
I was in the mood to get fancy, so I assembled my cake in several layers. Unlike Mishka, I used only one batch of whipped cream and opted for the blueberry filling from my Bliss-full Blueberry Cheesecake recipe.
All I can say is "Wow!" The Strawberry Shortcake is one of my personal favorites so I admit that I wasn't the most objective of recipe testers. (I just LOVE the cake layer - so light and subtly flavored.) But even Manu was impressed! I figured he deserved an extra big piece since he did such a good job with presentation.
Layered Blueberry & Cream Cake
This recipe is for a 7" diameter springform pan
3/4 cup well packed soft dates, chopped
1 cup loosely packed left-over pulp from making milk (wet pulp is fine) or ground almonds*
1 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews, ground
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* If using ground almonds, you may need to add a little water for moisture.
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)*
1/2 cup dry cashews, finely ground
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp melted cacao butter
1/8 cup raw honey or agave nectar (I used both)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
*If using frozen blueberries, make sure they are well thawed and at room temperature to avoid the honey turning rock hard during blending.
1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)
3 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon lecithin*
*Lecithin acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.
If you don't have access to lecithin, you can replace it with 1 tbs + 1 tsp psyllium flakes (less if you're using powder). Please note that the consistency won't be as fluffy and hold its shape as well at room temperature.
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 or 4 small soft dates, soaked
To make the Cake:
Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
To make the Blueberry Filling:
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Pour into a container and set aside in fridge or at room temperature until ready to assemble.
To make the Whipped Cream:
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil and lecithin until smooth. Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a container and set aside in fridge or at room temperature until ready to assemble.
To make the Blueberry Sauce:
Blend blueberries and dates in high speed blender until smooth. Add soaking water until desired consistency is reached.
Layered cakes always look so impressive, but don't be fooled; they aren't that hard to assemble at all. All it takes is a bit of patience (and of course time) while the mixtures set in the freezer before proceeding with the next layer.
10 Easy Steps for Assembling this Layered Cake
Step 1 - Grease a springform pan with a little coconut oil or line a large margarine tub with plastic film.
Step 2 - Begin by evenly pressing half of the cake mixture on the bottom of the pan. (At this point, you might want to have a look at my friend Mosaica's tip to save on assembly time!)
Step 3 - Top with 1/2 of the blueberry mixture. Set in freezer.
Step 4 - When firm, pour 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture and set in freezer.
Step 5 - When completely firm, form another cake layer. (This is particularly key at this stage, as you will need to slightly press the cake batter unless you're using Mosaica's trick explained further down.)
Step 6 - Top with the rest of the blueberry mixture and set in freezer.
Step 7 - Lastly, when firm, pour the remainder of the whipped cream filling and return to freezer.
Step 8 - When the cake is set, gently remove it from the springform pan.
Step 10 - If desired, decorate with blueberry sauce and a few blueberries.
My good friend, Mosaica, just gave me a super trick to save on assembly time. (Thanks, dear!) Once the bottom layer (cake) has been pressed, simply loosen your pan and gently take out the cake layer. Set aside (you can wrap it in a foil and put it in the fridge). This will later become the second cake layer. Next, tighten the hinges on your pan and press the second half of the cake mixture on the bottom. Top with the blueberry and whipped cream fillings, as per the instructions. Once the latter has firmed up, you can then place the cake layer that you have already pressed on top and proceed with the rest of the cake. She says this method really cuts down on freezer time and makes the second cake layer more even.
~ Leave the mixtures in the fridge or at room temperature during the assembly process so that these can pour easily and evenly. If the fillings have set too much, simply melt down over a hot water bath while stirring.
~ In order to obtain distinctive layers, it's key to let each set in the freezer before applying the next layer.
~ To help keep the layers 'clean' while cutting the cake, put your knife under running hot water then dry it with a towel. Proceed to make a cut. Repeat this step between each cut. (Yah, yah, I know it sounds like a lot of work, but hey, remember that we taste with our eyes first!)
~ For a simpler version of this, put the cake layer, followed by the blueberry layer. Let set in the freezer. When firm, top with whipped cream. (In other words, skip steps 5, 6 and 7 and use the entire mixture for each layer.) Set in the freezer until ready to serve. If desired, decorate with blueberry sauce and fresh blueberries. Perhaps not as impressive but definitely still as delicious!