Strawberry Shortcake

This cake is fabulous. I have been putting off publishing the recipe just because it took a lot of time and ingredients and it exhausted me to think about it, but here it is (with my alterations next to original recipe), once again, thanks to Cafe Gratitude (see, you really do need to buy the cookbook!):

I Am Rapture Strawberry Shortcake

(warning: this cake weighs about 20 pounds!)

For the cake:

2 cups finely chopped dates

3/4 cup raw unscented coconut butter (the brand I used is called Artisana organic raw coconut butter)

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh strawberries

9 cups almond flour (I used leftover almond pulp plus finely ground almonds and finely ground hazelnuts)

For the Whipped Cream

2 cups cashews

2 1/2 cups fresh coconut milk

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons lecithin poweder

1 cup raw unscented coconut butter (I used a little less)

Between the layers

3 cups finely chopped strawberries (I used a little less)

Start by making the whipped cream. Blend all ingredients except the lecithin and coconut butter until smooth. Add the lecithin and coconut butter and blend until smooth. Pour into a wide shallow pan and set in fridge for about an hour (note: I skipped the putting in the pan and fridge steps).

To make the cake, chop up the dates in the food processor until they reach a smooth paste (you may need to add a little bit of water here). Transfer the dates to a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and add coconut butter, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix until smooth. Add the “flour” a little at a time until well incorporated. Prepare a 9 inch springform cake pan with removable sides – use a little coconut oil on the sides to prevent sticking (note: I also lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper). Form the cake batter into 2 to 3 balls for the layers. Pat one layer into the pan and top with half of the chopped strawberries and pour 1/3 of the whipped cream on top. Set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes until firm before adding the next layer. Continue with the next one to two layers (I ended up with just 2 layers because I used a larger springform pan). Allow the final layer to set in the fridge another 30 minutes to an hour before removing the cake from the pan by sliding a thin knife around its edge. Top with remaining whipped cream and decorate with whole or sliced strawberries.

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