I made this diminutive ombre cake as a good bye to my wayfaring daughter. It mimics her in many ways, from tiny stature to her balance of sweet and tart.
A rich, dulcet, cashew cream blended with tart raspberries and infused with lemons and rosewater, rests snugly on a crunchy chocolate almond base and is topped with fresh raspberries. The moment you think to put down your spoon, you are craving another silken bite. We shared it at the counter, with one spoon between us, as she packed.
“Have fun storming the castle!” -The Princess Bride
The snow was falling hard on the 14th of March, while I made my good-bye cake, and I listened to a podcast while I cooked. The subject was grand gestures. The grand gestures of adulthood pale (I think) in comparison to the grand gestures of youth.
The falling snow transported me back in time to the snow covered Vejle Fjord of 30 years ago. Three friends had walked to my Aunt’s house and scooped me up for an after Christmas walk. There was Klaus the Tall, an architecture student and as easy going a young man as I’ve ever met. Anne Lone, the Self-Contained, lovely as a fairy tale, stalwart friend, and future fashion designer. Then there was Jens, The Exuberant, Klaus’s 14 year old younger brother with a ranging mind and generosity of spirit. Both Klaus and Anne Lone were my flat mates and Jens spent a good bit of time practicing his english on me at our house. He had developed a bit of a puppy dog crush on me.
“It was one of those fantastic mornings with pink light over the lake – yes, it was something of unearthly beauty, and I suddenly got a strong experience, a sort of vision of the dawning light of humanity, and I felt something lit inside. This may turn into something, I thought“.
-Astrid Lindgren, on her inspiration for The Brothers Lionheart
As we walked across the iced over fjord, Jens decided the time was nigh to make his grand gesture. He unzipped his pants and proceeded to write my name in the snow in large, wobbly, yellow letters.
Unfortunately for him my name is not Sue, or Jan, it is J-O-H-A-N-N-E. That is a lot of letters for one bladder to manage. Halfway through he left off with a dribble. Klaus, well hydrated on Christmas beers, unzipped and in a gesture of fraternal largess finished what Jens had started.
“My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.”
– Aunt Frances, Alice Hoffman
A perfect dessert for two to share. It keeps days in the freezer and needs only a quick defrost. For this recipe I used a 4 1/2" inch spring form pan. I believe you might have enough "batter" in this recipe to get away with a 6" but definitely no larger.
- 4 Medjool dates pitted
- 2 tbsp almonds
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes
- 1/2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cashews, soaked 6-8 hrs
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2-1 tsp rose water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 cup raspberries, if frozen then thawed
- 1/2 ripe banana
Place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a you have crumbly mass that holds together if you squeeze it in the palm of your hand.
Press your dough along the bottom and a bit up the sides of your spring form pan. Press it well and good until you have a thin layer coating the bottom of you pan and rising up the sides as far as you want esthetically.
Save any extra for sprinkling on top of the cake or roll them into energy balls.
Soak your cashew (yesterday) in water at least 6 hours or over night is best. Drain of the water.
Add the cashews and melted coconut oil to your high speed blender (I used a Vitamix) or food processor and blend until completely smooth.
Add the rest of your ingredients Except! for the raspberries and blend until a smooth cream has formed. Take out a little and rub it between your fingers. If you feel any grit you need to blend longer.
Remove the cashew cream and separate it into 4 bowls as you see I did in my photo above. Now wash your blender and then puree your raspberries until smooth.
Now add a bit to each of the 4 containers of cashew cream until you have 4 pleasing shades of pink.
Layer them carefully one after the other into your spring form pan, smoothing with an off set spatula between layers.
Freeze for 2 hours. Slice and enjoy. If it gets too firm in the freezer allow it to sit out for 10-15 minute on the counter. Decorate in what ever way floats your boat.