You can watch me make this badass cake on RTE playback’s archive here… just click on November 1 2015.
The demo is at the beginning of the episode (at 1:20 minutes) and the assembly of the cake’s layers is much later in the programme after Mary McAleese (at 39:50). It looks like a giant halo, and in some ways I guess it is.
Celebratory Cake (for a wedding, 40th birthday party, or your belly)
It’s hard to suppress the memory of my making this cake at a demo last year. And receiving a standing ovation. It was one of the most mortifying and confusing moments of my life. I must have missed a beat, but suddenly I was parading around the room holding it like the cup of Christ. I think they call this Jerusalem Syndrome. Anyway, no one was harmed.
For the biscuit base:
3 & ½ cups walnuts
10 pitted medjools dates, or pre-soaked regular dates
1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt
For the filling:
4 & ¼ cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight
250-300ml raw honey or light agave syrup
190ml melted coconut oil
Flesh of 3 very ripe mangos (optional)
juice of 2-3 lemons
4-5 tablespoons freshly juiced or minced ginger
4 teaspoons dried turmeric
Edible flowers or rose petals, to decorate
You’ll need to oil 3 springform tins, of ascending sizes like in the photograph. These are a special type of baking tin usually used to make cheesecakes and fancy tortes. You’ll find them on Amazon. I use mine every single week.
To make the base for all 3 tins, briefly pulse the listed ingredients together using a food processor. A blender will puree the ingredients, so it’s really essential to use a processor here. You might need a tiny splash of water to bring it all together. Stop the motor when the dough starts to clump together. Spread the nutty dough over the bottom of each of your 3 springform tins.
Place in the freezer to chill.
For the filling, drain the cashew nuts and discard the soaking liquid. Cream the softened cashews with the remaining filling ingredients until smooth and glossy. This should take 2 minutes in a blender or food processor. Taste, and see whether you’d prefer more mango or ginger. It will taste much milder once set, so keep that in mind. Pour this creamy luminous filling over your 3 bases and return to the freezer until set.
Allow the cakes to thaw for 5 minutes before removing from their tins, and stacking on top of one another. Parachute some edible flowers (actually, any flowers will do because no one ever eats them). With a bit of luck, you’ll only suffer from Stendahl’s syndrome.
With thanks to Google HQ for the very groovy suite of photos during their staff demo last September. xxx
My mate Colonel Prune is packed with soluble and insoluble fibre, giving them the nifty ability to samba along our canals. These wrinkled fruits are what Californian jedi flag as a BF (best friend). Prunes works by spring-cleaning the gut with a fervour normally reserved for a visit from the president.
Here’s the latest scoop on our BF, the prune …
Grand so. Except what’s this got to do with our skin? Here’s the theory. If we’re not eliminating waste from our pipes, our skin can inevitably become an elimination route for the build up of toxins. The skin is one of our body’s largest excretory organs. Frightening, right?
If the image in the mirror startles you every morning, then maybe it’s time to give these underrated fruits a go. Aside from their seismic fibre content, prunes contain modest amounts of beautifying vitamins C and A. Vitamin C is an important anti-aging ally, with a star role in the creation of collagen.
And if spots are interfering with kissable skin, then Ian Marber tells us that Vitamin A can help reduce excess sebum on the surface of the skin. One for the teens.
Prunes also carry a consignment of anthocyanins. These are useful compounds shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which sounds good to me. Especially on a Sunday morning.
Here’s a breakfast to get your glow on.
Cardamom & orange prunes with vanilla cream
Every trendy restaurant in Copenhagen is flirting with prunes on their dessert menu. These reincarnated plums are the new superfood. Your gran was spot on.
Find a small saucepan for the prunes. Fill enough water to just below the level of the prunes – about 200ml. Of course you can always use red wine, like bone fide prunologists. Squeeze in the juice of two oranges.
Coax the tiny seeds out of the cardamom shells and add to the prune liquid. Discard the papery pod.
Sprinkle in your coconut or other sugar, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the flame to a gentle putter for 10 minutes. Normally prunes are cooked for a lot longer, but I find this unnecessary.
Leave them to cool in their cooking liquid for 1 hour. You’ll notice they plump up beautifully while they absorb the myriad of gorgeous flavours.
Refrigerate for up to 5 days, and tuck in whenever the calling comes.
To make the ‘cream’, carefully split the vanilla pod lengthways into two long strips. Using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds inside. Mix into your Greek yoghurt. Chill until relatively ‘clotted’. Some folk like to sweeten Greek yoghurt, but I prefer the contrast of sticky sweet prunes against cold and calm cream.
Serve great clouds of this vanilla ‘cream’ or DIY coconut yoghurt beside a sticky tower of cardamom prunes. You’ll hardly need to set your alarm clock tonight when you know what’s waiting for you in the morning.
It’s half the price, but twice as good (given the fresh armory of back cover quotes from public figures and tastefully deranged friends).
My favourite is from actress Daisy Wood-Davies “Susan Jane White is Caitlin Moran, Nigella and Jesus put through a Vitamix and left to rest until chilled.” Yes. I am never going to let my husband forget that one.
And if you enjoyed either cookbook, I would be eternally grateful to receive your feedback on Amazon in exchange for a lifetime of telepathic highfives. Pray, tell!