Vegan Cashew Cream and Strawberry Sponge Cake
When it’s done for the sake of sharing and enjoying with others, baking is a process that should be done more often. Is baking more likely to take place if I have the plans to photograph what I’ve made? Yes, absolutely. The two are meshed together. Although I bake plenty of things that never end up on the blog, my joy for baking is highly driven by two things. One is photography, and the other is an opportunity to gather, taste and discuss over a slice of cake with a friend or two. This time Julie offered to slice, toss and arrange this strawberry inspired cake. And isn’t she just perfect for the role…
Some of the feedback I receive is that people would be more likely to attempt plant-based baking if it was easier. I promise you, baking is not hard just as long as you are willing to give it a try. I am also thinking of putting together how to posts for those that might be hesitant, but would like to know how to create a wholesome from scratch cream or batter. For now, here is a vegan cashew cream strawberry sponge cake made with spelt flour that surely everyone will love.
For the dry mix:
1 1/2 cups spelt (white) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the wet mix:
3/4 cup rapadura sugar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 orange
For the cashew cream filling:
1/2 cup cashews soaked overnight or in hot water for an hour
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 teaspoon agar powder
1/2 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in 2 tablespoons of coconut milk or leftover cashew milk
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
For the topping:
~500 grams of fresh strawberries
1 handful of blueberries
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic
1 to 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1. To make fresh cashew milk, place rinsed cashews in a high speed blender with one cup of water. Blend on high speed for a few minutes, then strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or a piece of muslin, leaving only pulp in the bag. This will make little over a cup of cashew milk. Place cashew milk, rice malt syrup and agar powder in a medium saucepan and bring to boil while mixing. Reduce heat and add the dissolved cornflour while whisking. Texture will go thick quickly. Remove from heat and once it stops steaming, place in a container and refrigerate until it sets. Preferably overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 15cm (6inch) cake tins with coconut oil and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk through to break up any lumps and to combine the ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix with a hand held blender. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide batter across the two cake tins and bake for 35 minutes.
4. While the cakes are baking, the cashew cream that’s been resting in the fridge is now a solid mix. Place in a blender and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with extra coconut milk to get the mix going. Blend until smooth, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate till ready to frost the cake.
Remove cakes from the oven and let cool before gently removing from the cake tins. Place on a wire rack until completely cooled. In the meantime, hull the strawberries and cut them into thirds lengthwise and some into round thin slices. Place strawberries in a bowl and toss with sugar, balsamic, and lemon zest.
5. To assemble the cake, spread half the cream evenly over one of the cakes. Place the other cake on top and spread the remaining of the cream evenly over the top base. Layer with strawberries and blueberries on top.
There will be plenty of cashew cream and strawberry mix to generously fill the middle and top of the cake. This cake will keep fresh for a day or two, but best if had the day of being baked.