This year our family has been lucky enough to start Christmas early by celebrating with our whole family last Sunday. We had all the siblings and partners in one place, at one time so took advantage of that by cooking up a storm, chopping down the biggest Christmas Tree the farm had and exchanging gifts.
I (with the help of Ali & Pete) made two cakes… one kind of raw and one not. Both were super tasty, even though one was a massive failure. The first, a ‘Raw, Not-Raw Chocolate and Strawberry Yoghurt Cake’ was inspired by a recipe in the unbakery cookbook. I visited the unbakery when I was in NZ recently after being a total fangirl on Instagram for a while. They certainly didn’t disappoint and I was so excited about ‘baking’ something from this book, however the recipe just didn’t work for me.
The cake actually didn’t end up being a cake… we called it a deconstructed cake to make us feel better about fact it was a bit of a failure. The flavour was excellent, however upon attempting to build the layers with yoghurt between, the base crumbled completely. It was quite a shame really as I had visions of a tall chocolate and strawberry tower topped with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and crunchy meringue. Alas, it was not to be, and turned out as you can see above… in a big messy pile that we all enjoyed anyway (a bit like life perhaps).
Anyway, seeing as the base was not a great recipe, I won’t bother sharing it here. I will however share the frozen yoghurt recipe which was totally perfect.
Healthy(ish) Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt.
3 cups of chopped strawberries
2 cups of natural, unsweetened yoghurt (I make our yoghurt, but something like Jalna Biodynamic would be perfect)
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1/3 – 1/2 of a cup of golden caster sugar
1 cup of chopped 70% chocolate or raw cacao nibs
- Chop strawberries into small chunks. If they’re cut too large, they will freeze through and be too hard and big to bite into easily.
- Combine all ingredients, apart from the chocolate, using a mixer or by hand.
- Churn mixed ingredients in an ice-cream machine as per the manufacturers instructions.*
- Just before churning has finished, throw in the chocolate and ensure it’s mixed through evenly.
- Place into a container in the freezer, and leave until solid. This time mine was left overnight but generally, about five hours will do.
* If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, here’s some links for ways to make frozen desserts without one.
This was quite a hard frozen yoghurt, so I took it out of the freezer about 20 minutes before serving to soften it up.
So, the other cake I baked was much more traditional and actually looked like a cake. It was one I had baked before and to be honest, the only reason i made it for Christmas was the look of disappointment on Nick’s face when I told him we were having a raw cake for Christmas dessert. To make up for almost ruining Christmas, I also whipped up some homemade custard using the recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion. It was a Merry Christmas after all.
Chocolate, Cherry & Coconut Cake. (Adapted from Wholefood Baking).
1 1/2 cups of white spelt flour
1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of bi-carb
2 tspns of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of natural, unsweetened yoghurt
125g softened, unsalted butter
165g of rapadura sugar
70g of golden caster sugar
1 cup of chopped cherries
1/2 cup of moist coconut flakes
- Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F) and grease and/or line a 20cm cake tin.
- Combine softened butter and sugars into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
- Combine dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk and set aside.
- One-by-one, add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each egg.
- Add vanilla and yoghurt to the wet mixture until just combined.
- Add dry mixture to the wet mixture, using the slowest setting on your mixer until just combined.
- Throw in the cherries and coconut and mix through evenly.
- Place mixture into lined tin and smooth top over.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean.