Believe it or not, this little beauty is gluten, grain and sugar free:
This cake was the result of a collaboration between me and a friend, Ceri. As documented in my ‘About Me’ section, Ceri of Natural Kitchen Adventures is one of the main reasons this blog came into being. If you haven’t ever checked out her blog, I suggest you do, she is one interesting and skilled lady with passion and talent for healthy cooking. When Ceri suggested that we should make a cake together I was slightly nervous about how I could maintain a standard of decorating that I would be happy with, without my go-to food dyes, sugar and E-numbers.
Ceri proposed that she made the cake and I decorated it – so far so good – the only stipulation was that everything I used had to be natural. My forays into cakey excess, extravagance and flamboyance are well documented and so, approaching this challenge, I was slightly nervous.
Thinking about natural ingredients conjured the image of flowers for me and I started to think of how I could make a flowery cake without using sugar paste. I decided to use flaked almonds to make petals and beetroot to dye them pink.
Ceri made four chocolate cakes that we layered with cream cheese frosting (sweetened with honey) and then she let me loose with flaked almonds, dried raspberries and green-tea dyed frosting. Ceri had picked up the dried raspberries at the last minute as I had refused to tell her my decorating idea (I’m superstitious like that), I had just mentioned that I wanted to use red. She wasn’t sure the beetroot would be red enough and so had picked up the raspberries. My original idea was to use pomegranate seeds in the centre of the flowers but I’d forgotten to add it to our shopping list, so the raspberries were a happy last minute addition. It was Ceri’s idea to use green tea to dye the frosting for the stems. It made a beautiful pale green that complimented the delicate pink of the beetroot-almond petals. Unfortunately it wasn’t the easiest thing to pipe – without the glossy sheen of royal icing, I found it slightly unwieldy to work with and the result is perhaps a little messier than I’d like.
Ceri took the cake to a party and her hard baking work paid off, it looked beautiful when it had been cut into:
You can read more about this cake and get a recipe for it over at Natural Kitchen Adventures. I really enjoyed the challenge and loved the results; I’m looking forward to the next collaboration…