by admin on
March 13, 2015

Vanilla and White Chocolate Cake with Almond Flowers

Vanilla and White Chocolate Cake with Almond Flowers

Serves 10

2 x 20cm sandwich tins, food

Spray oil
125g soft light brown sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g low-fat crème fraîche
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250g self-raising flour
1 egg white
2 tsp baking powder
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

75g white chocolate
300g low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Sugar syrup
2 tbsp caster sugar

250g raspberries
About 50g flaked almonds (unbroken flakes, preferably), toasted (you will need about 210 flakes in total

Preheat the oven to 180°C, (Fan 160°C), 350°F, Gas Mark 4 with the middle shelf at the ready.

Grease two 20cm sandwich tins with spray oil, line the base of each with baking parchment and set aside on a baking sheet.

To make the cake, beat the sugar, butter and crème fraîche in a large bowl until smooth and uniform. Then add two-thirds of the beaten egg and half of the flour and beat together again. Add the remaining egg and flour, the egg white (whisked until light and frothy), baking powder, vanilla seeds or extract and lemon zest and stir everything together well. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins, levelling the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes feels spongy to the touch and a skewerinserted in the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Tip the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl. I like to melt chocolate in a microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each blast. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a bowl that just sits on top of a medium pan with a little bit of boiling water. Just make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water as this could make the chocolate grainy. Leave the chocolate to sit until it melts, then put aside to cool to room temperature but not set.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla seeds or extract in a large bowl until smooth. Add a little bit of the cream cheese mixture to the cool melted chocolate and stir together gently. Then fold this white chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mix. I do it this way so that the white chocolate mix does not seize or go all grainy and firm. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the sugar syrup about 5 minutes before the cake is ready. Simply put the sugar into a mug, add 2 tablespoons of boiling water and stir until dissolved. As soon as the two halves of the cake are out of the oven, brush them liberally with the sugar syrup and then leave them to cool in the tin.
This will keep them nice and moist. Once cool, remove them from the tin and put one half on a serving plate.

Dollop about a quarter of the filling on the cake half and spread the icing evenly over it. Pick out about 30 of the smallest raspberries and reserve them for the flower decorations. Then scatter the remaining raspberries over the icing and pop the other cake half on top. Spread the remaining icing all over the cake sides and top to give a smoothish finish. Spread it around so that the edges are kind of straight and flat.

To decorate, put one of the reserved raspberries on the cake and place about seven flaked almonds around it so that the flakes stick up and out like ‘petals’ (rather than flat on the cake) and as if you have put an actual flower on the cake. Repeat this with the fruit and almonds to make flowers all over the cake, spaced apart on the top and sides. Then serve! Keep this in the fridge if not serving straight away.