August is our month for celebrations: birthdays, anniversaries line up and they get us start…baking!!
Abel celebrates together with about 1 billion people (Independence Day of India) and I decided to try to recover my cake baking skills. As a teenager I used to bake a lot, but that was a long time ago and I was never an expert on decorating. “Ugly and yummie” – said an iconic Hungarian chocolate commercial, and that was true for my cakes as well.
Yet, I gave my best… As my mother sent a package with walnuts from my Grandmother’s garden, I didn’t have to think long. And I just realized it was probably inspired by Zserbó (or Gerbaud, named after a famous pastry shop owner), a.k.a. the traditional Hungarian Christmas pastry. :)
Contrary to our plans made long time ago, Abel was not working on the 15th of August, a public holiday here. Thus I had to speed up and make the cake within one day. Usually I like to take two days to make a nice cake.
Ingredients (for a cake of 24-26 cm)
Dough (sponge cake)
- 2.5 cups of flour
- 4 tbsp of grated walnut
- 1 package of baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 package of vanilla sugar
- 6 tbsp of honey
- 1.5 cups of soy milk
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 2 tbsp of vinegar
Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder and mix all the dry ingredients. Then add the liquid ingredients and mix it well. Pour the dough into a form. I used a flower-shaped silicon form. I love that the slices become hearts when you cut it! :) Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and bake it for about 25-30 minutes.
Walnut cream I
- 1.5 cups of raisins
- 1 cup of walnut
- 2 tbsp of honey
Some days before, I put the raisins in a jar and filled it up with rum, so that they soak through.
Put raisins into a blender (better wash them before, my cream got a bit too…. alcoholic!), add nuts and honey. Mix it until it gets a nice smooth paste. It should be like a jam.
Walnut cream II
- 1 cup of silken tofu
- 1 cup of sweetened cocoa butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 cup of grated walnut
Melt cocoa butter and pour it into the blender, together with the other ingredients. When the cream cools down, it should have the perfect texture for the cake.
- vegan chocolate
- (coconut) oil
- 1 cup of vegan whipped cream
- 1 tsp of agar-agar + vegan milk/water
- 1 lemon (skin)
- 6 tbsp honey
- Hazelnut croccante and grated walnut
I wanted to make 3 layers but finally I managed to cut the cake only into two.
For the top of the cake I melted some vegan chocolate and added some oil to make it shiny. I also made some deco-hearts. To write on the cake and for the sides, I made a cream out of vegan whipped cream, honey and lemon; mixed with hot agar-agar.
Tip: Agar-agar needs about 4 hours time to take effect – I did not have so much time, as you will see on the result. I suggest to wait and decorate the cake later, to avoid cream dropping down. Usually one afternoon I make the base and the cream of the cake, leave the decoration for the next evening, and present it on the third day.
Abel told me he wanted some fruit cake for his birthday. Unfortunately a notice too late but… he ate it all! :) And I’m also quite proud of my first (almost) vegan cake.
Happy Birthday, mi amor!