When one loves to bake as much as I do, some things inevitably become personal classics. To me, soft, marshmallow-like fillings will always be the absolute best choice for any cake. Preferably combined with thin cake layers and a minimalistic decoration.

After you have sat with the idea, after all the development, it is just so rewarding to take that first bite of the dessert you made and to see it having the exact flavour and texture you envisioned. It is a delight to see something you have created, right in front of you, just the way you saw it in your mind.

When it comes to the decoration, I advise approaching each cake as a blank canvas. Imagine the decoration and bring it to life. As I love minimalism in general, I love how soft and pretty the filling colour is just from the strawberries, but you can definitely make it stand out more. I simply like its pastel, unassuming little charm.

On a final note, if you like, you can additionally soak the cake layers with some diluted cordial. They are perfectly moist on their own, but this will only emphasise the elderflower notes that are already in the cake.



For the elderflower cake

200 grams plain flour

60 grams semolina

200 grams granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

220 millilitres cold water

30 millilitres elderflower cordial

For the whipped strawberry filling

300 grams vegan white chocolate

200 millilitres plant double cream

2 ½ tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

few drops vegan strawberry red food colouring



Start by making the strawberry filling, as it needs time to cool down, so it can be whipped. Chop the chocolate finely, and place it into a large bowl. Pour the cream and the vanilla bean paste into a separate pot, ideally one with a heavy bottom, and let it heat up over medium-low heat until almost boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, let it stand for a minute, add in the freeze-dried strawberry powder, and then gently mix and fold, until the completely melted and blended.

Cover the surface with cling film, let it cool down to room temperature, and then place the whole bowl into the refrigerator for at least four hours. This will make it easier to whip it into a mousse later on.

To make the cake layers, take a large bowl and sift in the plain flour and the baking powder. Whisk them together once again, just to blend them thoroughly, and then mix in the semolina and the granulated sugar. To prepare the wet ingredients, pour the water into a medium bowl, add in the vanilla and the cordial, and gently agitate until dissolved. Set it aside for just a minute, and prepare the cake pan by lining the bottom and sides of a small round baking pan (15 cm) with baking parchment.

Just before baking, pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and quickly whisk until blended. As soon as the batter is ready, pour it into the prepared pan, tap it once or twice on the counter, and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness early on. Every oven bakes differently, and the cake should remain as soft and moist as possible. As soon as a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, it is done. Remove it from the oven and let the cake cool down in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then invert it on a wire rack, and let it cool down completely.

When everything is cool to the touch and ready, proceed to assemble the cake. Level the cake, if necessary, and slice it into three layers. Set them aside for the time being. Take the filling out of the refrigerator, and whip it into a mousse, using an electric mixer on the highest setting. If you like, you can add a drop of two of vegan strawberry red food colouring, to make it more vibrant. As soon as it starts to look like marshmallow fluff and get very thick, stop whipping. Divide the filling into three equal parts, by either weight or estimation.

Place the first cake layer on the serving platter and carefully spread on the filling. Top with another layer, more filling, and the final layer. Cover the entire cake in the mousse filling, and place it into the refrigerator for at least eight hours. When ready, slice it into thin slices and serve. Yields 12 servings.

By Tina Vesić

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