On the market at Bermondsey Square one of the most popular items I make is the layer cake. They always look so beautiful and inviting and there is something of the celebration about them. With all cakes there is a sense of a special occasion but a home made cake, from those first efforts made by children through to a family favourite made by the Nonna, gets everyone going. Let alone a four layer colourful beast with ganache and almond cream!
The cake is turned green by the pistachios which also add that lovely flavour and when eaten with a fork in a crowded room all your attention will be on the delicious flavours playing across your tongue.
Great cake turns any gathering into an event … prepare to party!
Pistachio Layer Cake (Vegan)
180g /6 oz shelled pistachio nuts
360g /12 oz Self-Raising Flour
180g / 6 oz Gluten & Wheat Free Self-Raising Flour
390g / 13 oz Caster Sugar
240ml / 8 fl oz Sunflower Oil
390ml / 13 fl oz water
1 tsp Sea salt
9 dssp apricot preserve
120g / 4 oz ground almonds
120g / 4 oz granulated sugar
120g / 4 oz margarine
60g / 2 fl oz soya milk
480 g / 1lb 85% Cocoa solid chocolate (chopped)
310 ml / 10 fl oz soya cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C/Gas 4.
Parchment line four 8-inch round cake pans.
Take 30g / 1 oz of the pistachios and set them aside for decoration.
Grind the rest of the nuts with the sugar in a food processor.
Sift the flour and salt.
Add in the sugar/pistachio mix and dry whisk to mix well.
Mix the water and the oil together in a jug, and then whisk into the dry mix until fully combined.
Divide the batter among the 4 prepared pans.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the layers to cool in the tins for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire racks, peel off the parchment and let them cool completely.
Add the margarine, almonds and sugar into a stand mixer (or you can beat it by hand with a wooden spoon). Beat really thoroughly until it is light and fluffy, you may need to add in the soya milk to help with the fluffiness.
It must be fluffy as the cake is very fragile, utterly delicious to eat 🙂
Spread each cake layer with the apricot conserve.
Make sure you take it right to the edge.
Then onto three layers carefully spread that lovely, fluffy almond cream.
Assemble so that the top layer is only covered with the conserve, you are about to add the ganache.
Pour the soya cream into a small pan and bring up to the boil (just bubbles breaking at the edge of the pan). Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate and stir until all melted.
Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
I make a collar of greaseproof paper around the cake that extends a couple of centimetres above the top.
I then pour in the ganache and swirl it nicely. Add the remaining pistachios to make a nice design however you like.
N.B. Beware, serve this to a group of friends and they will be back next week for more
Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)
Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.