Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I’ve been trying to rack my brain for Valentine’s Day stories from years gone by, but it appears I have not had a romantic past. Any romantic gestures on my part usually involve cooking a favourite dish or dessert and serving it up in a heart shape. It’s simple but I think shows thought and, believe me, it takes much longer to cook up a meal and dessert than it does to pick up a phone and order something pretty.
The lack of traditional romantic gestures in my life is partly (ok mostly!) my fault. Instead of gushing over a bouquet of flowers I’m more likely to get angry over the waste of money. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture; it’s just that a bouquet of Almond Meal or broccoli stems is much more practical and won’t wilt all over my floor. I’m a thrifty romantic at best! I’m thinking the classic Mix Tape (or CD, or would it simply be a playlist on iTunes?) should make a comeback; it’s the perfect gift. It’s personal, potentially free and can be reused over and over again. At least in the year 2015 it doesn’t involve trying to avoid taping Barry Bissell! Don’t know your loved one’s taste in music (or in my case, choose not to know because it’s so terrible)? Perhaps a photo board or slide show of your cutest couple photos (make sure they’re Grandma worthy just in case it gets into the wrong hands) or you could crochet matching beanies.
These examples of thrifty Valentine’s Day presents are by no means the end. If you’ve ever received (or given) a personal (lame, tight wad or cheap could also be used in this instant) gift, let me know. I need inspiration for next year!
This Strawberry Mousse Cake is a special Valentines treat. Strawberries are the food of choice for lovers of romance and this cake is not only strawberry flavoured it looks like a strawberry too! Cute huh?! This Strawberry Mousse Cake is a hollowed out Vanilla cake, filled and covered with stabilised Strawberry Cream. Fresh Strawberries are added to the mousse filling and then used to adorn the outside of the cake. It’s an explosion of Strawberry romance, and it withstands my no waste Valentines policy!!
Making this cake look like a strawberry is really simple with the addition of leaves. Mine where from the back of the garden (I’m pretty sure it’s a weed!) and is a much easier (and healthier) option than making fondant leaves, as I have seen on Pinterest. This Strawberry Mousse Cake would be just as tasty and pretty if left as a heart so the option is up to you.
- Vanilla Heart Cake
- 1 Serve Strawberry Cream
- Punnet of Strawberries
- Large green leaves
- 6 Eggs, separated
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Vvinegar
- 1/2 Cup Milk (of choice)
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 200 grams Strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 1 Can Coconut Cream (400ml can),lid removed and placed in the fridge over night (the removed cream should measure 1 1/2 Cups)
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Gelatine
- Take the cooled Vanilla Heart Cake and trace a heart shape on top. The heart should be approximately 2.5cm/1 inch from the edge (greater is fine but not closer).
- Cut down around the heart into the cake, being careful not to touch the bottom of the cake. Cut and scoop the cake out of the traced heart, maintaining a layer of cake on the bottom. If you accidentally scoop too far simply line the holes with 'scraps'.
- Take 3/4 Cup of the Strawberry Cream and place in a bowl. Hull and dice 6 strawberries and stir into the strawberry cream. Spoon the cream into the heart shaped hole in the vanilla heart cake.
- Take the cake scraps and cut thin layers of cake and place on top of the cream. The cake layer should sit level.
- Cover the cake with the remaining Strawberry Cream. If there is left over cream use it to eat the cake scraps!
- Hull and cut the remaining strawberries in half and place around the base of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours (longer is fine) to set the cream as mousse.
- Before serving place the leaves on the heart to complete the strawberry look.
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Line and grease a cup capacity heart shaped tin.
- Place the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and whisk on medium/high until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup; 1 spoonful at a time (adjust accordingly if making lemon or orange)
- Mixture will triple in size and form peaks.
- Add the vanilla extract (if making vanilla cake add extra vanilla now also) and whisk on medium/high until combined.
- Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, whilst still whisking. Add the next yolk only once the previous one has been combined.
- Add the milk and vinegar whilst still whisking.
- In a separate bowl, sift the coconut flour and baking powder together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk on low until combined (you may need to scrape down the edges to ensure the coconut flour is fully combined).
- Turn the whisk to medium/high again and whisk for 30-60 seconds to make a fluffy mixture.
- Bake for 33-35 min, or until skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool before removing from the tin.
- Place the strawberries, maple syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 min; or until thickened (it will have the consistency of jam).
- Allow the strawberry mixture to cool.
- Into the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer, scoop the thicken cream from the can, retaining the watery remains.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk on high until thick (can take up to 5 minutes).
- Take 1 Tablespoon of the retained coconut water and sprinkle the gelatine on top and stir gently. Allow the gelatine mixture to sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Gently warm and dissolve the gelatine mixture.
- Add the strawberry mixture and the gelatine mixture and whisk on medium/high until combined. Place the Strawberry Cream in the fridge to thicken before using at least 2 hours.