Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
My quirky little family and I have a few traditions that have evolved over time.
We have a piñata every Christmas and at birthday parties. They’re often homemade and match the theme of the party (Elmos head, Christmas tree, etc.) and they’re filled with toys and trinkets. The piñata is attached to a rope, which is pulled up and down, and the kids are blind folded and then let loose with a cricket bat. There have been numerous near head injuries, the occasional self-whacking and lots of funny memories made.
A more recent addition to our family is International Night dinners. Every Sunday night we take it in turn to choose a county from 7yo H’s big orange globe. We cook the native cuisine from that country, we learn about their history, their flag and any other tidbits of information that wikipedia can offer.
So far we’ve done 19 different countries including Madagascar, Spain, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Ireland, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and next week it’s Vietnam. Whilst I’d like to tell you that all the dishes have been a tasty success, there have been a few that won’t make it onto our weekly dinner rotation. It’s been quite interesting to see the subtle differences between the spices and herbs used in different countries. The same basic ingredients can be made into such different dishes with just a change from chilli to cinnamon, or Coriander to thyme.
One of my favourite parts of International night is dessert, although let’s be honest that’s my favourite part of any meal. As part of Russian night, I remade a traditional Korolevsky Cake. The Korolevsky Cake is also known as a Russian Kings Cake as it was historically baked for the aristocracy. It is made up of three layers of cake; poppy seed, chocolate and walnut with a cream filling and iced with chocolate ganache.
The three different layers don’t appear to go together at all, however those royal Russians definitely knew how to bake a cake as this Korolevsky Cake is surprisingly delicious. The cake starts as one generic mixture which is then divided into three bowls. Into each of these bowls the special ingredients are added. I found this method much easier, and less time consuming, than making three different cakes. The cakes are baked in separate tins and then layered using my favourite caramel cream.
I suggest that you make the caramel and the cream before the cakes are baked. The delicious, gooey caramel needs to cool before being whipped into the thickened coconut cream. The cream will thicken even more after it’s been in the fridge for a few hours. The cakes won’t take long to cool and you’ll want to eat it straight away.
Russian night proved to be quite a tasty evening. We also ate Russian Spice Cookies (you’ll find these in my soon to be released updated Christmas eBook), Beef Stroganoff and a Chicken broth with potato dumplings. Now I’m off to to research for our next International Night dinner.
- 9 Eggs, separated (best at room temperature)
- 1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablepsoon Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/4 Cup Milk (of Choice)
- 3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 1/2 Cup finely chopped Wanuts
- 2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Cream (Place 1 to 2 400ml cans of coconut cream/milk in the fridge overnight. Remove the thickened cream and use; discard the watery remains)
- 6 Tablespoons Caramel Sauce
- (if you're lucky there may be leftovers!)
- 1 Can of Coconut Cream (using a 400ml can)
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Salt
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream (can opened and in fridge overnight; spoon out thickened cream leaving behind watery contents)
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 100 grams Chocolate
- Makes 100 grams
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Line and grease 3 20cm/8 inch round cake tins.
- Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites on medium/high until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until large peaks have formed. Continue whisking on medium/high and add the vanilla extract.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Only add the next yolk when the previous one has been fully incorporated. Whilst still whisking, pour the milk into the egg mixture.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the coconut flour and baking powder ingredients together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
- Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour). Once incorporated, return the whisk speed to medium/high to fully mix all the ingredients.
- Divide the mixture evenly into 3 bowls.
- Add the cocoa to one, the walnuts to one and the poppy seeds to one. Stir each bowl until the new ingredient is mixed in.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Once the cakes have cooled completely remove them from the tins.
- Place the Poppy Seed cake on a serving tray and cover with half the caramel cream.
- Place the Chocolate Cake on top of the cream and spread the remaining caramel cream over the cake.
- Place the Walnut Cake on top the cream and spread the ganache over the top of the cake.
- Place the cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Place the coconut cream, maple syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to a medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to simmer until quite thick and dark golden in colour. Stir regularly to prevent burning. This will take 20-30 minutes, depending on the quality of your coconut cream.
- Add vanilla and continue to cook on medium heat for another 2 minutes. The caramel will be dark golden in colour, have reduced in height by half and be finger licking delicious.
- When cooler, place into container and keep in fridge. The caramel will thicken as it refrigerates.
- Remove the thickened cream from the can and discard (or reuse) the watery remains. Place the cream in the mixing bowl of a kitchen stand with a whisk attachment.
- Add the caramel 1 tablespoon at a time and check for required taste.
- Whip until combined and place in the fridge to thicken before using.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof bowl. Add coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the coconut cream to the boil.
- Pour boiling cream into the chocolate bowl and allow to sit for 5 min, before whisking to combine.
- Allow to cool slightly before using.
- If ganache cools and hardens, place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk gently until the lumps have broken and the ganache is smooth.
- Over a very low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the maple syrup and whisk until combined.
- Add the cocoa and whisk until combined and slightly thickened.
- Pour into a dish lined with baking paper and freeze until set (minimum 30 minutes)