Winter spice buttercup cake with coconut cream frosting
Photo by Tam West
For the filling
For the base
|1 cup||Dates, Ceres deglet noor or Medjool|
|½ cup||Almonds, activated and dried, or lightly toasted|
|½ cup||Pumpkin seeds, activated and dried, or lightly toasted|
|½ cup||Desiccated coconut|
For the frosting (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180C. Chop the pumpkin into four pieces (you can leave the skin on) and scoop out the seeds. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and tender, it should be cooked all the way through but not too dried out.
- For the base, pit the dates if necessary and blend in food processor until nice and sticky. Add activated almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Blend until the mixture is fine and holds together.
- Line a regular 22-25 cm loose bottom cake tin with plastic wrap. Place the base mixture into cake tin and press down firmly to create an even base. Wetting your hands a little will help with the pressing if the mixture is a bit sticky.
- For the filling, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin pieces into a blender. Pour the water off the cashew nuts and rinse well and add to the blender along with the pumpkin flesh, ginger juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla essence, coconut milk, maple syrup and salt. Blend until completely smooth, then with the motor still running, slowly pour in coconut oil.
- Pour over the base, cover with the edges of the plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for 4-5 hours.
- For the white coconut cream topping, blend all ingredients except the coconut oil in a high-speed blender until very smooth. With the blender running, add the melted coconut oil and blend for another 10–15 seconds until well combined. Place in the fridge or freezer for around 5 hours to set.
- To decorate, remove the cake from the cake tin and place on a serving plate, smooth around the sides and top with a palette knife to get rid of any wrinkles from the plastic wrap.
- If you’ve made the coconut cream frosting, take it out of the fridge and place in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until fluffy, then place in a piping bag with a regular icing nozzle. Create small peaks on top of the cake, going from the outside to the centre in a circular motion — as if you were making a lemon meringue pie. You could also just spread it on top with a knife.
- If you’ve skipped making the coconut cream frosting, sprinkle this delicious cake with a generous amount of cinnamon.
- It will keep in the fridge covered for around five days. It also freezes well: you can get it out a few hours before serving.
Things to note
- You could easily adapt this recipe to a pie, by increasing the recipe for the base by half and pressing it into a removable base pie/tart tin rather than a cake tin.
- If you are making the coconut cream frosting, you will want to make this ahead of time.
- Activated and dried nuts and seeds are nuts and seeds that have been soaked overnight (or for a defined period of time depending on the type of nut or seed) rinsed well then dried in a dehydrator until crisp. The reason we do this is to break down the phytates and help increase the digestibility and bioavailability of the nutrition in them. Although it doesn’t have quite the same affect you can also very lightly roast them to break down some of the phytates and make them nice and crunchy.
- To make ginger juice, grate ginger on the fine part of the grater. Then gather the grated ginger in your hands and squeeze it firmly into a bowl. The juice will flow out of the ginger.
- This is slightly sweeter than my usual desserts so if you like things a little less sweet use ¾ cup of maple syrup instead of 1 cup.
- This recipe could be easily be halved to make a small 15cm cake or individual tarts.