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Rhubarb and Elderflower Layer Cake with Nutty Layers and Strawberries

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Jul 7, 2017

Elderflower rhubarb nut

I’ve said yes to making a wedding cake in August and I’m slowly starting my preparations with lots of tests of mousses and layers. I have among other things tried out a cake with asti mousse, raspberry butter and hazelnut layers (the two latter you can find here), but I didn’t care for the boozy asti mousse, the raspberry butter was too unstable for a cake that might have to sit out for a little while and remain sharp in appearence and the layers were to moist. A wedding cake should be easy to cut into and remove from its cake stand, so it is no use that the base layer must be scraped off the stand.

This cake is inspired by two Danish bloggers, Ditte Julie Jensen and Maja Vase, but I have taken some liberties with their recipes. I am quite pleased with this cake. The nutty layers are delicious and provide a bit of a bite to the cake which I really like. The layers have a really nice and a lot of taste to them so the mousses used in connection with these nutty layers must be quite strong in taste as well.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Nutty layers

  • 120 g hazelnuts
  • 85 g almonds
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 35 g Digestive biscuits
  • 15 g vanilla biscuits
  • 120 g egg whites
  • 210 g demerara sugar (I usually blend mine a little before use)

Rhubarb mousse

  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 200 g rhubarb
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 ml sour cream, 18%
  • 100 ml heavy cream

Elderflower mousse

  • 2 1/2 leaves of gelatine
  • 100 ml concentrated elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100 ml sour cream, 18%
  • 125 ml heavy cream

Filling

  • 150-175 g strawberries, washed, dried and cut into small pieces

Lemon-cream top layer

  • 2 leaves of gelatine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 100 ml heavy cream
  • Red paste food colouring

Marzipan band with marbled effect

  • 200 g marzipan
  • 100 g icing sugar + extra for rolling out
  • 30 g corn syrup
  • paste food colours, e.g. three colours
  • whipped cream

Decoration

  • Crystallised white chocolate (optionally with a little pink food colouring in it)
  • Fresh strawberries

Directions

Nutty Layers

Toast the hazelnuts in your oven at 200C for about 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Rub them between your hands or in a tea towel until the shells fall off. Don’t turn off your oven as you will need the same temperature for baking your nutty layers. Cover the base of a 20 cm spring form tin with parchment paper.

Blend hazelnuts and almonds briefly in a blender. Pour it into a bowl and continue with the blending of vanilla sugar, baking powder, digestive biscuits and vanilla biscuits until it becomes a fine meal. Pour it into the bowl. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Continue beating and add the sugar a little at a time beating until it becomes shiny and stiff peaks form. Fold in the nut-biscuit flour a little at a time. Spread the batter evenly in the springform tin and bake the cake for about 15-20 minutes (or until the cake has firmed up).

Let the cake cool off a little in the springform tin. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin to loosen the cake. Place the cake on a wirerack (still with the parchment paper on the bottom of the cake to prevent it from sticking to the rack) and let them cool off completely.

Rhubarb mousse
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for about 10 minutes.

Split the vanilla pod in two and scrape out the seeds. Take a little bit of the sugar and mix it with the seeds to loosen the seeds.

Cut the rhubarb into smaller pieces and place them in a sauce pan together with sugar and vanilla seeds. Bring it to the boil slowly and let it simmer under a lid for 5-10 minutes.

Pour the rhubarbs through a sieve that is placed over a bowl. Carefully stir the rhubarb to let the juices drip into the bowl. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and melt them in the hot rhubarb juice. Let the juice cool down to it’s fingertip warm.

In a bowl mix together the sour cream with a little bit of the cooled rhubarb juice. Then add the rest of the juice and mix to combine.

Whip the cream to very soft peaks. Fold in the whipped cream into the rhubarb sour cream.

Cut the cake into two layers. Place a cake layer in a 20 cm springform tin (which has been cleaned) lined with acetate cake collar band around the edge of the tin. Pour the rhubarb mousse over the cake layer. Place the cake in the freezer while you prepare the elderflower mousse.

Elderflower mousse
Soak the gelatine leaves in plenty of cold water for about 10 minutes.

Pour the elderflower cordial and lemon juice into a sauce pan and heat it up. Pour it into a small bowl and squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and let them melt in the hot juices. Then let it cool down till it reaches room temperature.

Combine the sour cream with a little bit of the cooled elderflower-lemon juice. Then add the rest of the juice and combine.

Whip the cream to very soft peaks. Fold in the whipped cream.

Remove the cake from the freezer and place the second layer on top of the rhubarb mousse. Press it down lightly. Distribute the strawberries pieces over the cake layer and slowly pour the elderflower mousse over the berries. Slam your springform tin a couple of times against your work top to let any air bubbles come to the surface. Place the cake back in the freezer for minimum 1 hour.

Lemon-cream top layer
Soak the gelatine leaves in plenty of cold water for about 10 minutes.

In a sauce pan you heat up lemon juice, icing sugar, water and heavy cream till just below boiling point. Stir with a spatula, not a whisk, to avoid too many air bubbles. Take it off the heat and melt the softened gelatine leaves in the lemon cream. Pour a little bit of the fluid into a small bowl and mix it with colour paste. Make sure there are no colour lumps. Pour the coloured liquid back into the lemon cream and stir.

Now let the lemon cream cool down till it reaches room temperature (it must not go below 30C because then it begins to set up and you will not be able to pour it over your cake). Remove the frozen cake from the freezer and pour the lemon cream over the cake by pouring onto the backside of a spoon so that the liquid hits the mousse in a more spread out way. Place the cake in the fridge for minimum 2 hours.

Marbled marzipan
Knead marzipan, icing sugar and corn syrup together on a stand mixer or by hand. Divide your marzipan into lumps according to the number of colours your are going to use. I had three colours: white, red and dark purple. Knead the colour into your lumps and wrap them in cling wrap and let them rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Divide your base colour into three and roll out three “sausages”. Then do the same to your other colours and arrange your colours around your base colour. Gather the “sausages” by lightly pressing them together and pressing down slightly. Turn them over and give them a slight press down on the backside as well. Twist your gathered colours and then roll it into a long “sausage”. Bring the two ends of the “sausage” together and twist again. Roll into a long “sausage” again and repeat the process.

Now it is ready to roll out into a band: sprinkle a little bit of icing sugar on the table, place the “sausage” on top, press it flat and start rolling out the band with your rolling pin. Measure the circumference (give it a little extra) and the height (add 0,5 cm) of your cake and roll out the band so that it fits these measurements. Remember that you must at all times be able to move your marzipan band (there has to be a little amount of icing sugar under the band the entire time). Cut your band according to your measurement.

Free your cake from the spring form tin and the acetate band. Place the cake on a serving platter and ice the cake with whipped cream.

Sprinkle the marzipan band very, very lightly with icing sugar and roll it onto itself very carefully, pick it up and run it around the cake. With a sharp knife (or a pair of scissors) cut away any overlapping marzipan where the two ends meet.

Decorate with strawberries and crystallized white chocolate.

Elderflower rhubarb nut Elderflower rhubarb nut Elderflower rhubarb nut

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