Valentine’s Day is right around the corner again. I’m not sure I can really get behind it very much. If you’re single it’s miserable, if you’re in a couple it’s trite, so the only people who could possibly enjoy it are those in the process of getting together… or something… maybe.
Anyway, that’s really beside the point because the best thing about Valentine’s Day is evidently the excuse to eat cakes and chocolates galore. In heart-shaped form.
This cake is neither chocolate or heart-shaped, but it is based on a recipe from my gluten-free Christmas book, the Chocolate Present Cake. I made another very nice cake based on it in the form of a coconut and lime cake, so I thought I’d do a bit of experimenting and make something a little Valentine-appropriate. This cake can be made entirely in the food processor or stand mixer, so is really easy.
Needless to say, if you’re a cheapskate like me, use cava or prosecco in place of champagne. Save the good champagne for drinking, people!
- 225g softened butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225g gluten-free flour (or 200g Amy Ruth’s baking mix, which is what I used for this)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 160g strawberries, pureed
- 1 tbsp strawberry Nesquik powder (this is definitely gluten-free in the UK, do check if you’re elsewhere!)
- 2 tbsp sour cream (optional)
For the buttercream
- 1/2 cup pink Champagne, cava or prosecco
- 150g butter
- 350g icing sugar
- 1tbsp sour cream
- 3 strawberries
- Strawberry flakes (optional)
To make up:
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar together until creamy.
2. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in carefully.
3. Add strawberries, Nesquik powder and sour cream and mix well until you have a smooth batter.
4. Divide equally between two greased cake tins (of whatever shape you like) and bake for around 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
5. Leave to cool completely.
6. In a saucepan, heat the champagne on a medium heat, until it has reduced by half, i.e. until it is 1/4 cup
7. Cream the butter and sugar together until very light, and add the sour cream and reduced champagne, mixing well. Spread the icing evenly on top of one of the layers and place the other layer on top, then cover the cake with icing.
8. Decorate with strawberries.
Enjoy with the rest of that champagne that you so carefully saved! 😉
They say the way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. And Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to put this statement into practice. 😀 The cake looks really delicious with all those strawberries at the top. And it’s funny but what immediately came to my mind was the gift I’m gonna give to my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. I’ve made a private booking for one of the courses organized by Zac’s cooking school here in Vancouver – cooking classes for couples and this recipe will most certainly be among the first ones we’ll try together. So it fits in perfectly with my romantic plans. 🙂