What is a Naked Berry Cake?
With the end of the British summer here in London, I feel its best to celebrate the glorious summer that we had this year with this beautiful and delicious naked berry cake. I first came across this concept of a naked berry cake when watching Mary Berry create a marvellous Summer Berry Gateau. It was basically layers of vanilla sponge cake sandwiched with frosting and berries. I loved how it looks so magnificent and pretty and wanted to re-create a healthy version of it for ages.
A naked cake is one which is not covered in external frosting and you can actually see the layers of the cake. I think it can also be a healthier option because you end up using less frosting-meaning less added sugars. A naked berry cake also has a bohemian, easy relaxed feeling to it. It doesn’t seem too complicated and fussy and can bring a lot of cheer to a family get together or party with friends.
How is this Cake Healthy?
This cake has gone through a lot of thought and experiment on my side. I really wanted to make a cake which was packed with better grains and ingredients but also less fussy and cumbersome. Many gluten free cakes tend to be loaded with so many ingredients and are pre-dominately made with rice flour, which I do not think is the most nutritious grain. Vegan cakes tend to focus on the non-dairy and eggless part of the recipe but the nutritional content of those cakes are quite empty. I was bull headed on creating a nutritious, non-fussy cake and I finally came up with it!
Firstly for the grains I used a combination of oats and almonds. My two favourite nutritious grains/nuts to use when baking and cooking. This also makes this cake a gluten free one-bonus! I then used coconut sugar as the sweetener and coconut oil as the source of fat. I then followed it with three surprise natural ingredients which are innovative and healthy!
The First Surprise Ingredient…
The first surprise ingredient in this naked berry cake is my favourite, sweet potato. It ensures that you can reduce your added sugar content as well as your fat content. It also gives added moisture and texture. I was sure my Naked Berry cake had to have a Vanilla sponge made with sweet potato and after a lot of trial and error, I faced success!
The Second Surprise Ingredient…
The second surprise ingredient is psyllium husk or isabgol. This wonderful source of fibre helps to bind the gluten free grains as well as help keep the spongy texture of a cake by trapping air bubbles created by the eggs and baking powder. You can find psyllium husk in any health food store or pharmacy. Yes, pharmacy! Psyllium husk is a super helpful supplement for those suffering from IBS or constipation because it helps provide a regular bowel movement. But do not get creeped out! It is also a great insoluble fibre to add to your diet and a happy, healthy gut while eating cake is great right??:) I came across this concept of using psyllium husk when researching about the science behind baking with gluten free flours. Yes, I am crazy like that, but at least you can be ensured that once I have done my research, the recipe is going to work! You can read about psyllium husk and gluten free baking here and here. They are from the blog by Shauna who has given great and easy tips on gluten free in her blog- A gluten free girl.
The Third Surprise Ingredient…
Since this naked berry cake had to look like Marry Berry’s beautiful version, I had to create a healthy frosting to layer it in with the berries. Thus comes my third and final secret ingredient- silken tofu. If you have never used tofu in a frosting before, you really need to try it. Again, please let this not put you off! The silken tofu ensures a wonderful texture and imparts no flavour. It ensures that you do not need add any extra fats to your frosting, it can be dairy free, and making this a truly guilt free and healthy frosting recipe! You need to have blind faith in me on this one and give it a try. I came across this concept of adding tofu in frosting when reading about vegan cooking and absolutely love it!
This cake is sugar free, gluten free and dairy free. It is not vegan as I do use eggs. I tried egg free versions and felt it lacked the sponginess and texture of a regular cake. If you do recreate this without eggs then please let me know! The entire cake is made in a food processor and hence you save on a lot of post cake making cleaning up! You can also skip the frosting layer and make this with berries only for a simpler version.
What do you think about this cake recipe idea? Let me know in the comments below! As always use the hashtag #meghnas when recreating this and featuring it on Instagram, so that I can be a part of your healthy food journey!