Rose, lime & chai cake with banana and hazelnuts - a yoga cake!
I pour the hot water into a big brown tea cup and stir in a little honey, letting a lazy tea bag slowly sink to the bottom of the cup. The steam and aroma of the warming tea spices are rising to my face and I enjoy a first hot sip. The string of the teabag is hanging down the outside of the cup, there's a little message written on the attached tag, it reads:,
spread the light,
be the light!
Quite a lot to live up to, and still, thank you little tea bag for aligning my mind on the right course. I guess one way to spread light is to share this cake recipe! It's literally lighter than regular cakes with refined sugar and butter, and also, using good organic ingredients is a good thing. the recipe offers easy vegan options - so good karma is involved. Are you feeling the vibe yet? - Yes, it's a yoga inspired cake. The kind of cake I share with friends who are into yoga and mindfulness, like so many people today, I like eating in a holistic style, considering the source of my food, and the effects my choices. It's those little choices we do that makes a big difference. Before I get too sidetracked, let's talk cake!
I'm not very fond of overly sweet desserts! I tend to fall more for natural sweet flavors from fruits like banana, and prefer a balanced mix with a little salt and sour involved. Cheese cakes and caramel flavors rank high on my sweetometer. What makes a sweet bite even more exciting is the addition of spices. Have you tasted how wonderful chocolate is with spices like chili, anise, viol, ginger and even curry? Yes, curry!
This cake has an Indian influences too, inspired by my favorite tea, the "Classic Yogi Tea", which is an Ayurvedic spice mix with ginger, cardamom and cinnamon, the taste of chai tea, and I'm bonkers for chai cakes. This tea is often served by yogis to their students, spiced with comfort and energy at the same time. Perfect fall nourishment.
A layer of fresh lime & coconut whip topping, makes a heavenly contrast to the warm chai flavors. I added dried rose petals, for extra interest and romance! Rose petals can be bought in shops with middle eastern food, they're commonly used in Persian and Indian cooking and gives a beautiful subtle aroma to a variety of dishes. I love that feel with this cake too, it's a well traveled treat. To finish in style I added toasted hazelnuts on the coconut whip, nice and crunchy. And added some sliced figs. All together this makes a beautiful cake, free of refined sugar, with less fat, but no less flavor, it's a treat that you can indulge in with good conscience.
Here's my recipe for a nourishing "yoga cake:
Rose, lime & chai cake with banana and hazelnuts
(choose organic when you can)
300 gr spelt flour
150 gr palm sugar (coconut sugar)
3 tsp bicarbonate or baking soda
¼ cup agave syrup
⅕ cup yogurt (sub with vegan yogurt if that's your choice)
⅕ cup olive oil for baking
1 ⅕ cups milk of choice (I use almond milk)
the seeds of 1 vanilla pod, or three tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
grated zest of one lemon
a wee pinch of salt
Tip! optional, alternative sweetener for the cake: swop the agave and coconut sugar for ⅔ cup finely chopped dried dates, presoaked for 4 hours). Makes a less sweet and more fruity taste.
Spice mix for the cake:
I tsp ground cinnamon (one cinnamon stick)
½ tsp ground ginger, (fresh or dry)
½ tsp ground cardamom (ca 5 pods)
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Tip! You can also use 4 bags of the Classic Yogi Tea, (just tear up the teabags and use the tea spice mix)
4-5 tbsp coconut whip (see below) or mascarpone
½ tbsp agave
a wee pinch of fine salt
I tbsp palm sugar
1 ¼ cup chilled full fat coconut whip (the cream of 1 or two tins, depending on how each tin thickens ) or mascarpone
½ tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp palm sugar
2-3 tbsp lime juice
the zest of 1 lime
a spoon of dried culinary rose petals
a wee pinch of fine salt
the seeds of ½ vanilla pod, or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts
1-2 figs, sliced to look good!
Coconut milk tip: Make sure you get a brand that separates good. After 24 hours there should be a thick layer on top of the tin. It's better to get more tins than you need if the amount of cream in one tin is less than you need.
Prepare 24 hours before: If you use coconut milk, store the tins in the fridge 24 hours before making the cake.
Bake the cake: Preheat your oven to 180℃. In a mixing bowl, add the spelt flour and sift in the baking soda or bicarbonate, making sure that is evenly mixed into the flour. Add the rest of the dry ingredients including the spices and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix your wet cake ingredients well then pour into the dry ingredients, mix well but not to much, just so there's no lumps of dryness.
Grease a 18 cm wide springform (one that can separate sides and bottom) with a little olive oil for baking or cocout oil. Pour in the cake mix and bake for 60 minutes. Check with a stick to see that it's done, should come out without sticky stuff. Ovens have different tempers so add extra oven time if needed. Take out of oven and let cool for minimum 20 minutes. Toast 1 cup of hazel nuts on a tray with a wee sprinkle of fine salt in 180℃ for 12 minutes, let cool and set aside.
Make the top layer
alt. 1. COCONUT WHIP: Make the coconut topping by removing the thickened coconut cream from the tins and whip it with salt and palm sugar in a bowl (tip: save the liquid milk to use in other cooking). Mix in the agave syrup, lime juice, and vanilla, then add half of the rose petals, roughly grounded, and mix it into the topping. Taste and adjust lime, agave and salt if needed. Store in the fridge covered.
alt. 2 MASCARPONE OPTION: if you chose to use mascarpone instead of coconut whip, mix it with the agave syrup, lime juice, sugar salt, and vanilla, then mix half of the rose petals, roughly grounded, into the topping. Taste and adjust lime, agave and salt if needed.Store in the fridge covered
Make the filling: Mash the banana with a fork and mix it with the rest of the filling ingredients. Set aside to keep covered in the fridge.
Assemble the cake: Remove the cake carefully from the spring form. Half the cake in two. Add the filling on top of the base half of the cake, with a spatula. Carefully place the other half on top and add the mixed top layer with coconut whip or mascarpone. Decorate with the hazelnuts, the second half of the rose petals, the lime zest, and the fig slices. Serve straight away. Bon appetit & namaste!