Friday, February 12, 2021


I believe that deliciousness of a cake, our perception of how rewarding a cake is, comes in equal parts from the flavour and texture, as well as the effortlessness of the preparation. The ease with which a cake comes together determines how worthwhile we perceive it once it is finally on the platter, decorated to our liking, and ready to adorn the plates.
When it comes to cakes, I find that it is the simplicity that gives the most comfort, and over the years, after many cakes made and enjoyed, I have shaped a few guide rules that my cakes must have – supremely soft layers, and light, creamy filling. And this cake is just to my liking; flavourful, velvety, and tangy, and it comes together oh so quickly. Soft and moist blueberry cake layers and the wonderfully smooth filling, with just the faintest hint of that delightful bitterness from the fresh lemon juice and zest, ensure that every bite is a little symphony of flavours.
Feel free to decorate it in any fashion you like, and serve it with a glass of lemonade, Limoncello, or a nice glass of white wine.

For the soft cake layers
350 grams plain flour
50 grams cornflour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
200 grams granulated sugar
400 millilitres cold water
100 millilitres sunflower oil
30 millilitres fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
200 grams blueberries, fresh or frozen
For the cream filling
400 millilitres soya milk
40 grams cornflour
40 grams plain flour
75 grams granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
100 grams vegan block butter, cubed
20 millilitres fresh lemon juice

Start by making the cream filling, as it will take some time to cool down. Pour the soya milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and sift in the cornflour and the plain flour. Whisk very well, add in the sugar and vanilla, and whisk again. Place the saucepan over medium high heat, and as soon as it starts to steam, start whisking. This will prevent it from sticking to the bottom or burning.
When it starts to boil gently, cook, while stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until it starts resembling a thick pudding. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt, and add in the pieces of softened vegan butter, one at a time, whisking constantly, until incorporated. The filling will be glossy and smooth. Cover the top with cling film, and let it cool down to room temperature.
While the filling is cooling down, make the cake layers. Sift the flour and the cornflour into a large bowl, add in the sugar, salt, and the baking powder, and whisk very well. Pour in the water, oil, fresh lemon juice, and the vanilla, and whisk until combined. Add in the blueberries and mix them through gently. If using frozen blueberries, let them thaw only slightly, and fold them through the batter. Line four small round cake pans (15 cm in diameter), with baking parchment.
Divide the batter equally among them, and bake, in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 10-12 minutes. They need to remain light in colour, but do check with a toothpick, to make sure they are baked, but not dry. Let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then turn them out to a large wire rack to continue cooling.
When the filling is cool to the touch, mix it with an electric mixer on high, until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the fresh lemon juice and zest, and mix for 2 minutes more. This will make it lighter and easier to spread. When everything is ready, start assembling the cake.
Level the cake layers if needed, and place the first one on the cake platter. Close a cake ring around it, add a tall sheet of acetate, and tighten it so it stays in place. Divide the filling into three parts by weight. Add the first part of the filling over the cake layer, level it gently, and place another cake layer on top. Continue stacking the cake in this fashion, until all of the layers and filling are used up. Cover the top with cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Just before serving, decorate as desired. Yields 20 servings. © TINA VESIĆ