WOODLAND MOSS CAKE
I’ve adapted this recipe from a traditional
Polish forest moss cake in order to showcase the abundance of summer berries available in New Zealand at Christmas. It makes a wonderfully whimsical red and green feature for the Christmas table. The cake itself is coloured green with chopped spinach, but don’t be freaked out by the amount. It’s a lovely, light, sweet, lemony flavoured sponge. I got my strawberry selection from Strawberry Corner farm in Alfriston, Auckland.
550g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove most of the liquid then finely chopped
Zest and juice 2 lemons
6 large free-range eggs
190g caster sugar
500ml sunflower oil
560g self-raising flour
1 quantity cream cheese butter cream (see tropical coconut cake recipe on previous page)
Icing sugar, for dusting
Fresh strawberries, strawberry leaves and flowers, to decorate
1 Grease and line two 23cm springform tins.
2 Preheat oven to 170°C fanbake.
3 Place thawed, squeezed-out spinach in a bowl and mix together with the lemon zest and juice. In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and slightly thickened. With the motor running add the oil in a thin stream – the mixture will emulsify and thicken.
4 Mix in the spinach mixture on a low speed until incorporated, then fold in the flour by hand until combined.
5 Divide the cake batter between your prepared tins and bake for around 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested. Let cakes cool in the tins.
6 Place one cake on a serving platter and spread with one-third of the butter cream. Place the other cake on top and secure with a bamboo skewer or two (snip off skewer(s) level with the top of the cake).
7 Spread the whole cake with the remaining butter cream and smooth with a spatula. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
8 When chilled, sprinkle icing sugar all over surface and press into sides with your hands to make a snowy matte white coating. Arrange strawberries (plus leaves and flowers) over top and serve. If not serving immediately, keep in fridge (for up to 2 days; cover in cling film).