Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Sunrise Cake

Good morning!!  Is there anything better than summer mornings?  The sun is up at 4 am which means I get to wake up to glorious sunshine instead of darkness.  To pay tribute and gratitude to the rising sun, I've made a Summer Sunrise Cake using delicious and local Rainier Cherries!!
This weekend I took a trip to the local farmers market and picked up a literal bounty of summer fruits!  Apricots, strawberries, grapes, lemons, and cherries!!  Looking at these beautiful fruits and the glorious sunrise we had this weekend, it just clicked!  Create a cake using summer fruits that look like the summer sunrise!
Washington state not only has really long days in the summer but we have Mt. Rainier and Rainier Cherries!!  Mt. Rainier is one of my favorite views here in WA.

Rainier cherries are sweet, delicious and beautifully colored!  To me, they look just like the sunrise and are as sweet as summer itself.  This cake is just heavenly and its subtle sweetness comes from fruit and a hint of maple syrup!!  Let's get started!
Lemon Coconut Crust Ingredients:
4 tsp. lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup raw walnuts or raw almonds
1/2 - 3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted, chopped
1/3 cup shredded coconut
pinch salt
Lemon Coconut Crust Method:
To a food processor fitted with the "S-type" blade, add the nuts and process until they are in small pieces.  If you want a really fine crust, then process until you have a powder.  I like little bits of nut in my crust so I process until the nuts are broken into small pieces.  Add the rest of the indredients and process until a dough ball forms.  If your dough is not sticking together, add additional dates.
To a square baking dish lined with plastic wrap, press the crust to the base.  Press it evenly and then cover and place in the freezer while you make the filling.
Summer Sunrise Filling Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 5-8 hours, drained, rinsed
1/4 cup coconut butter (optional but it creates a thicker, creamier cake batter)
1 to 1 1/2 cup fruit (I opted for 1 cup strawberries and 1/2 cup cherries)
3/4 cup coconut milk OR coconut cream
2 medjool dates, pitted, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
additional lemon zest and shredded coconut (optional)
Summer Sunrise Filling Method:
Add all ingredients to a food processor fitted with the "S-type" blade or a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.  Remove half the filling.  Add the strawberries and blend.  Take your crust from the freezer and pour in the strawberry layer.  Cover and freeze for an hour.  Add the other half of your filling back to the processor or blender and add the cherries.  Process until smooth and then pour on top of your now frozen strawberry layer.  Sprinkle the additional lemon zest and shredded coconut around the rim of the cake.  Cover and freeze for 2 hours.
1/2 cup strawberries
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
squeeze of lemon
1/2 cup cherries, sliced
Blend strawberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in a blender until pureed.
To dress the cake:
Remove the cake from the freezer.  Carefully pour the strawberry coulis on the top of the cake and spread evenly.  Then layer your sliced cherries on top and place back in the freezer for 4-6 hours!  Serve right from the freezer and you'll have to wonder if this actually an ice cream cake! Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Venturing Vegan!  I hope that this Summer Sunrise Cake brings some fun and flavor to your summer days!  Enjoy!
Our sunsets are pretty epic as well.  This sunset happened while I was writing this blog post.  I had to run and take a picture even though it was hot, humid and raining outside! 

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