Strawberry Mousse Cloud Layer Cake, because strawberry and lime mousse sandwiched in between a gluten-free sponge, covered with a vanilla bean whipped cream and rose petals can only have one name, thanks to Instagram friends.
About a month ago Wholesome Cook turned 4!
Most bloggers I know will tell you that their blogging journey has been an interesting one. My story is no different. What began as an exercise is study procrastination, soon evolved into a passion for sharing home-cooked recipe ideas with friends, family and anyone else who’d stop by and care to listen. While it did take me a while to purchase a decent camera, I was always quite clear about what Wholesome Cook was about.
This past year proved to be yet another amazing year for the blog, and I could not be more grateful. Filled with wonderful opportunities, new friendships, projects, email exchanges and chance meetings with some of you, and a certain realisation.
As you may know, from the very beginning my goal with Wholesome Cook was to create a point of reference for healthy, nutritious and easy to prepare meals, without breaking the bank or over-complicating things. It has always been a pretty simple idea based on the premise of eating real, unprocessed food and on educating ourselves to choose the right, additive-free convenience foods when necessary.
I’ve definitely grown. I’ve found new inspiration and gained a much better understanding of whole foods, processing methods and my own preferences toward certain types of food.
From being Flexitarian to recognising Bioindividuality | The Bettertarian approach
Perhaps a little surprisingly then, I’ve also realised that being an omnivorous flexitarian with very few sensitivities is kind of hard nowadays. It is not as simple as being focused on a single-diet approach. Doubt set in and I’ve wondered whether I should be creating recipes that can be pigeon-holed in to a single diet box.
During my Health Coach studies at IIN, I studied over 100 dietary theories, each claiming to be better than the next. I pondered this question more than enough this year and then I thought, hang on a second. This is not how we eat.
I’m not a vegan nor vegetarian, although we try to eat that way around twice a week. We are not entirely Paleo either – Matt loves his pasta and rice, but I seem to have starch and to a lesser extent gluten sensitivities so I mostly avoid rice, pasta and unfermented breads. Some grains like rye and spelt I’m perfectly fine with. We have no issues consuming dairy, especially yoghurt which is naturally low in lactose, but do so mostly in small amounts and by default. Except for this cake, maybe.
It struck me then, that the best approach for me, for us and for everyone, really, is to become bettertarian!
Bettertarian, because we are all different and no single diet fits everyone the same. I call it bioindividuality. This is why I like to share recipes that can be easily adapted to suit different dietary needs.
And so, over the past year specifically, and because of a family history of numerous allergies and food sensitivities, Wholesome Cook has become a place where I’ve been exploring natural, allergy-friendly and mostly additive-free recipe ideas. My food philosophy? Eat clean food that is right for you, 90 per cent of time, indulge in the other 10. Put simply, eat real food that’s best for you.
Voices of 2014 Top 5 Food and Wellbeing Blog
This is why I am so proud to have been recognised as one of the Top 5 Food and Wellbeing Blogs in the Voices of 2014 competition over at Kidspot.com.au. Because my approach is holistic and not pigeon-holed. Because I am allergy-aware and will happily provide options for most food sensitivities, most of the time. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my thoughts and recipes there, so make sure to stop by.
The past 12 months
Have been really good on other fronts, too. I’ve developed a number of recipes for Sarah Wilson’s 8 Week Program and second book, I Quit Sugar for Life, and began writing a regular recipe column in Nourish Magazine. Over the life of the blog, I’ve written three ebooks in which I shared my journey and discovery of a healthier way of life through moderation, balance and eating mostly unprocessed whole foods.
For now, let’s eat cake!
Strawberry Mousse Cloud Layer Cake, to be exact. A celebration cake.
I wanted to make this cake one that a whole family could enjoy. Poor Zac hasn’t had a single strawberry since he’s had his braces put on so this was more than my own celebration cake.
I removed the seeds from the puree which resulted in a velvety smooth strawberry, almost marshmallowy, centre. He loved that.
Since we are fine with dairy I used fresh cream and yoghurt cream cheese to add a little probiotic goodness and balance out the fat content somewhat. For a dairy-free version you could use the thick layer of coconut cream instead.
I also wanted to make the sponge gluten-free because I know many of you are Coeliac. While I used almond meal, you could use the same amount of rice flour or gluten-free flour if allergic to nuts.
The reason why I used actual sugar is simple. We so rarely eat cake that using 1/2 cup of unrefined Demerara sugar for the entire cake seemed very reasonable and moderate to me.
Besides, consuming a little fat with sugar helps slow down its absorption into the blood stream. Of course you could use stevia, natvia, xylitol or any other granulated sugar you choose.
Thank you for sticking around
I am grateful for the fact that I am still here, sharing stories and recipes from my kitchen and inspiring you to cook from scratch. Your visits, comments, emails and social media interactions have been a testament to the stuff that I do. Thank you for reading, connecting and wanting to eat the best food for you.
Awesome things are going to happen over then next 12 months, I promise, but for now enjoy the cake.
With lots of love.
Strawberry Mousse Cloud Layer Cake
For the Gluten-free Sponge:
- 4 eggs must be at room temperature
- 1/3 cup unrefined Demerara sugar or other granulated sweetener of choice - see notes above
- 1/2 cup almond meal see notes for nut-free alternatives
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour tapioca
For the Strawberry Mousse:
- 500 g ripe strawberries 1lb 1oz, 1 cup pure strawberry puree
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 lime, zested
- 21/2 tablespoons milled unrefined demerara sugar unrefined icing sugar or sweetener of choice
- 23/4 teaspoons gelatine I used this grass-fed gelatine
- 4 tablespoons boiling hot water
- 200 g yoghurt cream cheese 7oz, or thick natural Greek-style yoghurt
- 300 ml fresh cream 10fl oz
For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Frosting:
- 300 ml fresh cream 10fl oz
- 2 tablespoons milled unrefined demerara sugar unrefined icing sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla bean paste
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1 fresh rose petals only
To make the sponge:
- Preheat oven to 170C (340F, gas mark 4). Line a bottom of a 23cm (9inch) spring form tin with non-stick baking paper. Do not grease sides.
- Separate eggs making sure to keep the yolks intact. Place egg whites in a bowl of a mixer and beat on high speed until the whites become frothy and start to form soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Begin adding sugar, a tablespoon at a time while continuing to mix on high speed. The mixture should now be quite firm and glossy. Continue beating on high speed. Whisk yolks and add a tablespoon at a time to the whites until all are incorporated.
- Reduce mixer speed to very slow. In a separate bowl mix together the flours and add in in three batches. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on for the strawberries) and cool in the tin completely before removing from tin. To do so, run a knife around the edge of the cake. Using a bread knife, slice the sponge in to two layers.
To make the Strawberry Mousse, once the cake has cooled:
- Wash and hull strawberries. Cut in half and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 10 minutes at 170C (340F, gas mark 4). Remove from oven and transfer to a blender. Process until smooth. Pour pureed strawberries onto a fine mesh sieve set over a clean bowl and strain, pressing with a spoon. Discard seeds. Add lime juice, zest and milled sugar, whisk to combine. In a small bowl combine gelatine and boiling hot water. Mix until gelatine is dissolved. Add gelatine to the warm strawberry puree. Whisk well before adding yoghurt and whisking again. In a bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low and mix in the puree.
To assemble the cake:
- Place the bottom half of the sponge cake back in the springform tin. Pour in the strawberry mousse, spread evenly and top with the remaining cake layer. Press down gently. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
To make the Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting:
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
To frost and decorate the cake:
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake to separate the mousse from the sides of the tin. Remove the ring and transfer the cake, gently, to a serving platter. Place half of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread. Using a knife, Spread remaining icing around the sides of the cake, rustic is fine. Top the cake with coconut flakes and rose petals.
Happy blogiversary Martyna! That cake is glorious, what a lovely way to celebrate.
Thank you so much Tara! I saw you were at the Blog Society event the other night but I didn’t get a chance to say hello…
Congratulations Martyna! I’m only a recent follower of your blog but I absolutey adore your photos, recipes and philosophy. I’ve tried all sorts of different diets and am very similar in my style of eating to you. Well done!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sammy! I think you’re making the right choice for yourself in eating that way. I hope I can continue to inspire you.
Good morning Martyna, what a beautiful sight to wake up to. This cake looks stunning, a great way to celebrate indeed. You have accomplished so much already but a heartfelt congratulations from me on the most recent recognition.
Thank you Thessa. Your words are so kind. :-)
Congrats on Four Years lovely! What an inspiration you are. Thank you for making managing my family mealtime that much easier with your delicious recipes, not to mention advice on email when I’ve needed it. Many happy returns Martyna, can’t wait to see what’s in store for you!
Hiya, it’s been my pleasure! Life can be hectic looking after two kids, I can only imagine how busy you are with four little ones. If you ever need any other advise, do drop me a line (and do check out the posts I will be writing over at kidspot – there could be a few handy things there for you too!).
Stunning cake! And a gluten free sponge that sounds easy to make and using whole ingredients. Brilliant once again. All these accolades are much deserved. Don’t ever worry about making your blog stick to a single diet!
Thanks Mel, I thought you might like this one! Enjoy and thanks for the advice.
Congratulations on your four year anniversary Marty! It has been wonderful to watch your journey – you are amazing at what you do. Looking forward to seeing where the next four years take you! xx
Amazing!!! This cake is beautiful and I’m so proud of your blogging journey!!
Looks like you’re doing an amazing job and it’s nice to be recognized.
Btw. that last photo IS your book cover! It’s stunning ;)
About diet preferences, I hear you – I myself hate labels!
I started hashtagging my recipes vegan because they were vegan so that people could easily find them, now I have a vegan following and it’s hard to share anything else. I’m actually about 90% vegan and gluten-free. I still eat wild small fish about once a week as well as honey, and like you, I’m also ok with spelt, rye and other ancient grains, but am 100% wheat free.
So I’m technically a wheat free pescetarian ;)
To make things crazier, I cook eggs and meat for my husband and daughter. They eat about 1/2 vegan and gluten free meals anyway.
This complicates things I know, so I realized that I have to keep things as is, because vegans also get offended when it comes to animal consumption.
I like your approach of just eating better ;)
Makes sense to me!
Wow, I can see you can definitely understand the conundrum that’s being an omnivore, or a sometimes-fish-and-egg-eating vegan in your case! That’s actually what my Mum became in her late 50s – not because of ethical beliefs, but because she felt way better physically by not eating meat.
I love the fact that you are happy for your family to explore their own food boundaries and do not limit them in their diet to your own beliefs. I think many people miss this point. I am so glad I found you. It’s such a big, small world out there.
That last comment made me SMILE. :-) Thank you.
Firstly congratulations on your wonderful achievements. You are doing a fabulous job here..
And secondly – this cake looks divine. I could think of nothing nicer than sinking my teeth into this for afternoon tea.
Thank you lovely! I see you have launched your website – how fantastic is that! I shall share it with a few friends of mine who might be interested. Thanks again for stopping by!
Congratulations on your 4th! And to many many more! I have watched you and your blog grow and evolve from the get go into this beautiful space you have created. Well done you! So incredibly proud of your achievements. You will go far, very far .. my friend :-) xx
Waaah! Sneh, you’re making my eyes water. You have been one of my biggest inspirations, you know. It’s been a fantastic experience being able to connect with you on so many levels. Much love to you my dear friend. Much.
Congratulations Marty on your achievements! Well deserved. Love this cake, it’s simply beautiful.
Thank you Liz. :-)
Ahhhhhhhh, congrats on 4 years darling.
I loved this post because its a wonderful summary of you are.
xoxo – Hopefully see you soon darling.
Thanks Laura :-)
That is such a wonderful celebration cake. Looks so light and delicious. Well done on 4 years.
This cake is so beautiful and delicious that I had to pin it twice! Congrats on the four years too.. I have only been blogging for four months so I have a long way to go to reach your incredible achievement!
Congratulations to 4 years of blogging! And I’m also a gluten free baker so I was happy to find you. :)
Congratulations – you’ve come a long way since we met in Sydney. Your blog goes from strength to strength and you seem so comfortable and happy following your passion. This is a gorgeous celebration cake!
Thank you Maureen, of yes, that was a long time ago. I have definitely clarified a few things about the blog since then, and am continuing to enjoy what I do. Thank you so much for your support over the past few years – I love your blog too!
Congratulations on all your achievements: 4 years of a wonderful blog and your well deserved nominations! What a wonderful way to celebrate. Thank you for sharing your beautiful creations with us. I’m looking forward to following the exciting projects to come! x
Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am looking forward to continuing to grow the Wholesome Cook community AND recipe library for sure. :-) And I can only hope to have more of such wonderful readers as yourself.
No better way to celebrate a bloggy birthday! This looks stunning
This is a stunning looking cake and congrats on your 4th anniversary.
It was lovely to have finally met you at Sokyo too, wasn’t that such a beautiful lunch!
Congratulations on your 4th anniversary!
I like your philosophy of being a Bettertarian. After all, food is such a big part of who we are, the experiences and the relationships we have – let’s face it, we nearly always socialise or celebrate with food!
I think being a Bettertarian is about making good choices for yourself, your body, your mind and for the environment. It’s really great to see like-minded bloggers building such a community of ‘Bettertarians’ who may have differing philosophies, but above all respect the food they eat.
Oh it’s so pretty! And congrats to 4 years of blogging!
Martyna, I must say thank you from the very bottom of my heart for this recipe. This weekend was my first birthday after being diagnosed with celiac disease and I was worried I would never find anything that measured up to birthday cakes from years past – until you posted this on Instagram mere weeks before my special day. I think I have found my new favorite cake ever, gluten-free or not! I even posted about it today on my blog, crediting your fantastic recipe.
Happy blogoversary to you and keep these great recipes coming!
Happy anniversary and congrats on the domination, you deserve it!
Congratulation Martyna on your 4th year Blogiversary! Thank you for 4 years of deliciously healthy recipes and congratulations your achievements and milestones. This gorgeous strawberry mousse cloud cake is the perfect way to celebrate Bettertarianism. Take Care, BAM
So pretty, wow!! I love it. :)
So glad you posted this, will make it one lazy weekend. It looks delicious and SO glad you reduced the sugar, some recipes have my eyeballs falling out at how much sugar they use.
What a stunning cake! I love how light and pretty it looks and the petals on top are such a nice touch :)
Well done, Martyna. You’re an inspiration. So talented, with such a great philosophy towards food. This cake looks INSANELY GOOD. X
I was just wondering how far ahead this cake can be made?
Hi Beck, the cake will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Best to make it 1-2 days out if making ahead.
[…] Strawberry Mousse Layer Cake […]
Martyna I was wondering if you could make this egg free? I do see in most of your recipes you note other alternatives, do you think this would be possible?
Hi Bo, you would have to experiment with the sponge a little – it is quite airy. Perhaps using a vegan egg substitute might help. Or chickpea water (from a can of chickpeas). I’ve heard it whips really well!
This cake is so beautiful but sadly mine was not. I could not get the mousse made well at all. Many failed attempts (which on my SSI budget cost me my weeks food budget ) have made me frustrated and given up on making anything else. I envy you all for your patience and wizardry in the kitchen. I wanted to make it for my daughters birthday. My sister has major food allergies and my autoimmune disease dictates to stay away from inflammatory foods so this was to be a treat for us all. You can’t find delicious gluten soy free cakes with fresh berries near me. :(