Flourless Nut Cake Tutorial: From Lining to Eating

Okay, I’m not going to tell you how to eat it and if any ones cares to tell me how to eat then I’ll probably stick a fork in them. Yup, social butterfly, that’s me. We’re finally here, as promised, are you ready?! Are you hyped!?! Me neither, but still, let’s hope I can cobble together a guide to make my Flourless Nut Cake that makes some semblance of sense. I’m not adept at teaching, but I’ll do my best. This isn’t actually that hard, but if you’ve never lined a cake tin before it can be daunting. I’ll list the basic action and then elaborate on it. Steps 1 to 5 will over the lining so if you just want that then it’s really short and simple. Okay let’s begin:

Start with one Blueberry and Basil Almond Cake. Kidding.

You can make any cake you want using this guide, from the basic Peanut Butter to the flavoursome Lemon Cardamom cake. I just felt like trying out some basil buttercream and it worked quite well. Not my favourite, but it was fun to try and tasted quite nice. Very little beats an Almond Coffee Nut Cake though. Just go simple if you’re unsure how you’ll fare or go all out if you’re feeling adventurous.

Just remember it’s small, but dense and fudgy. Camera tricks can make it bigger if you’re mischievously inclined.

Step 1:

Measure out one round and one long rectangle of greaseproof paper.

Okay this can go one of two ways: If you have pre-cut paper you can use make sure it fits the bottom of the spring-form pan, trimming if it pushes up the sides, as for the rectangle just leave about an inch longer than the circumference of the tin. That’ll give you some overlap you’ll need later. If you just have roll of greaseproof then cut out a circle with with a scissors or by running a knife around the tin placed over the paper. Fold over the greaseproof, again the circumference and 1 inch added for length, and cut along the lines to make  few rectangles, the rest you can save for again, out of a roll I usually get three. They just need to be the height of the tin, even a little lower will be fine for this cake as the batter is only about an inch up the sides with very little rise.

Step 2:

Fold the bottom of the rectangle up to the centre, about 1 inch’s worth.

Hope that makes sense, just fold it up and flatten it down. Don’t worry about it popping up. Don’t worry about it being exact, just leave yourself enough for the next step, err on the side of excess.

Step 3:

Cut lines into the folded line, about 2 or 3 centimetres wide.

You can see what I mean hopefully. Just don’t make them too big as you’ll need the paper to curl around and form a circle. See, it really is simple, but it’s confusing without some guidance, I know I struggled at first, but gradually it became easier and now I just fly through the prep.

Step 4:

Place the cut rectangle of greaseproof into your tin.

Just let it fall in, flattening out any of the ends if they get caught. This is why I said to make the spaces between small as they’ll just fold in better. I was in the habit of making them too big and that make it a far great hassle.

Step 5:

Place the prepared circle into the centre of the tin.

And that’s it for lining. If the circle is too large just trim it slightly. If it’s too small: Don’t panic unless you can see tin in the gap, as long as the other piece of greaseproof covers the tin it’ll be fine.

Step 6:

The Before.

The After.

Just mix it up. You can probably do it by hand, but an electric mixer will save you from much laborious stirring. It’ll be very runny, but don’t freak out it’s fine. I even have my doubts at this stage of the preparation. If you have a clear bowl check the bottom to make sure it has all combined.

Step 7:

Pour it.

Bake it.

It can feel slightly leathery at first, but as it sinks it gains a much more uniform texture. The whole cake will have a fudgy, firm, spongy feel. You can use a wire-rack to cool it faster, but wait until it’s fully cool.

From here on it’s just a suggestion on how to present your cake. It’s up to you to figure out how you’d like it to look. It’s not a huge cake, but it is heavy and very filling. If you wanted to double it you’d be best to bake a second or it’ll just end up soggy, same goes for baking in a loaf tin. I’ve even baked it in three small spring-form tins.

Step 8:

After cooling, strip off the greaseproof, it’ll just peel away from the outside.

The bottom part will always have some cake residue, don’t worry about it.

You’re probably going to want to flip the cake over so you’ll have a flatter surface to work with. You can just spread on some Buttercream instead of piping that’s up to you. It has a certain rustic appeal, but for the sake of completion I’ll go the whole hog.

Step 9:

Basil Buttercream? Sure it’s unusual, but interesting. It’s 1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil to 100g Icing Sugar to 25g Butter.

It’s also a pleasant shade of green.

Just remember the Ratio of 4-2-1 for Buttercream. Four Parts Icing Sugar to (2) one part Butter. Add a little milk if you need it, but I found the basil had enough moisture on it’s own. Check put the Buttercream page for a full guide.

A quick compote of 75g Blueberries, frozen in my case, either that or fresh and a few more for decorating, some sugar and a splash of Water. Boil it until it’s thick. Then let it cool completely.

Step 10:

Chop it in half.

Or leave it whole and just leave a hole in the centre for the compote.

Pipe it on. With syringe or bag, whatever your preference.

I just go point by point, I’m not talented enough to do anything else, but I’d love to see what designs other people come up with. You could just spread it on with a knife too. It’ll all taste the same regardless, but sometimes it fun to try to make it elegant. I’m a real amateur when it comes to decorating, I’ve practised a lot to even get this far.

Fill in the gap, slap the top on top and that’s that.

Now, that was my first tutorial, possibly my last as I doubt I’m that adept enough as a teacher to rival the multitudes of guides on Google. Hopefully this encourages someone to give this recipe a try, I worked hard  fiddling with it and I’m always happy with the result. I hope I covered everything and that it was clear enough for anyone, if you do have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll endeavour to answer them to the best of my ability. Remember to have fun if nothing else.

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6 thoughts on “Flourless Nut Cake Tutorial: From Lining to Eating

  1. Your piping skills are much better than mine! I just realized, reading this, that, should you ever want to make my four-layer cake or my French Christmas log, that you don’t need a “crème pâtissière”; since you can have butter, your buttercream would be an excellent substitution. Basil buttercream sounds interesting. I have heard of lemon and basil desserts but never tried.
    Thank you for this tutorial, Jack.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can do what I jokingly refer to as “pointillist”, but that’s as far as I could get with cake decorating. Basil is unusual in desserts, but it’s a nice way to use a little. I hope this year will provide plenty to experiment with. You’re welcome as always, thanks for taking a look.

      Liked by 1 person

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