Friday, 5 August 2016

Neapolitan Cheesecake Gâteau (Wheat Free)

Happy autumn to all my Irish readers! But to everyone else, I'm pretty sure it's still summer.

This week was my little sister's 19th birthday. I remember to this day when she arrived: she was in a carry cot on the kitchen table, all little and brand new and cute. Now, she's a young woman with thick dark hair as long as an old fella's life story and sparkling blue eyes. I know I shouldn't refer to a 19 year old woman as my little sister, but she always will be; even when she's 99.

Generally speaking for her birthday cake, she asks me to make her either cheesecake (and I've done many cheesecake recipes over the years of this blog as a result) or superdy duperdy chocolate upon chocolate cake. So this year I thought why not do both at the same time?

My sister loves pink, and she loves cheesecake, and she loves chocolate, which makes my brain jump to a very specific classic flavour combination: Neapolitan.

In its beginnings, Neapolitan ice cream -- supposedly invented in Naples, as the name would suggest -- was actually supposed to look like the Italian flag: green pistachio ice cream, next to white vanilla ice cream, next to red (well, pink) cherry ice cream. When it was brought to the States by Italian immigrants, they altered it to chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla to please the American palate. Oddly enough, as I've probably mentioned in earlier recipes inspired by the flavour combination, when I had Neapolitan ice cream as a kid the chocolate part was substituted with lemon ice cream, which was nicer in my opinion.

Neapolitan combines two of my sister's favourite things: pink, and chocolate.

I decided that I was going to sandwich some luscious no-bake strawberry cheesecake in between a dense chocolate cake base and a light and fluffy vanilla cake top. Then wrap it all up in strawberry flavoured whipped cream cheese icing, and glazed with marbled dark and white chocolate.

Admittedly, this recipe is mostly chocolate and strawberry with a bit of vanilla and white icing thrown in for good measure, but I think the title is still appropriate.

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts

☒ Eggs
☒ Dairy (dairy substitutes can be found in italics)
☒ Gluten
☒ Refined sugar products


For one 8 inch (20 centimetre) round chocolate cake
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) cocoa powder
  • ⅔ teaspoon (4 millilitres) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) caster sugar
  • 2 ounce (30 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 4 fluid ounces (120 millilitres) whipping cream or evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) vanilla essence

For one 8 inch (20 centimetre) round vanilla cake
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) cornflour
  • ⅔ teaspoon (4 millilitres) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) caster sugar
  • 2 ounce (55 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 2 fluid ounces (60 millilitres) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence

For the strawberry cheesecake filling:
  • 10 ounces (300 grammes) cream cheese, chilled
  • 5 fluid ounces (150 millilitres) whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 to 4 ounces (55 to 115 grammes) strawberry milkshake powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • Red or pink food colouring

For the strawberry whipped cream cheese icing:
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) butter, room temperature (or half butter, half solid vegetable fat, like in this recipe)
  • 6 ounces (170 grammes) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 millilitres) strawberry milkshake powder
  • 3 fluid ounces (90 millilitres) whipping cream, chilled
  • Red or pink food colouring
  • Coloured sprinkles, for decorating

For the marbed glaze:
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) white chocolate
  • 1½ tablespoons (23 millilitres) sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) whipping cream
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) dark chocolate
  • ½ tablespoon (7 millilitres) sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) whipping cream


First, make the chocolate cake
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF, Gas Mk.3, warm), and grease and flour an 8 inch (20 centimetre) round cake tin.
  • Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder together either in a large bowl, or onto a large piece of greaseproof paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg and caster sugar together by hand with a balloon whisk or with and electric beater, until it has doubled in volume, turned pale yellow, and leaves a trail when you lift the beaters/whisk.
  • While beating, gradually add the oil in a slow steady stream until fully incorporated.
  • Add in half the sieved dry ingredients, and fold in with the balloon whisk or with a rubber spatula.
  • When almost fully mixed, but with a few dry patches, add in the cream and the vanilla essence, and fold in until almost combined.
  • Add in the last of the dry ingredients, and fold in completely until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin, and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until springy to the touch and a cocktail stick poked into the centre comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning to cake out to cool completely.

Then, make the vanilla cake,
  • Wash and dry the same tin as before, and again grease and flour it. Raise the oven temperature to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mk.4, moderate).
  • Make the cake following the same technique as above, but this time there is cornflour instead of cocoa powder, an extra egg, and milk instead of cream.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a light golden brown and springy to the touch.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes as before before turning out to cool completely.

Now, make the filling,
  • In a mixing bowl with a balloon whisk or electric beater, beat the cream cheese with the strawberry milk powder, lemon juice, and vanilla essence until smooth.
  • Add in the whipping cream and beat vigorously until it has become creamy and holds stiff peaks.
  • Add the food colouring a drop at a time until you get a delightful bright pink colour.
  • Fill a large piping bag with the mixture, fit with a large round tip, or simply cut the end off the bag if it is a disposable one.

Now, to make the layers,
  • Cut the domes off both the cakes, making sure the layers are equal in height.
  • Pipe a smear of the filling onto the serving plate or cake board, and secure the chocolate layer, cut side up.
  • Pipe the filling onto the chocolate cake, making a dam around the edge. Use all the filling.
  • Put the vanilla cake on top, cut side down, and press gently to secure. You do not want the filling to squish out the edges.
  • Put in the fridge for an hour or two to chill completely.

Once chilled, make the icing,
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the room temperature butter (and vegetable fat, if using) with an electric beater or balloon whisk, until light and fluffy.
  • Add the cream cheese, and whisk again until thoroughly combined
  • Add the strawberry milkshake powder, and beat again until it also is thoroughly combined. Little by little, beat in the icing sugar.
  • Pour the cream into the mixture, and whisk until thick and creamy, and the icing holds stiff peaks.
  • As with the filling, add the food colouring a little at a time until you get a lovely bright pink colour.

Now, make the glazes,
  • In one cup or small bowl, mix the white chocolate with it's allotted quantity of cream and oil. Heat very gently in the microwave, or over a pan of simmering water, until completely smooth and freely running.
  • Repeat this process with the dark chocolate.

Now, for the final assembly,

  • Fit a piping bag with a medium or large star tip. Fill the bag with the icing.
  • Pipe stripes up the side of the cake, and pipe a border around the edge of the top of the cake. 
  • Smooth out with a palette knife, the blunt side of a table knife, or an icing smoother (you can also use an old bank card or the like, making sure to wash it thoroughly before use). This technique means there's no unnecessary spreading around of the icing, which could dislodge the layers.
  • Cover the top of the cake with the white chocolate glaze mixture. The border you piped earlier will prevent the glaze from spilling over the edge. Use the dark chocolate glaze to make a pattern on the top: you could marble or feather, or just add splotches. Whatever you please!
  • Finally, pipe rosettes around the edge of the top of the cake, and dust with sprinkles.
  • Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 2 full hours before serving. Allow the cake to temper to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
This cake takes an awful lot of assembly, as you can see, but it's very worth it. It's not something you want to try if you haven't made at least on layer cake before.

This time in 2015: Something Savoury: Tomato Soup with Cheese Buns (Wheat-, Dairy-, and Egg Free)
This time in 2014: No-Gelatine Chilled Cheesecake: Chocolate
This time in 2013: Soft Vanilla Fudge

No comments:

Post a Comment

Madeira Cake, Two Ways! A Traditional English Tea Time Treat

👻 ❤ HAPPY WORLD GOTH DAY EVERYONE! ❤ 👻 I had had another recipe planned for today, but unfortunately it went horribly wrong and we...