Vango turns 40!

chocolate & hazelnut layer cake with a delicious purple basil whipped cream filling & decorated with crystalized purple basil leaves.... entirely gluten free

Haaaaaaaave you met Vango?


Vangelis happens to be the Co-Head of the happy little catering company known as Chili Catering. The very same company I’ve been working for, for the last 2+ weeks. With him, I also work with Eirini, you know, that wonderful girl I made the strawberry & mint macarons with & also did a series of trials before arriving at the idea of a roulade with.

chocolate & hazelnut layer cake with a delicious purple basil whipped cream filling & decorated with crystalized purple basil leaves.... entirely gluten free

It’s a fabulous team. There’s also Costas, he can come across as a little grumpy & be hard to know, but once you crack through, he’s pretty fantastic too.

Back to Vangelis….

Did you know he’s turning 40 today? That’s quite impressive if you ask me. He’s been persistent that he wants nothing to do with a birthday cake…

Eirini & I don’t care one little bit what he wants. We’re going against his wishes & whipping him up one any way. Why should he get to deny us the joy of making a cake just because he’s said so?

chocolate & hazelnut layer cake with a delicious purple basil whipped cream filling & decorated with crystalized purple basil leaves.... entirely gluten free

Since he’s quite the Chef & very imaginative with flavors, I’ve decided to do a cake that will be layered…. • hazelnut • hazelnut & milk chocolate • hazelnut & dark chocolate •
Then, in between each of these delicious layers, there will be a wonderfully light, basil whipped cream.

layers of hazelnut & chocolate sponge cake filled with a purple basil whipped cream... gluten free

It’s heaven.

Even more heavenly, the design.

More often than not, I finish a cake & I’m sorely disappointed with it. Not that it isn’t good, it’s just, I always tell myself “I can do so much better”. Not to brag or anything, but I am so ridiculously pleased with myself over this cake that there is no bringing me down. Not today. Can’t wait to show him what Eirini & I did!!!

Did I mention that I lovingly crystalized each & every basil leaf myself? From purple basil plants growing in my garden which I actually grew all by myself from seed?!?! Oh yea, every single part of the process.

Ingredients, cake:
***ATT – This cake will be made 3 times, the numbers in the brackets are the quantity of ingredients that will be used in the second & third cakes. As you can see, the only thing that changes is the quantity of flour, & the addition of cocoa. If there is any confusion, please e-mail me to clarify!
– 80g (60g // 40g) gluten-free all purpose flour
– 65g (65g // 65g) raw hazelnuts, skinless
– 1/2 tsp (1/2 // 1/2) xanthan gum
– 0g (20g // 50g) cocoa
– 4 (4 // 4) egg whites
– 0.25 (0.25 // 0.25) tsp salt
– 50g (50g // 50g) sugar
– 4 (4 // 4) egg yolks
– 50g (50g // 50g) sugar

Directions, cake: 20cm cake tin
1. preheat oven to 175C
2. grease & line a 20cm spring-form cake tin with parchment.
3. place the flour, hazelnuts & xanthan (& cocoa in cakes 2 & 3) in a food processor & process until it is a fine powder.
4. place the egg whites, salt & sugar in a bowl & beat until still peaks form.
5. in a separate bowl, place the egg yolks & sugar. Beat on high speed until the yolks become very light & creamy in texture, this should take about 5 minutes or more.
6. sift in half of the dry ingredients into the egg yolks & fold in gently. Add in half of the egg white meringue & fold in gently. Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients & add the rest of the meringue to the yolks. Fold the mixture together until everything has been evenly distributed.
7. transfer mix into your prepared cake tin & spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The cake will be done when you can press lightly on the top of it & it will spring back.
8. remove your cake from the tin, & place a plate on top of it. You want to weigh it down a little whilst it cools.

Ingredients, filling:
– 500g heavy cream
– 15g purple basil leaves
– 60g icing sugar
– 60ml cold milk
– 2 tsp powdered gelatin
– 2 drops purple food colouring (optional)

Directions, filing:
1. bring the cream to a simmer, add the basil & remove from the heat. Allow the leaves to steep for half an hour & then place the cream in the fridge to chill completely.
2. once the mix has been chilled, strain the cream to remove any pieces of leaf. Add the icing sugar to the cream & beat until stiff.
3. place the gelatin & milk together in small pot & place in the fridge for 10 minutes to bloom.
4. once the gelatin has bloomed, microwave the mixture in short bursts, stirring between each burst until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Add the gelatin to the whipped cream & gently fold the two together. Place the cream in the fridge until it’s time to spread it on the cake. Make sure to give it a stir every 10 minutes so as it doesn’t set.

Ingredients, buttercream:
– 800g icing sugar
– 500g unsalted butter, room temp
– 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions, buttercream:
1. combine all ingredients into a large bowl & beat on high spread for about 5 minutes until the mixture is white & fluffy in texture.
2. coat the completed cake in a tin coat of icing, don’t worry if you get crumbs in it. Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes until the icing has hardened.
3. coat the cake in a thicker layer of icing & smooth it out. Place back in the fridge until ready to serve.

Decorations (optional):
– 1kg white fondant
– 200g royal icing tinted black
– 40-50 crystalized purple basil leaves

If you liked the recipe, go check out our KICKSTARTER project for an upcoming Gluten-Free Cookbook!

*** the first layer of icing you put on the cake is called a “crumb coat” this is because crumbs will mix into the icing & it will look a mess. Once it is chilled though, it glues the crumbs in & under in place, this allows you to apply a second coat of icing that will be smooth & crumb free. ***
*** do not be tempted to make the batter for all three layers of cake in one go unless you have three cake tins & your oven can fit all three at the same time. The cake does not use a leavening agents & therefore relies entirely on the air trapped within the whites & yolks of the eggs. If left unbaked for long enough, the batter will sink & yield a different texture. ***

……..for a full history of our recipes, check out our archives. For the more sensitive tummies, check out our gluten-free archives….. and if you’re just interested in something pretty, check out our designed page.


3 thoughts on “Vango turns 40!

  1. Pingback: • hazelnut • hazelnut & milk chocolate • hazelnut & dark… | Blog about recipes

  2. Pingback: Crystallized Purple Basil Magic | IMG Recipes| Discover Recipes, Cooking Tips & Food Images

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