With several cake recipes, it was time to develop different frosting options. I made 2 frostings, based on frozen blackcurrants, which I like for their deep tart taste. Blackcurrant’s intense taste can lift up any grain and sugar free cake. It is especially true for banana cakes.
The first blackcurrant frosting is dairy free and is made with solids from coconut milk and fresh cashews. The second frosting is essentially blackcurrant curd, made with whole eggs, egg yolks and clarified butter. They are both easy to make and easy to use. Two main ingredients for both frostings are frozen blackcurrants and honey. Fresh berries can be used instead, in Australia, however, we are not spoiled with blackcurrants choice. Even frozen are not readily available everywhere.
Cashew, coconut, honey and blackcurrant frosting (dairy free option)
- 80g coconut solids from a can of light coconut milk (I used Spiral reduced fat organic coconut milk)
- 50g organic honey
- 30g frozen blackcurrants
- 100g raw cashews
- 2 table spoons of lemon juice
It is easier to make this frosting in powerful blender, which I do not have. I used stick blender and never had any problems to achieve fine smooth texture. It is necessary, however, to use appropriate size glass of bowl for blending. Tall and narrow shapes are the best.
- cover raw cashews with boiling water for 15min
- defrost blackcurrants (overnight in the fridge)
- separate solids from coconut milk (with the can I used it was not necessary to keep the can in the fridge)
- add lemon juice to blackcurrants, process them into smooth puree using stick blender
- drain and dry cashews
- blend them in blender of food processor (if making larger size portion of frosting)
- place all ingredients in a bowl and blend them until smooth with a stick blender
- the alternative and more easy way, is to put all ingredients in a powerful blender and process them until smooth and fully combined
This frosting becomes quite thick when refrigerated. In case you want to have runnier frosting, add little honey or lemon juice to your taste. This frosting can be stored refrigerated for several days.
Blackcurrant curd (nut free option)
- 250g organic honey
- 150g frozen blackcurrants
- 125g clarified unsalted butter (if regular butter tolerated, use regular unsalted butter)
- 2 table spoons of lemon juice
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- defrost blackcurrants, add lemon juice
- process blackcurrants into smooth puree
- in a bowl beat egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar for 6-7min on high, until pale and double in volume
- melt butter, cool it to barely warm
- slowly add melted butter while mixer still running on high
- add blackcurrant puree buy pouring it in, or, if too thick for that, add puree and mix it in with a whisk
- pour the mixture into non-stick or stainless steel sauce pan and cook on low heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thick custard. Compared to lemon curd, blackcurrant curd, has initially thicker consistency and cooks faster. Blackcurrant puree is high in pectin content and it helps to make blackcurrant curd quite thick, which works well for frosting.
- transfer blackcurrant curd into a jug and, when still hot, pour into individual glass jars and cover immediately with lid
- use warm, but not hot, blackcurrant frosting on cooled and rested cakes
- unused blackcurrant curd can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks, or frozen, if needed later
I used blackcurrant curd for grain and sugar free blackcurrant, banana and apple cake, baked with almond meal and pumpkin seed meal. The frosting had a shiny surface with vibrant colour and made the cake look very festive. The recipe for the cake will follow soon.
Out of these two frostings, blackcurrant curd is my favourite. It has more intense tart taste, and can be used not only as topping to any cake, but also on its own, on toast, or to top any desert. Blackcurrant curd’s texture is not too creamy, compared to coconut one. But my preference is also based on my luck of fondness for coconut, unless it is used in savoury dishes in curries.
The cake, on the photo above, looked well on the outside. But it was not as looking as good when cut. The recipe needs more work, and though I am satisfied with the taste, the texture of the cake was not satisfactory. Sorry to say, that recipe might not be coming soon, after all.