Nettle Cake Recipe

Nettle Cake Recipe

Posted by : Mary Wutz   /  


This nettle moss cake is a Pacific Northwestern take on the Japanese tradition of “Hanami,” or tree-blossom observing. Mosses are among some of the oldest plants alive, and their constancy brings us hope of an awakening earth.


Below you will find The Wondersmiths’ recipe for making a this delicious Stinging Nettle Moss Cake.


INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups shortening or unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 ½ cups sugar

6 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

4 tbsp lemon juice

zest of 2 lemons

2 cups nettle puree (or spinach puree) - see below  

4 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt


DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F and prepare two 9” cake pans and one smaller pan (of any shape) by lightly greasing and dusting it with flour. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom and grease it as well.
  • In a large bowl, cream the shortening and the suger. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are well combined. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well. Add the nettle puree.
  • In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt, Mix well, then mix into the nettle mixture.
  • Pour into baking pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean – about 25 minutes into baking.

  • DOUGLAS FIR GRAPEFRUIT BUTTERCREAM:

    (optional – a simple lemon buttercream will also do)


    INGREDIENTS:

    1 cup shortening or butter (room temperature)

    ¼ tsp salt (if using unsalted butter/shortening)

    1 tbsp ground fresh Douglas Fir needles

    1 ½ tbsp grapefruit juice

    4-5 cups powdered sugar (1 lb)


    DIRECTIONS:

  • Cream the shortening, salt, and fir needles until smooth and creamy. Add 4 cups powdered sugar and mix at low speed until incorporated to make a stiff dough.
  • Add the grapefruit juice and mix until smooth. Assess the consistency and add more powdered sugar or grapefruit juice as desired.
  • To ice and decorate the cake, first allow it to cool completely. With a long bread knife, trim the tops of the cake so that they are flat. Place one cake onto a serving plate and place strips of waxed paper around the cake for easier clean up later.
  • Spread a layer of frosting over the top of the cake, then carefully set the other cake on top. At this point it can be helpful to place the cake in the fridge for an hour or so for it to firm up. Meanwhile, crumble the scraps from the tops of the cake and the smaller extra cake into coarse crumbs using your hands or a food processor.
  • Spread the rest of the frosting over the entire cake and press the crumbs into the surface to look like moss. Remove the strips of waxed paper and serve!

  • NOTES:

    1. To make stinging nettle puree, pick off all of the leaves (wear gloves!), then boil them for a couple of minutes. Strain and immediately plunge into an ice bath to cool. Puree the cooked leaves into a smooth paste in your blender - you may need to add 1 Tbs. of water to get them to grind properly. To make a spinach puree, just blend raw baby spinach leaves in the blender with enough water to get them to form a smooth puree.
    2. Make sure to note the lower baking temperature of this cake. Baking it at a lower temperature for longer helps it retain the fresh green color.
    3. If you are unable to forage or purchase stinging nettle, spinach works just as well! And don’t worry about your cake tasting like salad - the green veggies add a very subtle flavor that is accented nicely by the bright citrus. You’ll barely notice them.

    To view the original recipe click here.

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