As kids we grew up on a fairly strict diet, so my sister and I loved going to our grandparents house at weekends. My granddad would let us eat loads of naughty stuff! We were allowed white sugar on pancakes, he cooked us tinned peas with our chips, glacé cherries were considered fruit and we could help ourselves to those little bags of crisps where you sprinkled your own salt on top! But best of all, we were allowed to make our own ice cream cones! We were always given a choice of two flavours … raspberry ripple or one of those blocks with strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream in one! We loved it.
The colours in this cake remind me of that ice cream. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the combination so I had to google it. Neapolitan! Apparently named in the late 19th century as a reflection of its presumed origins in the cuisine of the Italian city of Naples, and the many Neapolitan immigrants who brought their expertise in frozen desserts with them to the USA. The best thing about googling it was finding this blog on page one!! The guy really hates Neapolitan ice cream ~ brilliant!!
His post made me laugh and he makes a good point 🙂 I’ve always found the combination of fruit and chocolate a little odd! Admittedly there are times when it works, dark chocolate and orange, rich, cherrylicous black forest gateau. And regardless of pairing flavours, I absolutely love the contrasting colours in this cake.
My weekend was spent playing with colour! I like the idea of using natures stunning vibrancy to change the way food looks. That was the thinking behind my neapolitan chonillaberry cake. Here’s the deal ~ one layer of chocolate, one vanilla layer and one delicious berry sponge. Of course you could make the base layer with strawberries to perfectly replicate the ice cream combo, but my skin hates strawberries so I prefer the chocolate and blackberry partnership!
The simplest way to make this three tiered beauty is to create a single cake mix, split it into three bowls and mix in the colour and flavour additions accordingly.
350g ground almonds
150g manuka honey
1 tablespoon baking powder
30g cacao powder
Palmful of cacao nibs
Handful of blackberries blitzed
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
Whisk the eggs, add the almonds, honey and baking powder and whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.
Split into three bowls. Stir the cacao powder and nibs through one, the vanilla paste through the other and blended cherries and berries through the last layer.
I used three mini round tins greased with a little coconut oil to create each cake. If you only have one or two tins you’ll need to bake the layers individually which will take a little more time.
Bake the cakes for 40 – 50 mins at 170C. Use a skewer to check they’re cooked through. The berry layer may take a little longer.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The cakes don’t look too dissimilar from the outside. The tops of each cake will have risen and rounded slightly. Slice the rounded tops off the cherry and vanilla layers with a sharp knife (feel free to sample the rounded bits!) Stack all three cakes on top of one another and slice through to reveal the beautiful, pastel colour combination.