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Lemon-Blackberry Torte

An elegant, special occasion dessert that is as easy to make as it is beautiful to look at...and delicious to eat!

Ingredients
1 recipe Sure Fire White Cake (recipe follows) 
juice of 1 lemon 
2 teaspoons lemon zest-grated 

Filling:
3/4 cup apricot preserves (unsweetened or fruit-sweetened) 
1/4 cup amasake 
2 tablespoons kuzu dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water 
1 recipe Blackberry Sauce 

 

Blackberry Sauce: 
3 cups unsweetened frozen blackberries 
1/4 cup brown rice syrup 
2 teaspoons lemon juice 
3 tablespoons kuzu dissolved 1/3 cup cold water 

Sure-Fire Basic White Cake:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 
1/8 teaspoon sea salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup light olive oil 
1/2 cup brown rice syrup 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/2-2/3 cups vanilla soy or almond milk 

Directions 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a jelly-roll pan or deep baking sheet. Mix white cake recipe with lemon zest and juice. Spoon batter into pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until center of cake bounces back to the touch. Cool cake completely. Cut into 3 even pieces. Next, prepare filling by heating apricot preserves and amasake.

Stir in dissolved kuzu until mixture thickens. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally so filling doesn't set. Place one of the pieces of cake on a plate and top with filling. Repeat with all three layers, ending with a thin layer of filling on top of the torte. Set aside while preparing the blackberry sauce. 

Makes 1 standard loaf, about 8-10 servings. 

Blackberry Sauce:

Heat berries and rice syrup through. Stir in dissolved kuzu until thickened. Finally stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat. Press mixture through a fine strainer to create a smooth consistency. Chill for 1 hour. 

To serve the torte, pool a small amount of sauce on individual serving plates and place a slice of lemon torte directly on top. Garnish with fresh blackberries and mint leaves if in season. Take note that this sauce can be used in lots of ways besides this recipe. It goes great, for instance over a fresh fruit salad or spooned over your favorite frozen dessert. Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Sure-Fire Basic White Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour a 9-inch cake pan or loaf pan. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix oil, syrup and vanilla into the dry ingredients, slowly adding Blend to make a batter that is thick and spoonable, not runny. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, on the center rack, (your baking time may vary 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven; whether it runs warmer or cooler than the temperature indicates, so be patient. But remember, do not open the oven door until the baking time is three-quarters lapsed. Opening before that time is a sure-fire--no pun intended--way to cause your cake to sink). 

When a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center or the top bounces back to the touch, the cake is done. It is best, I have found (having thrown out many a failed cake recipe) to turn the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack while it is still warm, rather than letting it cool completely. Work carefully, realizing that cakes, especially whole grain-based versions are delicate and you will do fine. 

Makes 1, 9-inch cake or 1 standard loaf.  

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