Invisible Cakes - Le Menu Paleo
Whoever thought of mixing a pancake batter with thinly sliced fruits and baking it to make a cake is a genius. Because essentially, that’s what invisible cakes are. And that’s why they are called ‘invisible’, because one can hardly see the batter once cooked.
The result is very tasty, full of fruits…or vegetables.
I first discovered invisible cakes last September on a trip to the East of France. When Michelle, my friend’s mum, said: ‘I am making a ‘gateau invisible’ for the party’, I did think she was kidding – particularly since I was in the middle of a very mad weekend in Metz!. I thought that one day, she had made an apple cake that someone had stolen from the window sill as it was cooling down and that since then, the family had called it the invisible cake. But it was no joke. And when I found out how it was made, it became very serious indeed.
I realised it could be ‘paleofied’ in a flash and that I could use multiple flours, multiple fruits as well as multiple vegetables (even meat or fish…) to make these delicious cakes and loaves, as long as I followed the principles of it. And there has been no stopping me: my family has eaten many invisible cakes since.
That’s because they are easy and fun to make, as well as tasty.
There are a number of Paleo flours that can be used to make invisible cakes. I like Chestnut flour for the apple cake but cassava, almonds and plantain work well. Each recipe will outline my preference for a particular cake, which will depend on the other flavours used. You will have your own favourite. Just remember that tapioca and arrowroot can give a sticky and elastic texture which is not appreciated by all.
Ditto the milk. I like to use coconut milk for the sweet recipes because it is creamy, but nut milk works too. Sometimes I use a mix of both because I don’t have quite enough of the one type left in the fridge. As you will see in the savoury recipes, I can do without the milk altogether and use Caulichamel instead!
I would also like to point out that I would never have been able to get on with these cakes without the compact and beautiful book that is ‘Le Gateau Invisible’ by Christelle Huet-Gomez. It is not a paleo book but it was my starting point for devising my own recipes, so thank you to both Ms Huet-Gomez for the book and thank you to my friend Bene for lending it to me, as well as for the mad weekend in Metz!
Invisible cakes are very versatile, delicious and easy. But please bear in mind that if the fundamental principles are not followed, it will not work; such as rushing it and taking it out of the mould before it had set…see tips in the basic apple cake for such easy to follow principles and avoid a gooey mess.