A few months ago, I saw this really interesting CNN special on a woman in Japan who runs a salad cake shop. The cakes looked amazing and super adorable. The best part was that they were healthy, vegan and tasty (apparently). I have never had the opportunity to try one though. My last trip to Japan took place during the two years we lived there when I was in junior high school (i.e. a really, really long time ago).
I thought about trying to make a cake on my own but the tough part is that the demo videos seem to be mostly in Japanese and I can’t find any cookbooks written by the founder who kicked it off. Her name is Mitsuki Moriyasu and she has been described as, “a Japanese food designer who aims to combine health and beauty.” Although I have not been able to find much, there are a number of resources online, including this one by food vlogger Emmymadeinjapan. I also found a video of what I believe to be Moriyasu making one of her famous “cakes.”
Making a salad cake
As far as I can tell, these cakes are pretty easy to make. It looks like there are two thin pancakes, a springform cake tin, and veggies for the filling and decoration. In the video, the frosting is made first. It was not clear to me how it was made but I found some vegetarian tofu recipes here and here. You can use beet juice to add color and once it is made, put it to the side.
Once you have the frosting set it aside, cut up, grate or shred loads of veggies like carrots, red cabbage, lettuce and turnips. A food processor might help! You will need to dry these vegetables with a clean dish towel or paper towel so that the moisture doesn’t leak out into the cake. Next, put a pancake on the bottom of the cake pan. Then add layer after layer of vegetable and gently press them down until you get to the top. Place the other pancake on top. Put it to the side.
Now you can cut up veggies for the outside of the cake. In the videos, there are colorful herbs and spices as well as grated carrot, sliced turnips. Cut up loads of healthy options for the top of the cake. Once this is done, all you have to do is gently remove the cake from the spring-loaded tin and then frost and decorate.
If I try this (and I hope to try soon), I will post the results on the blog!