Invisible Cake

The French “gâteau invisible”, also called “invisible cake”, is a unique and delicious dessert or sweet treat from French cuisine. Gâteau invisible is a delicious treat, and healthy too as it is packed with fruit. And even more so for our low fat plant-based version.

vegan invisible cake

Where does the name Invisible Cake come from?

This cake is called “invisible” because it consists of very thin layers of apple (or pear) that are mixed with a fine batter and baked. During baking, the slices of fruit become almost translucent and seem to disappear into the cake, hence the name.

The origins of the French Gateau Invisible are believed to go back to French chef & pastry chef Joël Robuchon, who is said to have introduced it in the book “Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joël Robuchon” from the late 1990s. Unfortunately, the internet does not offer a definitive answer as to whether this is indeed true, but in recent years the recipe has become very popular, partly because of its unique presentation and delectable taste and, not unimportantly, because it is actually quite a simple recipe.

How is Invisible Cake made?

The basic recipe usually consists of thinly sliced apples mixed with a light, crepe-like batter made of eggs, flour, milk, sugar and sometimes a touch of vanilla or other flavourings. This mixture is then baked in a cake tin or a pie pan. The recipe shows a clear affinity with the French Clafoutis which is made of cherries. After some experimenting in Vegan Academy’s test kitchen, we have developed a delicious plant-based version in which we replace the eggs using lupine flour (or chick pea flour) and psyllium fibre.

How to serve Invisible cake?

French Gateau Invisible can be served hot or cold, sprinkled with icing sugar, accompanied by a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream and a refreshing sauce. The Gateaux Invisible is a versatile dessert, suitable for different occasions and tastes. It is a delicious dessert that beautifully showcases the natural freshness and sweetness of the fruit in a light, velvety texture. In this version it is served with an easy but lovely red fruit sauce with a hint of cinnamon added. If you like this dessert a little more rich, a caramel or vanilla sauce would also be an excellent option.

Wat is lupine flour?

In this recipe, we have used lupinflour to replace eggs in the batter. But what is lupin anyway?

Lupin is a legume currently enjoying a revival in Dutch crop fields because of its sustainability, suitability for our northern fields and because of its high protein content. That high nutritional value makes lupin comparable to soy. Unfortunately, in the last century, lupin was forced off our fields by the large supply of ridiculously inexpensive soy (intended for animal feed) from South America, for which, unfortunately, large areas of rainforest are still being cleared. Lupin has the unique property of binding nitrogen to the roots in special tubers. Lupin therefore provides its own fertiliser, improves the soil for succeeding crops and can grow on very poor and sandy soils. So all in all, lupin is a very sustainable crop. Partly for this reason, we like to use lupin at the Vegan Academy. But we also like to use lupin for another important property, as it also functions very well as an egg substitute in batter and dough. This is due to its high binding power when heated, good water-binding properties, high protein content and the beautiful yellow colour it gives to baked goods. We enhance these beneficial properties even more in this recipe by combining it with psyllium fibre.

You can buy lupine flour in organic food supermarkets such as Ekoplaza or Odin. You can substitute it with chickpea flour or lentil flour just fine.

What are psyllium fibres?

Psyllium fibre is the seed husk of a shrub-like plant (plantago ovata) commonly found in Pakistan and India. It is an excellent source of fibre and they are popular on the the health-food circuit because they promote intestinal peristalsis. In baking, psyllium fibre is widely used for gluten-free bread and pastries. This is because the fibres retain moisture and provide an elastic network that can partially replace the function of gluten proteins. At the Vegan Academy, we discovered that they can also be very useful in plant-based bakes to replace eggs, especially when combined with lupine flour or chickpea flour. You can buy psyllium fibre in supermarkets (in the gluten-free shelf), in organic food shops, online and in some drugstores. 

Getting started

Bake the cake well in advance, the flavour improves if the cake is given plenty of time to cool and set. So bake the cake in the morning or even a day in advance for optimal results. Below is the clear step-by-step recipe with instructional photos. Have fun baking!

Invisible cake

Joris Schildknecht
delicate and full of healthy fruit
Prep Time 15 days
baktijd 1 hour
Course pastry
Cuisine French
Servings 12 portions
Calories 236 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 cake tin
  • 1 sheet of baking paper
  • 1 Hand blender or small food processor

Ingredients
 
 

for the cake

  • 1100 g apples
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 25 g lupin flour can be replaced by chickpea flour or lentil flour
  • 15 g cornstarch flour
  • 2 g salt
  • 3 g psyllium fibres
  • 75 g butter
  • 200 ml soymilk
  • 85 g silken tofu
  • 130 g sugar
  • 1 tl vanilla sugar
  • 1 lemon, it's grated zest
  • 30 g lemon juice

Red fruit sauce

  • 200 g mixed red fruits fresh or frozen, e.g. berries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.
  • 30 g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 orange, it's grated zest

Instructions
 

for the cake batter

  • preheat the oven to 165° C
  • peel the apples
    1100 g apples
  • cut the apples into wedges, remove the core and cut the wedges with a sharp knife into slices 2 to 3 mm thick, or remove the core with an apple corer from the whole peeled apples and thus cut the apples into thin slices with a sharp knife, cheese slicer or mandolin
  • grease the cake tin well or line it with baking paper
  • sift flour, lupin flour, cornstarch and salt into a bowl; add the psyllium fibre to the flour mixture
    180 g all-purpose flour, 25 g lupin flour, 15 g cornstarch flour, 2 g salt, 3 g psyllium fibres
  • mix everything well with a whisk so that all ingredients are evenly divided
  • melt the butter in a small saucepan or give it a quick blast in the microwave and pour into a measuring cup or hand blender cup
    75 g butter
  • add the soymilk, silkentofu, sugar, vanilla sugar, grated lemon peel and lemon juice
    200 ml soymilk, 85 g silken tofu, 130 g sugar, 1 tl vanilla sugar, 1 lemon, it's grated zest, 30 g lemon juice
  • mix everything with the hand blender and blend until silky smooth
  • pour the liquid part into the sifted flour mixture and mix quickly and vigorously with a whisk to make a smooth batter
  • pour the batter onto the sliced apple slices (or vice versa) and fold everything together well
  • pour the apple batter into the mould in portions, smoothing each time, flattening the appel slices and pushing the batter well into the corners of the cake tin, tapping the mould on the counter several times to get the air out, repeat until all the batter is in the tin
  • smooth the top of the cabatter with the back of a spoon or spatula
  • place the cake in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour until cooked and golden brown
  • let the cake cool completely in the tin for at least two hours before carefully tipping it onto a tray or the like
  • cut the cake into slices and serve with the red fruit sauce and possibly some plant-based whipped cream
    vegan invisible cake

for the red fruit sauce

  • put all ingredients in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil
    200 g mixed red fruits, 30 g sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 orange, it's grated zest
  • let simmer for about 5 minutes until the fruit cooks down, pour the sauce into a jar or small bowl and leave to cool until use

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 43.6gProtein: 3.6gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 1.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.8gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.6gSodium: 133.3mgPotassium: 194.3mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 25.5gVitamin A: 332.2IUVitamin C: 10.4mgCalcium: 41.9mgIron: 0.6mg
Keyword english recipes, fruit, healthy
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This yummy recipe is part of the Masterclass Vegan Pastry.

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