birthday

let us eat cake!

Lemon Spelt Teacake with Coconut & Borage Flowers

It’s been celebration central around our kitchen table over the last week or so. A great deal of my favourite people have birthdays in June. And where there’s birthdays, there’s cake. At least, that’s been the theme this year; none of this politely letting the day slip by without a mention, not when there could be a tea party instead.  There’s been a general consensus of throwing things to the wind this year and I’m all for it, so working on Thursday went out with a gust and in came teacake, raw rainbow pizza, cashew cheese and vegan caviar and at least 4 pots of tea.

Making cakes is the best gift I can think of giving, but there’s always that little extra pressure on anything that calls itself a birthday cake. One of my girlfriends who I baked for earlier in the week had the suggestion that I do something I’ve done before, something simple. Stellar advise, except I can’t ever make the same cake twice, and not for any egoic reason akin to not wearing the same outfit twice, I just really can’t ever reproduce cakes to be what their predecessors have been – just ask anyone who comes to our stall at the Farmer’s Market! So, no tried and true cake recipe but I did have a rough idea of a teacake from an old Country Women’s Cookbook  I have and all it took was swapping the butter, eggs, sugar, flour and milk, and icing it with whipped coconut oil, honey and lemon instead of icing sugar and butter, dusting it with coconut flour and throwing some borage flowers over the top. You know how that game of swaps can go. Dressed in sparklers and song, it was just the kind of cake that the birthday girl ordered. I hope her birthday wish was for next Thursday to be the same all over again. Of course, the cake would be different.

Happy, happy birthday Janelle!

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Lemon Spelt Teacake with Coconut & Borage Flowers

2/3 cup organic olive oil (I used ‘agrumato’ for the extra lemon)

1 2/3 cups organic panela sugar

2 cups organic soy or almond milk

1/4 cup organic lemon juice

zest from 2 organic lemons

1 tsp organic vanilla bean paste or essence

2 cups organic plain spelt flour

1 cup organic plain unbleached flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Himalayan salt

1 1/2 cups organic desiccated coconut

organic coconut flour for dusting

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

1 tbsp organic raw honey

juice of 1/2 organic lemon

Pre heat the oven to 180C and prepare a 20cm bunt tin with coconut oil and a dusting of flour.

Mix the first 6 ingredients together with a whisk, then sift in the flours, salt, baking powder and soda, continuing to stir until thoroughly combined. Stir through the desiccated coconut at the final stage. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.

Be sure to let the cake cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.

To make the icing, simply combine the coconut oil, honey and lemon juice and whip together in a food processor or by hand with a whisk. Let the cake completely cool before icing (which I didn’t do – it makes for a landslide of icing and a very quick rendition of ‘Happy Birthday”!)

Sprinkle fresh flowers over the top of the icing if you have any, otherwise some extra desiccated coconut would be pretty too.

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a big birthday

Spiced Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream & Hempseeds

Damien turned 40 yesterday. No biggie really, we said. I can only see good things ahead when my question of what kind of a birthday cake he’d like was met with, “Some gnarly, full of spice, vegan concoction.” What a guy.

At one point across the day, it struck me that I’d love to pop back and chat to our 14 year old selves about what might fill in the time for the next 26 years. I think the bucket list might be more of a surprise in itself, than the shock of a visit from our future selves. It’s been a heck of a ride. And so much of it unplanned and unexpected but always met with hearts wide open. Mostly because at 14, we had no idea there was any alternative. I’m sure we could have saved ourselves some anguish if we had. Momentarily at least. But if I turn around to look back at the pages and pages of our story together, it’s more like a flicker book. It’s so full, and the feeling of all those memories we’ve made is almost overwhelming. Not for a minute has it all been daisy chains and cloudless skies, but it’s been beautifully raw, and unencumbered of the kinds of expectations our 20 or 30 year old selves might have had if we’d met much later along the line. We’ve held such a big love in our hands all these years, and sitting around a fire last night, celebrating with some of our dearest friends, dropped me perfectly into the space to remember that. And be so grateful for it. Happy Birthday DT. Big love.

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Spiced Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream & Hempseeds

 

2 cups organic spelt flour (I used freshly milled from Nature’s 9, so good)

1 cup organic panela sugar

1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt 

2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

2 tsp ground organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground organic cloves

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 

3 cups organic carrots, grated 

3/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil 

2/3 cup freshly squeezed organic orange juice

1/2 cup organic raisins

1 cup organic walnuts / brazil nuts / almonds, chopped

 

1 cup organic raw cashews

1/2 cup organic raw coconut oil

1 cup water

juice of 2 organic lemons

pinch Celtic sea salt

3 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup

4 tbsp organic pepitas, dry roasted for 3-5 minutes until coloured

1 tbsp organic hempseeds

 

Pre heat oven to 180C.

Prepare a 26cm diameter bundt tin with coconut oil.

 In a large mixing bowl, add spelt flour, panela sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices and stir with a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix carrots, oil and orange juice.

Ad the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together. Don’t worry that it will seem too dry, keep mixing and the cake will come together.

Finally add the raisins and nuts and give one last mix through before spooning into the cake tin.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave in the cake tin to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

 

To make the icing, blend the cashews, coconut oil and water until really smooth. Add the salt, lemon juice and honey and blend again. At this stage you can put the icing into the fridge if you’d like more of a set icing that you can spread with a butter knife, or if you’d like to let it run down the contours of the cake like I have then leave it out at room temperature.

Once the cake has completely cooled, ice it with the cashew cream cheese and sprinkle toasted pepitas and hempseeds across the top. Hempseeds make sprinkles just blokey enough.

Candles are optional.

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cake & tea

Raspberry & Rose Tea Cake

While we’re all gearing up for an Easter feast under a full harvest moon this week, I sidestepped into a midweek birthday. Just a quick deviation from the run into egg hunting and hot cross bun toasting, and a little moment set aside from every other day to cram all my other favourite things into 24 hours. It’s not hard to have a happy birthday when all you want is a pony ride and there’s a lovely brown thoroughbred friend waiting in the stable. So that was how the day started; a beautiful ride on a sunny Autumn morning. Bit of yoga. Pot of tea. Unwrapping of cedar trees. And then a cake made by my beloved.

We had been lucky enough to have our Farmer’s market stall next door to the freshest of fresh raspberries this week, so they had to be part of things, and where there’s raspberries there should be roses, so fresh petals and rosewater went into the mix, with a lining of rose geranium leaves, and pulled together a rather pretty cake for a birthday tea party that afternoon.

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Raspberry & Rose Tea Cake

makes 1 x 22cm very dense cake

2 tbsp flax meal in 6 tbsp water, mixed to a slurry
1/4 cup organic honey
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp aluminium free baking powder
3 cups organic almond meal

1 packed cup organic rose petals

1 punnet organic raspberries

1 tsp rosewater

250g coconut yoghurt

4 fresh rose geranium leaves, optional

 

To make the cake:

Pre heat the oven to 160C and prepare a 22cm springform cake tin. Lay rose geranium leaves in the bottom if you have some on hand.

 

Mix the flax meal slurry, honey, rosewater and vanilla bean paste together with the yoghurt. Add the almond meal and baking powder and stir to incorporate, then gently stir in half the punnet of raspberries and half the cup of rose petals (reserving the other halves for the top of the cake).

 

Pour into the cake tin and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely.

 

Decorate with fresh raspberries and rose petals and serve with a pot of freshly brewed tea and “Happy Birthday” where necessary.

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