Aloha! Back from Hawaii. Sorry I was gone but I just had to go to Hawaii to re-hab my new knee. Three days before my surgery I was stressing out like no body’s business. Stress can drive people to do strange things like… book a ticket to Hawaii 6 weeks after a major surgery. The day after I came out of surgery I looked at my husband and whimpered, “What did I book those tickets to Hawaii for?! I’ll never make it!” But I did.
We snorkeled and swam and snorkeled. (Did I mention that we snorkeled a lot?) My knee grew stronger and more flexible each day to the point that when I saw my physical therapist upon our return she threatened to stop our visits. (I won though and get to see her again. I guess I like the torture.) I almost had a Hawaii 5-0, (I turned 50 yesterday) but I felt the pull to come back and party with my family and community.
Now the question arrives… what sort of birthday cake do I want? Now I love love love birthday cake. I love it so much I lay awake at night and dream up cakes for people’s birthdays. Our early primal/paleo friends probably just stuck a candle in a meat loaf or something but we have so many more options! Gluten and grain free baking has come a long way baby.
I decided use my recent visit to islands as inspiration and make a coconut cake made with coconut flour, oil and milk. Now that makes perfect sense doesn’t it? (unlike the coconut bread I had at the Polynesian Culture Center that was supposedly a traditional recipe from Tahiti made with white flour and hardly any coconut. Blah).
The first thing that one notices very quickly when baking with coconut flour is that it is a very THRISTY flour. This entire cake that I baked only took ¾ cup of flour! Wow! The second thing that is odd about the recipe is the 10 eggs it requires. 10 eggs, another wow. I thought this cake was going to turn into a giant frittata or custard. Couldn’t fathom it. But I had baked with coconut flour before and I actually like the results better than almond flour, so I surged blindly forward.
The other thing I have learned from cooking with coconut flour is that it does not need to cook long. Maybe it’s my oven, maybe it’s that I live at sea level, but I always start checking the item half way through the suggested baking time. Sure enough, this cake was done and pleasantly golden at 17 minutes. (The recommended time was 30-35 minutes.)
I also used coconut nectar in this cake to further contribute to the low glycemic index. Coconut nectar is the sweet sap of a coconut tree. This sap is very low in the glycemic index, has 17 amino acids, loaded in Vitamin C and Bs, and a nearly neutral PH. Great stuff. It tastes a little molasses-y on its own but is great in baked goods. It is easy to use; just replace any liquid sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup of the likes, with the exact amount.
I am proud to announce that the cake turned out fantastic! I highly recommend it as an elegant way to celebrate any event, but a birthday or Mother’s day is a must! As I was taking pictures I kept giving samples to everyone who came by. It was a hit. I think I would change the frosting next time and use honey though. The coconut nectar made it tan in color and a tasted a bit too much like molasses. I got this recipe from the talented folks over at The Food Lovers Kitchen. Happy Mother’s day and happy birthday to all of you all year long! Enjoy!
Cavewoman Coconut Cake
I used eggs from my backyard chickens and their rich orange yolks turned the batter very yellow. Next time I will use boring store bought eggs with light yellow yolks. You can get the unsweetened coconut in the bulk section of any health food store.
1 cup of coconut oil, melted
1 cup of coconut syrup, honey or grade b maple syrup
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
¾ cup of coconut flour, shifted
1 cup of shredded non-sweetened coconut
First things first, put on some Hawaiian music and turn on the oven to 325 degrees. Oil your cake pans and add a little coconut flour to them and knock the flour around till the bottom is dusted. (I used 10 inch round cake pans. If you use 9 inch or smaller add more time to the baking)
In a mixer bowl add the 10 eggs and mix well. When that is mixed to your satisfaction, with the mixer running slowly add in the melted coconut oil, coconut nectar, and vanilla and mix some more. Next, add the meager ¾ cup coconut flour to a separate bowl with the soda, powder, and salt, whisk together well.
With the mixer going add the flour mix slowly to the egg mix. Blend till mixed well. (But don’t overdo it!) Fold in the shredded coconut and then pour the mix evenly into the prepared cake pans. Tuck in the oven to bake. Bake for 15-20 minutes till they are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (I like to touch the center of the cake, if it is firm and springs back, it’s done.)
Place the cakes on a cooling rack and let cool completely till you take them out of the pan. While the cakes are cooling, whip up the frosting and frosts up these jewels.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ozs of cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ cup of honey
1 cup of non-sweetened shredded coconut
Toss the cream cheese in a bowl and whipped it up with a blender till creamy. Slowly add the honey and vanilla as the blender is going. Last but not least, add the coconut and blend till beautiful. Frost your cake and celebrate!