At the end of my children's birthday days I engage in a private ritual - a quiet time when I focus on that one child of my heart. When I know again and always how I love them, what I treasure.
Sunday was another birthday for Eden and I remember again the day she was born, that she was who she is clearly and firmly, sweetly and quietly, from her first breath. A recognition that was unique to her birth. As I reflect on the time between then and now I can see her - consistent and distinct, feminine, strong, able. I wish she could see in herself the incredible beauty I see so easily. The big heart. The crazy talent. I wish she could see the woman I see, know the friend I know. Uniquely, wonderfully Eden.
In the tradition of birthdays in the Litchfield 'famille' we had a special gathering to celebrate - complete with cake and candles and everyone present. (Aside from Jonathon -excused on account of the distance between Calgary and Vancouver but only just.) Eden was almost as pleased with her cake this year as I was. It was a particular triumph being gluten-free and refined sugar-free (two definers that a friend pointed out did not sound very exciting!) AND very delicious. Delicious as defined by everyone not just those who must forgo (or choose not to eat) gluten and refined sugars. As I said - a triumph! Eden figured it tasted like homemade Oreo cookies. I was just happy there was a piece or two left when the dust settled :)
This cake is dense and a bit brownie-esque, with a lovely fine crumb.
Eden's chocolate birthday cake
2 cups gluten-free flour
1 cup excellent cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup agave syrup
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg + milk to equal 1 cup
1 Tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8" round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free this time), cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Melt the coconut oil and add the coconut palm sugar, agave and maple syrups. Crack the egg into a measuring cup and add enough milk to equal 1 cup. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla mixture to the oil and sugars mixing well. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix gently until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out with just the tiniest bit of chocolate on the tip.
1 250gm pkg of cream cheese
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat together until smooth. It firms up a bit as it sits so don't fret about the consistency. Fill and frost the two layers.
Top with 1 cup of blueberries mixed with 1 tbsp of honey and 1 tsp water. I purposely mashed a few of the berries to colour the 'glaze'.
I always miss family dinners but especially birthday dinners. And this cake makes me feel like I REALLY missed out this time. Sounds delish, and beautifully captured. I'll have to find a special occasion to bake it myself.
Your children are very lucky to be so celebrated and so cherished. I love your birthday thoughts on each one of them.
That is the prettiest cake I have ever seen. I am not much of a baker but I am going to make this one - soon!
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