Happy Birthday To Me!

Today I'm a little older, so I guess that means I'm a littler wiser too hehe. Since I was a little girl I loved celebrating my birthday - friends, games, cake, gifts, and an overall fun time! No games anymore, but I still like to enjoy my day with friends, family, tasty food, and of course - birthday cake!

In the past number of years I've made my own birthday cake although last year my mom made me a delicious chocolate beet cake and the year before that I was treated to an incredible raw dinner and birthday cake at Au Lac restaurant in LA. This year I'm back to making my own. I envisioned the cake I wanted, mapped it out on paper, searched out a gluten free chocolate cake recipe and got to work. 

This cake is not for the faint of heart, it's rich rich rich! Just my style. The vanilla bean ice cream is necessary to create a balance here. I combined 3 layers of gluten free chocolate cake with 2 layers of raw caramel pecan filing, and covered the cake with a vegan chocolate ganache (or you could use raw chocolate ganache - both posted below). I added a bit of piping, caramelized pecans, and piped 'happy birthday' with Silk Rawtella. I've posted a raw vegan chocolate cake recipe below if you prefer that option. 

J and I brought the cake to a birthday celebration with our friend's Eryn and Brian. It was a hit!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Lightly adapted from this recipe

This is a very moist chocolate cake. Depending on your oven, you may need to cook the cakes a bit longer. Make sure there's nothing on the toothpicks when you pull them out to test. It makes 3, 8" cakes.

2 cups sugar of choice (I used sucanat)
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
4 Tablespoons tapioca flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water or coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 3, 8" cake pans.
In a large bowl combine the sugar, rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. Mix well. 
In another bowl combine the egg, milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract and coffee. 
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth. 
Pour equal amounts into the bottom of the cake pans. 
Bake for 22-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Transfer to a cooling rack. 

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake

If you prefer a raw and/or vegan version, here it is. This recipe is from the chocolate mint cake I made for my mom's birthday. 
3 cups almonds
2 cups pitted dates
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup cacao powder
2/3 cup pecans
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1-2 teaspoons water, as needed
Grind almonds in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
Puree the dates and raisins in the food processor until smooth (or as smooth as you can get it).
Add the ground almonds, cacao powder, pecans, vanilla, and salt to the date puree and process to bring all ingredients together into a dough.
Press a bit of the dough in your hand. If it's still crumbly, add 1 teaspoon water (it will probably need it). Process again. Add a bit more water if needed.
Press HALF of the dough into the bottom of a 12" spring form pan.

Vegan Chocolate Ganache

1 cup full fat coconut milk
12 oz dark chocolate chips
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

In a saucepan heat the coconut milk until almost bubbling. 
Pour the milk over a large bowl containing the chocolate chips. 
Stir (I like to use a whisk) until the chocolate melts. 
Add the maple syrup. Stir to combine.
Let the mixture sit a little to cool slightly and begin to thicken up a bit before pouring over the cake. 
Allow the first coating of ganache to set on the cake in the fridge and then add a second coat. Chill again. 
To pipe the ganache, add a few tablespoons of melted coconut oil and chill it for a while first to thicken up.

Silky Raw Chocolate Ganache

I posted this in my raw chocolate mint cake recipe post too. It's so rich and delicious! Also great for dipping fruit into.   

2/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup*
1/3 melted coconut oil
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. 
The ganache will probably start getting cold quickly as mine did - Transfer to a bowl. Set the bowl over another bowl of very hot water and whisk until it starts to warm a little and will be liquidy again.
To cover with ganache, I like to place the cake on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. This way you can salvage all the excess ganache that runs over. 
Mmmm rich chocolate caramel pecan cake!
J surprised me with my favourite flower - a gorgeous purple orchid. I adore it.

Part of Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Friday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

About the Author

  1. September 5, 2012 at 11:53

    That's my kind of cake too! Holy cannoli! Or I should say, holy ganache!!

Leave a Comment