My Momma's Birthday

Monday, February 7, 2011

I won't tell you the date exactly because, well, my mom might kill me. ;) But I think I'm allowed to tell you I cooked especially for her birthday. When I asked my mom what dessert she would like me to make for her birthday, the answer came as no surprise to me: German Chocolate Cake. I had no idea how I would make it, but I was pretty determined to make something special for her and I, of course, wanted to be able to eat it too! I found the recipe on the blog Simply Gluten-Free. They turned out great! (Hey, don't think I'm just saying that...I have 3 taste-testers that thoroughly enjoyed them! lol) 

German Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup coconut milk (shake can well)
½ cup Vegenaise
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12 cup standard muffin pan with paper liners. In a large 
mixing bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and 
espresso powder. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, coconut milk, Vegenaise 
and extracts.  Add the coconut milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir or whisk to combine. 
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about ¾ full. Bake for 
20 – 25 minutes or until the tops are slightly springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes
out clean.  Leave oven on.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish 
cooling.  Prepare frosting while cupcakes cool.

German Chocolate Frosting

1 ½ cups coconut flakes
1 cup pecans, chopped
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, measured then sifted
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup refined coconut oil at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
4 – 6 tablespoons coconut milk

Place the coconut flakes pecans on separate baking sheets.  Toast in oven until fragrant and
lightly browned, about 5 minutes for the coconut and about 10 minutes for the pecans.  Watch 
closely so they don’t burn. Let cool while mixing the rest of the frosting. In the bowl of an electric 
mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the confectioners’ sugar, salt, coconut 
oil and the extracts.  Starting with the mixer on low speed, blend until combined.  Gradually 
increase the speed to medium and add the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting 
is the consistency of buttercream frosting.  Turn mixer to medium high speed and continue to mix 
for 3 minutes. Take a handful of the toasted coconut flakes to use as garnish and add the rest 
along with the pecan to the frosting and mix well with a spatula.  You may need to add a bit more 
coconut milk to keep the frosting at a spreadable constancy.  Frost cooled cupcakes, sprinkle 
with some toasted coconut and serve.

As far as this pasta, well, it was a happy accident. :) I was going to make a Mediterranean pizza, 
but it kept feeling like too much work to make the crust. :( So then I was going to make this 
Avocado Pasta recipe from Oh She Glows, when a stroke of genius hit me: Mediterranean Pasta!
And let me tell ya...I am so glad it did! This one is going in my repertoire! :)

Mediterranean Pasta

2 servings quinoa pasta
2 handfuls grape tomatoes
3 Tbsp. kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1 Tbsp. capers
1 avocado
2 Tbsp. toasted & chopped pecans
Light balsamic vinaigrette
Grapeseed oil
Salt & Pepper
Garlic, if desired

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, saute tomatoes in a pan
with grapeseed oil and balsamic vinaigrette. (The balsamic vinaigrette reduces down A LOT. 
Pick the reduced vinaigrette out and throw away.) Season with salt and pepper. When pasta is 
done cooking, drain and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with all ingredients 
except tomatoes & balsamic vinaigrette. Set aside. When tomatoes get really soft and split 
apart, add the pasta & other ingredients to pan and cook until warm. Drizzle with a little more 
vinaigrette. Top with fresh cut avocado and toasted chopped pecans.

P.S. The 40 in 4 challenge was going great until this weekend. I lost 8 lb only to gain it ALL back 
this weekend! I'm just too good of a cook! ;) Just kidding! Oh, well, it was back on the band
wagon today! :) I am extra super duper determined to get this weight loss thing steam rolling!

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