Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Coconut Flour cake with Coconut cream-Almond Frosting

A lot of buzz is going around regarding Mother's day. A lot of unsolicited advice being handed down to the kids ranging from; be good to your mom on Mother's day, do something nice for her, buy her some flowers so on and so forth. Mothers are awesome. There are no two ways about it. There are countless frustrations, sleepless nights, days filled with anxiety, joy, tears and love behind that awesomeness. However, there is one rather important aspect of motherhood that is blatantly ignored by all - the imperfections of a mother.

I am a proud Mom with my share of sleepless nights, anxiety, fear and joy. I am not a perfect Mom. The phrase "Perfect Mom" is like an oxymoron. Over the years, my little one grew and I grew along with him achieving my own set of milestones and a very important one was to be proud of my imperfections as a mother. We all learn as we grow. The kid learned to sit, crawl, walk and talk. I learned to let go of my fascination of perfectionism and embraced the imperfections.

Once in a while it's OK to have Pizza for breakfast, stay awake till midnight on a weekend, wake up late on a Sunday morning, get the dates mixed up for an out of Uniform day at school, or Forget the lunch box at home (rest assured the kid will be fed something at school). Motherhood is a journey, not a race. If I try to be perfect, I may win the race, but will surely miss the joy of an awesome journey.

On that note, we wanted to bake something special for Mother's day and settled down for this amazing coconut flour cake with carrots and coconut cream-Almond frosting.

One day I was browsing through the store trying to find chia seeds, when my eyes sort of in a serendipitous way noticed a pack of coconut flour. I have seen coconut flakes, dried coconut, coconut milk, oil, but never heard of coconut flour. I went home and read to my hearts content about coconut flour.

Coconut flour is a great substitute for grain free and gluten free baking. Once the coconut milk is extracted the dried up coconut flakes are ground to a fine powder to make the coconut flour.  Coconut flour is rich in fiber and baking with it was an experience in itself. One of things that caught my attention was the amount of eggs that went in to baking with coconut flour, for 1 cup of flour you need a whooping number of 6 eggs. Digging deep in to the process I learnt that coconut flour is a like a sponge and soaks up all moisture. The eggs provide the moisture and also give the flour the structure it needs in the absence of gluten. 

Here are a few things I considered before venturing on this baking expedition - 

I am not a fan of 6 eggs. I tried to experiment and used 3/4 cup of coconut flour and assumed they may need 5 eggs. I made a deal with the flour and we met half way at 3 eggs plus 2 tsp of chia seeds.

 Chia seeds are a good substitute for eggs, 1 tsp of chia seeds soaked in 3 tsp of water is equal to one egg. 

Another ingredient that can bring in the much needed moisture is adding pureed vegetables or fruit. I used pureed carrots with few tsps of orange juice. 

Adding honey instead of regular sugar and coconut oil instead of butter alleviates the process of bringing in moisture in to the recipe. 

With all my thoughts in place, I ventured on my debut baking journey with coconut flour.

The Recipe-

3/4 cup of Coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs at room temperature

2 tsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tsp of water for 10 minutes

1 cup of Raw honey

1 cup of grated carrots.- I pureed 2 carrots with 5-6 tsps of Orange juice.

1/2 cup of coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat the eggs and chia seeds together with a hand blender until the eggs are frothy.

Add the coconut oil and honey. Blend the mixture for another 30-40 seconds.

Add the carrots and blend all the liquid ingredients for about a minute. At this point we have a lot of liquid mixture in the bowl.

Mix the coconut flour with baking powder and add the flour slowly while mixing with the blender.

The coconut flour magically absorbs all the moisture.

Let the cake batter sit for about 2-3 minutes after adding the coconut flour.

Mine was a little too thick, so I added about 5 tsps of coconut oil and mixed the batter together.

Grease a 8 in cake pan with coconut oil or you can use butter.

Pour the cake batter and spread the surface evenly with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes.

For the Frosting - 

I wanted a frosting that was not loaded with powdered sugar or butter. This is a simple frosting with coconut cream, its not thick and firm but tastes awesome and goes well with this cake.

Soak 1/2 cup of almonds for about 30 minutes.

Refrigerate a can of coconut milk for about 4-5 hours. The cream will thicken on the top leaving the coconut water in the bottom of the can.

Puree the almonds in a food processor or blender to a smooth paste.

Add the pureed almonds to the coconut cream and blend them together.

Add about 2 tablespoons of honey to the mixture.

Once the cake cools completely pour the frosting over the cake and refrigerate it for about 2 hours.

I sprinkled some almonds and chia seeds on top.

The cake was moist filled with the sweetness of honey. The icing is very subtle and mingles perfectly with the flavors. It's fun to take a risk and try out something new. We may fail, it may not be perfect, but it sure beats the feeling of never trying in the first place. Being perfect is living a life with lots of imperfections and embracing those imperfections with love and happiness.