We strongly believe in birthday treats and, well, just treats in general. But when it comes to holidays and birthdays, many of us throw in the towel and eat cake and cookies that aren’t even food at all. I am certainly not going to tell you to eat fruit instead of cake to celebrate your special occasions. You’re talking to the world’s #1 chocolate fan here. But what IS important is that we are actually eating REAL FOOD.
Awhile ago someone gave my husband a cake from a popular grocery store for his birthday (a very nice gesture, of course). I was curious of the ingredients so I flipped over the chemical laden, earth killing plastic container to take a peek. I was shocked this is even sold as food. It was literally all chemicals and very few even recognizable ingredients! Yes, I do shop at our local, healthy grocery stores and of course am use to Nourish where a preservative doesn't exist, but I honestly thought this type of "food" wasn't even sold anymore. I'm not expecting that all desserts are made with almond flour and manuka honey, but at least just use flour, sugar, eggs. Like what's in this cake!? Polysorbate40, aluminum phosphate, partially hydrogenated cotton seed...?? And this cake wasn’t cheap so we can't use that excuse. Your body already has to work a little harder to deal with the higher sugar indulgence from even real food so you certainly don’t need to sound emergency alarms, back up your body’s detox pathways and increase the toxic burden with all of this nonsense.
So what’s a birthday girl/boy to do?
Don’t fret! I have come with alternatives and suggestions for you to indulge and still live a healthy lifestyle. Typically, when you purchase from local cake/dessert makers they will be using actual food to create your dessert. Think Peggie Jean Pies, Merriweather Cafe, Range Free and, ahem… Nourish. Real food taste waaaaaay better than any commercial food store, the desserts are beautiful and supporting local businesses is always a great thing.
My favorite business partner, Nourish co founder, and head chef, Kimber Dean, has taken our healthy desserts at Nourish to the next level. She makes our chocolate mousse pie creamy with avocado, raw cacao and maple syrup. Sound odd? Just wait until you try it. Zero post dessert shitty feelings, just pure chocolate bliss. Below I listed the desserts we always have made at Nourish but you can always order an entire pie or cake. Kimber is always experimenting because she is a healthy baking genius. Everything she makes is free of gluten, soy, corn, refined sugar and any preservatives, whatsoever. Even our cookies, muffins are made with local, brown rice flour and sweetened with organic maple syrup. From there it’s real, simple, whole food ingredients.
Raw Vegan Desserts made from scratch at Nourish
Berry Tart - seasonal berry compote filling with a walnut crust
Lime Creme Pie - fresh lime and avocado custard filling with an almond crust
Chocolate Mousse Pie - raw cacao and avocado custard filling with an almond crust
Lemon Cheesecake - fresh lemon and cashew filling with a walnut crust
Truffles - raw cacao truffles (orange, ginger, espresso, sea salt)
Cookie Dough Fudge - chickpeas, nourish chocolate sweetened with maple syrup
Almond Butter Cups - nourish chocolate filled with almond butter
Kimber’s desserts have become so popular at Nourish (both as individual portions for the everyday indulgence and entire desserts for parties) that she created a cookbook, Happy Baking and Desserts. The Chocolate Cake recipe is from her cookbook!
HAPPY FOOD CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING
(makes 2, 8” round pans)
for the cake:
• 2 cup coconut sugar
• 1 cup brown rice flour
• ¾ c arrowroot starch
• 1 tsp guar gum
• ¾ c raw cacao powder, plus more for dusting the pans
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 cup boiling water
• 2 eggs
• 1 c unsweetened nut milk
• ½ c avocado oil
• 2 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Grease 2, 8” pans; then, dust the 8” pans with raw cacao powder.
2. In a large bowl, stir together to coconut sugar, brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, guar gum, raw cacao, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a saucepan, turn water on high heat, and bring to a boil.
4. While water is getting hot, add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla to dry ingredients and beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in hot water into cake batter ¼ cup at a time until all the water is incorporated.
Note: Batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans evenly.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake.
6. Cool for 5 minutes, remove from pans, and let cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
Note: For cupcakes - grease cupcake pan or liners, fill 3/4 full in the liners. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
for the icing:
• 1 c coconut oil, room temperature not melted
•⅔ c raw cacao powder
• 3 c arrowroot starch
• ½ c maple syrup
• 2 tsp vanilla
• ¾ c unsweetened nut milk
• 1 cup avocado, mashed
Note: add ¾ guar gum if you want chocolate fondant.
1. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix with hand mixer on medium to high speed for 10-15 minutes until icing is fluffy, smooth, and incorporated.
Note: You can make this in a Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment.
Note: Icing only spreads easily at room temperature. Once refrigerated, it is harder to spread unless brought back to room temperature. Using fresh is best.
Another company we at Nourish love is Simple Mills. We sell their almond flour crackers and they are delicious! If you want to make a grain free cake (only partially from scratch) try out their mixes. The ingredients are simple and clean and all of their products are taaaasty! You can get Simple Mills at Clover’s and Natural Grocers!
We hope these tips will inspire you to have your birthday cake and eat it too. Topped with a little gratitude and positive self talk and you are set.