Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
This week marked another big milestone in our house.
Miss L turned 2… although when you asked her how old she was she was insistent that she was 3.
My little girl turning 2 has brought up lots of different emotions for me; actually, it turned out to be a pretty shitty day as I was stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted.
Like many mums before me I’m having my ‘mid-mums crisis’ (as opposed to the midlife crisis I’m scheduled to have in 2 years time). It’s empty nest syndrome, but for the uterus.
You see, Miss L’s 2nd birthday is the last time one of my babies will turn 2.
My kids are growing up and whilst I do not long for those early days again I can’t help but feel sad that they are gone. I always knew I wanted 3 kids, but it took me a long time to get to number 3. I know I’m done; my maternal instincts tell me that… that and my hopeless pelvic floor and failing SI joint which struggle to do star jumps let alone sustain another pregnancy. So I’m not sad that I’m not going to have another baby; I’m just sad that mine are growing up so quickly.
I know that there are so many things to look forward to as the kids get older and more able to do ‘grown up’ things together; but that also means that they’ll probably need me less. It’s already happening (and breaking my heart a little piece at a time). Tonight 7 yo H got his hair cut and gave the hairdresser his own instructions. Last week 5yo S made friends with two older kids at Karate and decided to spend the evening with them, despite me trying to bribe him with rice crackers. Little Miss L will now go to her father for a cuddle, when previously she was attached to my hip 24/7. It’s a quandary of wanting to be wanted, and wanting to see your kids thrive with the independence you’ve tried so hard to instil in them.
So what does that mean for me? Where does that leave me? I know I’m not the first (or last) mother to ask herself these things but it brings up questions about identity, self-worth and ‘where to next?’. I’ve taken up new hobbies (running for hours in the bush by myself) and jobs (podcasts, writing a cook book) to help fulfill my self-worth. But when your number one priority is family then the thought that they won’t need you as much anymore is so daunting.
To help deal, I’ve eaten a lot of Peppa Pig Cake… and will probably need more for breakfast.
This Peppa Pig Cake was Miss L’s own choice for her 2nd birthday cake. For the past few weeks she’s been walking around telling everyone “Birthday…Peppa…Me!!”. This Peppa Pig Cake is similar to last years Owl Cake. Despite the bright colours there is no artificial colours or flavourings used in this Peppa Pig Cake. The brightness is made from raspberries and blueberries, which also makes it super tasty! It’s really important to me to make Birthday Cakes as inclusive as possible, so this Peppa Pig Cake is Gluten, Dairy, Nut and Refined Sugar Free. If you are looking for an Egg Free version use this Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe instead (just make a 1 1/2 recipe). If wanting to make a Vegan version use the same Egg Free Chocolate Cake and substitute jam for the jelly.
This Peppa Pig Cake starts with a basic chocolate cake which is then covered in chocolate ganache, raspberry cream and raspberry jelly is used for the skirt. To get the darker colour for the face outline, I have added blueberries to the raspberry cream. I have used this template for the Peppa Pig shape and printed it at 110%. It’s important to make sure that the template will fit in the tin/dish that you bake the cake in.
Happy Birthday Miss L. You are a shining light and a superstar (obviously you take after me!).
- 1 Chocolate Cake
- 1 serve Chocolate Ganache
- 1 Serve Raspberry Cream
- 1 serve Raspberry Jelly
- 2 Tablespoons Blueberries
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Cream
- Desicatted Coconut and natural green food dye
- 9 Eggs
- 3/4 Cup Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 1 Cup plus 1 1/2 Tablespoon Milk (of choice)
- 3/4 Cup Sweet Potato Puree (can be substituted with mashed ripe Banana)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3/4 teaspoon Bicarb Soda/Baking Soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 4 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2/3 Cup Coconut Cream
- 2 Tablespoons MapleSyrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa
- 300 grams Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 1/4 Cups Coconut Cream (place 2 400ml cans of Coconut Cream/Milk opened in the fridge overnight. Spoon off the thickened cream and discard the watery remains)
- 1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Optional, depending on tartness of berries)
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Cup Raspberry puree (blend fresh/frozen raspberries then measure)
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 3 tablespoons Gelatin with 3 Tablespoons boiling Water
- Wrap the cooled cake in foil and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This is done to help hold the cake together when cutting it into shape.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and place on a cake board or serving tray. Place the template on top of the cake and cut out the peppa pig shape. Save the extra cake for breakfast.
- Cover the cake (top and sides) with chocolate ganache. Use the ganache to make an even surface on top of the cake. Be sure to wipe up any excess ganache off the cake board. Keep at least 2 Tablespoons of ganache for the eye balls and shoes.
- Place the cake in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is fine) to ensure that the ganche is set. If it is too soft then it will blend into the raspberry cream.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and cover the top and sides with raspberry cream.
- Place the jelly skirt on the cake. When cutting out the skirt from the template remember to allow for the extra width which results from the cream frosting.
- Add more cream over Peppas face until it is the same height as the skirt. Ensure that at least 1/3 cup of raspberry cream remains.
- If adding grass to your board, place 3/4 cup of desicatted coconut and a few drops of green food colouring to a zip lock bag. Shake/smoosh/squash the coconut until it is all green. Using honey as the glue on the board, spread the coconut over the cake board.
- Place 1 Tablespoon of cream into a piping bag/zip lock bag with a very small tip and pipe out the arms and legs.
- Place the cake in the fridge.
- Take the extra blueberries and mash them with a fork. Stir/mash them into the extra cream and palce in the fridge/freezer to thicken.This will make a slightly darker tinged cream for the face outline and check.
- When the darker cream has thickened, place in a piping bag/ziplock bag with a small tip and pipe around the face, snout, nostrils and eyes. Fill the eye circles with coconut cream and then top with a small dob of ganache.
- Use the remaining ganache to shape shoes.
- Place the cake in the fridge until ready to serve (or serve straight away).
- Preheat oven to 180C/360F. Grease and line abaking tray that will fit your peppa pig template. I used a lasange dish that was 30cm x 20cm.
- Sift the coconut flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs for 5 minutes, or until fluffy.
- Add the sweet potato, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on medium speed for about 30 secomds so that the batter is fluffy.
- Pour the batter into the baking tin. Bake for 35 -40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before removing from the tin.
- Spoon the thickened cream out of the can, discarding the watery remains.
- Put the cream, vanilla and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until it has combined and is in a liquid state (you don’t want it to boil- just be warm).
- Remove from the heat and sift in the cocoa, stirring until combined and smooth. Put it in the fridge (or freezer if you are rushed for time) until it reaches the right spreadable consistency (5-30 minutes depending on how hot the cream got).
- Place the raspberries, maple syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a slow, rolling boil.
- Decrease the heat to medium/low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until thick. Ensure that the pot is stirred regularly to prevent sticking or burning.
- Use a masher or blender to break down the berries slightly if still chunky. Allow the mixture to cool completely before adding to the cream.
- In a bowl of a kitchen stand with a whisk attachment, add the thickened coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk on high until thick.
- Turn the whisk off and add the cooled berry mixture. Whisk on medium until combined.
- Place the cream in the fridge and allow to thicken before using (allow 4 hours)
- Using the template for Peppa Pigs skirt as a guide, line a tray/dish that is big enough to fit the entire face template on with glad wrap.
- Blend fresh/frozen raspberries and measure 1 cup of pulp/juice.
- Bring raspberries to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling, add the lemon juice and take off the heat. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.
- Add gelatine to the boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition.
- Add the gelatine mix to the raspberriesand ensure it is whisked in to remove any lumps.
- Pour into the prepared tray and allow to cool for at least 1 hour, or until the jelly has set (it will be like a thick roll up).
- Once set, place the skirt template over the jelly and cut out. Store the piece in the fridge until needed. Retain the left overs to cut a small smile and use any leftovers along the sides of the cake.