Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Like all busy mothers I have the best of intentions.
I do a wash with the intention of hanging it out…and it usually does get out on the line within the next 36 hours.
I open the dish washer door with the intention of emptying it…and I do when I need something from it.
I move the vacuum into the lounge room with the intention of cleaning the floors…and after I’ve tripped over the cord for the 100th time I finally do.
I intend to do everything, and often this ends with me feeling like I’ve done nothing.
One of the things I flagged during 2017 as something I intended to do was further study. I chose a post grad course in Human Nutrition that would benefit both my professional life and my Mummy Made.It baking and set my sights on starting it in 2018.
As doing post grad work is a big undertaking I decided to test the waters and signed up for a few short courses. This would see how I could schedule study time around kids, work, baking, blogging, training and the occasional hour or two of sleep.
And guess what happened? I failed! I did finish one of the short courses and I have another two that I am half way through. There’s not enough time in my day to allocate towards proper studying. I found out that even though I would love to take on further study I simply can’t do it without going bat shit crazy (or crazier as some people may say) and there are other things that are higher on my priority list right now.
That’s where I think intentions lay; at the bottom of the priority list.
If I valued a clean house as much as I do clean eating then I would make time to scrub my floors, but I’d rather spend my time making healthy food for my family.
If I valued my garden as much as I do my own health then I would spend more time weeding and less time running.
If I valued my appearance as much as I do spending time with my family then I would probably look a lot better but I wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilled.
See where I’m going?
We all have a different set of values and priorities in our lives. They aren’t right or wrong if they’re different from your neighbours; they’re what’s important to you. Instead of apologising for our failed intentions lets celebrate what amazing sacrifices you are making to make sure your priorities are met. And with every celebration you need a cake (otherwise it’s just a boring meeting!).
This German Chocolate Cake is something I’ve had in my list of ‘need to bake’ (aka intention!) for a long time. The problem was the Pecan Coconut Frosting. Most traditional recipes for German Chocolate Cake make an egg based custard flavoured with pecans and coconut for the frosting. The result (I think) is a sweet caramel like pudding with pecans and coconuts stirred in, which sounds amazing in theory but the reality was a kitchen crime scene with curdled scrambled eggs. Not cake worthy!
I decided to take the flavours of the frosting, rather than the traditional ingredients, and make my own version of a Pecan and Coconut Frosting. My Pecan and Coconut Frosting is my super tasty Caramel Sauce with added pecans and desiccated coconut. It’s way easier than trying to make a custard and it still has the sweet nutty flavour that makes the German Chocolate Cake so famous.
My favourite part of this German Chocolate Cake is the veggie double up. Yep, not one but TWO hidden vegetables are in this German Chocolate Cake and you cannot tell. One of my favourite things to do is to wait until people are onto their second slice of cake and then let my little #crazyveggielady secret slip. I understand that it may be creating life long trust issue with my nearest and dearest but it’s worth it when you see the complex and confused looks on their faces.
You can choose which vegetable you would like to use in the cake based on what you have in the fridge. To maximise the camouflage, blend the milk and the veggie before adding it to the beaten egg mix. This will minimise the obviousness of the secret ingredient and will make you a #crazyveggielady too! The Chocolate Frosting requires baked Sweet Potato (see here how to make it if you are unsure) and tastes it’s best after it’s had a day to rest. This allows time for the cocoa flavour to mask any veggie-ness. You can do this by making the frosting a day ahead, or make the cake a day ahead and allow it to settle on the cake.
- 2/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa, unsweetened
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 6 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup baked and pureed Sweet Potato or 1/2 Cup steamed and mashed Cauliflower or 1 1/2 Cups grated Zucchini, squeezed to remove excess moisture
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup can be substituted)
- 3/4 cup Milk (of choice)
- 2 teaspoons Vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Cream
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Salt
- 1 Cup chopped Pecans
- 1 Cup Desicatted Coconut
- 1 Cup pureed Sweet Potato (to cook Sweet Potato; place whole in a moderate oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and squishy. Wait til cooled then remove the peel and use the mushy sweet potato)
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 2 Tablespoons melted Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa (sifted- or at least no lumps)
- 1-3 Tablespoons Coconut Cream if too thick
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F
- Grease 2 8 inch (20cm) cake tins.
- 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.
- Using a blender or a hand blender, mix the milk and the veggie together. This makes it less obvious in the cake!
- Add the chosen veggie/milk mix, maple syrup, vinegar 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 sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on medium/high speed for about 1 minute so that the batter is fluffy.
- Pour the batter equallyinto the 2 tins and smooth out the tops.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before removing.
- Once the cakes has cooled completely, remove from the tin and place 1 cake on a serving plate.
- Spread 1/2 of the Pecan and Coconut Caramel Frosting over the first cake. Place the 2nd cake on top.
- Spread the Chocolate Frosting over the top and sides of the cake, keeping 1/2 to 3/4 of a Cup for the decorative piping (not required by very pretty!).
- Spread the remaining Pecan and Coconut Caramel Frosting over the top of the cake, being careful not to mix it into the frosting. Dolloping tablespoons of the mixture on top of the frosting so that it doesn't need to be spread very far can help.
- Take the remaining Chocolate Frosting and, using a small/medium 5 star piping tip, pipe around the edge of the cake.
- If desired, sprinkle some more pecans, coconut and even cocoa over the top of the cake.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge.
- Place coconut cream and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to simmer until quite thick and dark golden in colour. Stir regularly to prevent burning. This will take 15-30 minutes (depending on your cook top)
- Add vanilla and salt and continue to cook on medium heat for another 2 minutes. The caramel will be dark golden in colour and delicious.
- Allow the caramel to cool for 5 minutes then stir in the nuts and desicatted coconut. Allow the frosting to cool and thicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.
- Add the extra cream if desired.
- Use immediately or place in the fridge.
- The frosting tastes better after 24 hours (and improves with age) as the sweet potato flavour lessens. If using it immediately add 1-2 Tablespoons extra of sweetner and cocoa.