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Asher’s Birthday P1: A Coconut “Not Quite Rainbow” Cake

asher cake smash1

(Photo Credits to Annelie Hansen)

 

I’m not sure how but time really do fly fast when bub arrives. The past year  has been full of an emotional roller coaster for my family. The arrival of Asher was a big highlight, and so was spending the precious 12 weeks with my parents and grandmother. Spending quality time with family members has never been so precious to me.

photo 5

(Photo by me)

This first year of motherhood has brought me so much joy and love. A baby in the household just seems to bond everyone together. I thought that while it is fresh in my mind, I could document some feelings and thoughts as Asher turned one.

1) My love for my husband has never been stronger. But our marriage has also been tested. Patience for each other. Holding my tongue as he might do things differently to Asher than myself is an ongoing challenge. Having a lack of time to connect with each other is another one. We are both learning as we go along but one thing for sure, I’m glad we are in the same team.

2) I felt a little low the night before Asher turned one. Memories of my grandmother flooded me. The little details like us having dinner and she demolishing a bowl of rice with braised chicken wing tips came to me. The proud eyes, smiles and cuddles the following day when she held Asher. As she gently cradled Asher, it was a serene and warm moment that I will never forget.

3) Although I have been away from my family for 14 years, those values remained with me. So many times I recall how my grandmother would cook a dish, or her voice in my head as I prepared a soup. It’s amazing how even parenting is the same way. I was brought up being physically close to my grandmother, being in a sling on her back, co-sleeping with her and as I grew older, followed her everywhere. She frequently reminded me of a story about me clinging onto the grills of our apartment when she attended a wedding dinner. I was waiting for her to return. I was 2.5 years old then. She was my secure attachment.

I have always believed your knowledge of relationships start young. Feeling secured begins when a main caregiver provides and reads you. I hope to be the same with Asher. So far, I have noticed Asher is cautious and often requires my re assurance and presence as he tries something new. Using baby carriers and co-sleeping appears to help settle him.

4) My world of perception changed. Motherhood is an addition to my identity. Work seems like a distant past!

5) Speaking of identity, a year being at home simplified me. I’m happier within myself. It’s almost like I have the freedom to focus on what I enjoy most. I’m investing in my family and I’m loving it (despite all the dark eye circles and rough skin from washing dishes!).

6) And being happier really helps in getting fitter again. Pre-pregnancy, I hit a roadblock in fitness. I was stuck. I appear to be getting stronger but my numbers did not shift and I struggled with a few techniques using hip hinge. Post Asher, my progress was slow at the beginning but then it started soaring. I was able to lift heavier, squat more and swing better. Physique wise, I’m probably happier within myself- something that has not happened before. The mind and body connection is real. It’s almost like, my body is saying we are happy now, and performance can begin.

So how did we celebrate Asher’s birthday?

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 Photo By Annelie Hansen Photography

On the 24th itself, we had a cake smash! Then Asher had a lovely nap followed by a quiet lunch in one of our favourite places to eat “The Wine Store and Kitchen” at Fremantle. I went to the gym afterwards for a quick workout, and I came back and we opened some presents for Asher as a family.

A cake smash is exactly what it is. We give a cake to Asher and he went nuts with it. It’s all really in the name of fun. From a developmental perspective, cake smashes provide many sensations for them to explore. From textural play with the moistness of the frosting, the crumbier feeling of the cake and of course, how to get it into the mouth! Besides that, we just want Asher to have a good time. Now it is the time that he can do things that kids can get away with- an adult smashing the cake would almost seem inappropriate! I chose “not quite rainbow” as I think the colours are pretty and would show well in photos.

photo 2

(Quick snap shot by me!)

On the 27th, we held a party in our home. I will follow that up in the next post.

Today though, I’m keen to share with you this recipe that I came up with for Asher’s cake smash. It’s a “Not quite rainbow” cake- I did 4 layers instead of 7. Hubby reminded me that it would be smash so the extra effort may not be worth it. Now, this cake does have food colouring in it, hence I didn’t want to have too many gels and colours in Asher’s food at such a young age. Luckily I chose gel as it only needed a few drops and hopefully that did not impact on Asher’s health that much. I was reminded that 99% of the cake was clean besides the colouring! Oh, the mothers guilt- does it ever end?

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Photo By Annelie Hansen Photography

The frosting was made by whipping coconut cream. I made a similar frosting before for a friend’s birthday cake (oops! I still need to post that one!). It was one delicious frosting that I couldn’t stop licking my fingers with! Coconut has a natural sweetness so I didn’t add anything but vanilla paste. Asher must have loved it because he stuck his toes in it first and then smear the frosting all over, playing with it with his fingers before digging into the cake with food gusto.

I made a trial cake a few days before and made heaps of adaptations. I think this nailed the texture of the cake. It was not too eggy, and was light enough. It is quite coconutty though. Each batch of the batter filled just under half of an 9 inch pan.

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Photo By Annelie Hansen Photography

Now, I have always said that I do not have the patience to decorate a cake. I kept this simple and simply frosted it and sprinkle some toasted coconut on it. I guess I have more future birthdays to practise decorating now!

photo 1

“Not Quite Rainbow” Coconut Cake (serves 10 -12 or One Cake Smash Session!)

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup of almond meal

1/2 cup of desiccated coconut

1/2 cup of coconut oil melted

10 eggs separated

2 tsp tartar powder

1.5 cups of almond milk

1 tsp of vanilla paste

2 tsp of baking soda

2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup of Brown Rice syrup

few drops of different gel colours or you can extract colouring from food such as beetroot.

Frosting

3 cans of 250ml Ayam Brand Coconut Milk placed in the fridge overnight.

1 tsp of vanilla paste

few drops of colouring or keep it white.

1) Preheat Oven to 180C. Line 2 9 inch cake pans with baking paper. (I did a four layer cake, which means two rounds of 2 cake pans).

2) Using a cake mixer, whisk egg whites and tar tar powder till soft peaks appear. Do the “turn over and see if egg white falls on you test”. Set aside.

3) Place coconut flour, almond meal, desiccated coconut,and baking soda together. Whisk gently to combine.

4) Whisk egg yolks, almond milk, brown rice syrup and oil together.

5) Fold wet to dry ingredients.

6) Gently fold egg whites over in 4 batches.

7) Separate mixture in 4 different bowls. Drip gel food colouring to the batter. Fold it through gently. Spoon mixture into cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Repeat.

8) Cool cakes completely

9) When cakes are cooling, make whipped coconut cream. Open 3 cans of coconut milk and spoon the cream (Top layer) up. Whisk in a cake mixer till it doubles it size. You can use it as it is or add food colouring.

10) Frost cakes!

11) Fridge the whole cake. It will firm the frosting further.

12) Smash and eat!

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