Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to me

Last weekend, I celebrated a birthday. Thirty-three (and you’ll note just one candle—I’ve officially reached the age where the cake will no longer accommodate the correct number of candles).

It was a simple day. Family party, followed by a long-awaited date night and Thai food at our favorite place. My favorite part was having my kids wish me a happy birthday.

And it was a happy birthday. I’m in a good place. I’m happy. Not a cheesy, maniacal, glued-on smile sort of happiness, but…content. I’m happy with who I am and where I am. I’m happy with my family and my career. I haven’t achieved all of my goals yet, but I’m happy with where I am on the trajectory, as my friend and writing coach Christina Katz would say.

So, happy birthday to me. I think it’s going to be a good year. For you too, I hope.


The cake! The one in the photo is a lovely, traditional chocolate cake made by my mom. I also made a cake, that I unfortunately gobbled up before I had the chance to take a photo. Yes, it was that good. It was a coconut pound cake made with coconut flour. Backstory: I love all things coconut, and I work coconut oil into lots of recipes. I've had less success with coconut flour. It's wonderfully fragrant--and healthy--but it's also dense and heavy. A few scoops of coconut flour will turn most batters into glue. I've found that coconut-flour recipes need to be built from the ground up to accommodate its quirks.

I adapted my cake from this recipe. Instead of honey, I used coconut nectar, which is lower-gycelmic. It's also darker than honey, with richer flavor, so my cake was a bit darker than the cake in the photo. I didn't have orange extract, and I accidentally spilled way too much coconut extract into the batter (which is very representative of my cooking style--a little of this, a bit too much of that, and oh, I forgot to buy that so we'll try this instead....).

I found it odd to make a pound cake without butter or oil, but it was excellent. Even better after a day or two in the fridge, which dried it out a tad. (I prefer my cakes dense and on the drier side.) I increased the recipe by 50 percent and made a traditional round layer cake iced with coconut-infused whipped cream and topped with flaked coconut. (It's true, the ingredients to this masterpiece weren't cheap. Steve called it my 30-dollar cake. But it was worth every dollar.)


Kora said...

Malia, I love everything you said at the beginning of your post :). I'm so happy for you. It will be a fabulous year!

Sara Finch said...

Oh goodness, Malia - if this is the same cake we had yesterday. It certainly was worth every penny - just incredible!!

Abby said...

Happy Birthday! To those of us in our late 30's, you're just a baby!

Malia said...

Thank you, thank you! It was a great day/week. And I'm seriously considering making that cake again, Sara. I think I need to make it every week!

Malia said...
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