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.)