Count the memories not the calories….
Yesterday I made a birthday cake for my lovely friend’s 30th birthday celebration. It’s only the second celebration cake I’ve made since eating a plant-based vegan diet and naturally I felt a little nervous, as I wanted to make something extra special and beautiful to look at.
My starting point was berries – that was her preferred flavour. I started mapping out visually in my mind what I might be able to create. I decided it had to be tiered, three colours with some extra-special accessories. I had my heart set on it being layered, but done so imperfectly. I wanted it to be soft and dreamy not all straight lines and division.
Most importantly I wanted to create something that represented her. She is beautifully dainty, delicate, and gentle, with a huge heart. That aside, her wonderful wedding day was full of soft pastel coloured flowers, vibrant yet soothing. I wanted this cake to be a soft-hearted expression of that day, because there is nothing like a little bit of nostalgia to warm the heart.
As this was to be a raw cake, there is always a little preparation to be done the night before. Plant-based ‘cheese cakes’ are usually made out of soaked cashew nuts. I soak mine overnight for around 12 hours, this softens them and makes them easier to work with.
The base of the cake was made from pecans, which I find absolutely divine in taste and their rich sweetness adds a certain sense of luxury. I combined the pecans with almonds and medjool dates. Medjool dates are the kings of the date world, their texture holds the nut base together perfectly.
The first layer was raspberry – I simply whizz the cashew nuts in my food processor before adding the fresh raspberries with a little date syrup. Then cashews with coconut cream and vanilla essence for the middle and finally blueberries with cashews and syrup. Then setting the cake in the freezer for the day ready for the party in the evening.
To dress the cake I used regal pomegranate seeds and fresh flowers, a very pretty sight for a wet and windy January evening. My heart lifted when I found out that at least one of the flowers I had used was in her wedding bouquet.
I lot of love went into this cake, that is the vital ingredient. Sometimes when we create a gift for someone in can be made with a few grams of fear because we desire for it to turn out perfectly. That’s definitely happened to me in the past, I’ve been known to bake and ice a cake and feel like I haven’t taken a breath. This is my own recipe so this time I could create with my heart and my rules and this is a wonderful freedom to have.
Most importantly, the birthday girl adored it and it was the perfect reminder for me that the purest version of happiness is always home-made.