Nearly 5

08082008404I can’t believe Jasper is nearly 5. It’s doing my head in to be very honest and I’ve avoided thinking about it until now. Ok, I’m still a few months shy of his actual birthday which is in August but I know I will need to wort out a few things before then so I need to get my thinking cap on now.

I’ve just asked him what sort of cake he wants and he’s requested a tiger cake. This seems like a truly simple thing, some black food colouring and orange and whammo, but it’s not that easy. We avoid all processed sugars and all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives whenever possible so I need to design his cake around this. Fortunately, I can do this with black and orange sort of easily I think. πŸ™‚ I hope. 😦

My first thought was, what kind of cake to bake? It must needs be a sourdough cake as this reduces the phytates in the flour and means I can eat it too so I need to make it sourdough whichever way we go. Chocolate makes sense if I make it really dark chocolate for the black stripe part but what about orange? Well, I love orange poppyseed cake butΒ I quickly discarded that idea. That’s a cake that must needs appear white (or very light at least) for the poppyseeds to show up as beautifully as they need to and rapadura is not conducive to light coloured cakes. It adds a lovely caramel tone (and flavour) though. I also loveΒ Β jaffas (the choc orange balls) which is the most divine combination of flavours for a cake outside of cherry and chocolate. If I make it a marbled cake between chocolate and orange, well, there are the tigers stripes. πŸ™‚ Ok, cake flavouring decided. πŸ˜€

A quick search on Dr Google (my best friend I swear) reveals these recipes…
I am very much liking this last one but I need to tweak it more than just a bit to make it sourdough. I also don’t want to purchase sugar-laden chocolate so I will be using cocoa/cacao and cacao butter. I also need to substitute all the sugar for rapadura. Hmmm, am I taking on too much here? Can I do it? Am I up to the challenge?

Now for the icing. How does one ice a cake without using sugar. This I don’t quite yet have the answer for. I have foundΒ this recipe for sweet potato icingΒ on Pinterest which I intend to try and I hope it works as it solves two issues in one – making a sugar free icing and making an orange icing without the use of lots of artificial colouring. Natural yellow I have (turmeric) but natural red I do not. No cochineal for us thanks. If I make a chocolate icing then I can get away with substituting rapadura/jaggery/panela instead. That won’t work for orange coloured icing though even if I can actually get the colour orange enough.

Jasper has also been choosing the cake designs he wants too. My shortlist includes the simple cakes with stripes, the tigerish faces or even just a plain chocolate iced cake with a toy tiger on top but no, Jasper would like one of these masterpieces.

Now kid, as much as I appreciate your fine sense of artwork (and these cakes are nothing short) there are limits upon my abilities and creating something like this is so far beyond my capabilities as to render it utterly impossible. I can bake a nice cake and I can make it pretty. I can even whip up something with levels of creativity (I seem to remember an aeroplane cake somewhere back in history) but this I cannot do. And no I will not try. Thanks Allegra for the idea that you and daddy can help but I’m not sure a 3 year old, oh sorry, 3 and a HALF year old can help much and Daddy’s skill set lies elsewhere. Sorry to disappoint Jas but a masterpiece like above you will not receive.

Well, there’s the plan. A healthy cake, no sugar, sourdough, chocolate and orange and looking like a tiger. Not too much to ask is it? Any advice anyone?

Oh and I have a 40 something 21st birthday to face for Martin and a 2nd birthday for Orik in the 6 days before Jasper’s. My lovely Leo boys. πŸ˜‰

14 thoughts on “Nearly 5

  1. LyndaD says:

    Oh my you do like to make life hard for yourself. Nope, sorry, no help at all. Do i look like someone that avoids sugar??? Im sure Narf77 will have answers.

  2. narf77 says:

    Damned RIGHT she will ;). Heres about as tigery a cake as you could hope for…I am sure you could sour the flour or at least sprout it…
    As for the decorations, keep it simple maam…something like this maybe?…
    That’s not out of the realms of reality :). I made a really interesting marzipan out of 2 jars of homemade coconut oil (whizzed in the food processor till it started choking and omitting smoke…Hermie might be more successful πŸ˜‰ ) and some raw cocoa powder and a jar of date paste. It turned out a light tan colour, like marzipan in texture and delicious! It was easily mouldable and I used it to make a disc for the top of the cake. Surely you could use it for a fondant sub and could use marigold petals for the gold colour (or turmeric…probably easier) and activated charcoal for the black (powdered of course πŸ˜‰ )?

    • Yes, the stripey cake inside is on the plan list. I can make a yellow cake and a chocolate cake but I do what to “sperimend” this time. πŸ™‚ As for the decorated tiger, that’s pretty much what I’m aiming at. Simple yet effective.
      I shall keep your fondant idea tucked away. Date paste really is the best thing since sliced bread. Actually since before that. Bought sliced bread ain’t all that really at all. πŸ˜‰ I hadn’t thought about marzipan. I’m not a fan but I know that Martin and Jas are almond lovers and I’m sure that Orik and Allegra will be too. I had a funny feeling you’d come riding to my rescue. πŸ˜‰

      • narf77 says:

        I wouldn’t do the almond paste thing, What I did was take a large packet of dried desiccated coconut, I put it into my food processor (you would naturally use Hermie) and just let it go for what seemed like hours (but was probably about 20 minutes). It just keeps going round and round but then about the 15 minute mark it starts to break up and eventually, at minute 20 it turned into a liquid! The product is white, sets solid in the fridge and unless you strain it, contains fibre as well so it’s very much like almond paste to work with. Give it a go. Throw a bag of coconut into Hermie and let it rip. After a while it will turn into a paste and then a liquid and you are there! After that, mix the results with some date paste and a little organic vanilla and YUM. It goes from a liquid to a sort of paste and is malleable and can be moulded easily. Its quite oily and like playdough. The hoppers would love it because you could eat it as well :). You could even colour it with various colourants like turmeric (dried and ground) for orange, beetroot (dehydrated and powdered in a coffee grinder) for purple/pink etc. Not hard really so have a dry run if you are interested. I am sure the hoppers would get a lot of enjoyment (and taste pleasure) out of it πŸ™‚

        • Coconut butter. I never would have thought to use it like that. πŸ™‚

          • narf77 says:

            It works amazingly well, the fibres are so fine they react like almond meal and the end results are smooth and very tasty. Give it a go and let me know how it goes. Even if you just colour it with natural food colours and let the hoppers have a bit of a squeeze to see how it reacts and they can have a lesson in it as well (healthy foods, maths in measurement, playdough AND eating the results…) πŸ™‚

  3. Sorry, I giggled. Kids have alot of faith in the creative genius of their mums don’t they…such innocence.
    My hubby is a Leo and he’s a darling…most of the time πŸ™‚

  4. Jo says:

    Loving reading your blog! A friend dropped around a ‘Herman the German Friendship Cake’ sourdough starter the other day, so we are on our way to our first sourdough ever. All the best with that highly complicated cake. The great thing is that 5yos generally think the cake is wonderful, no matter what you do!

    • The problem is he thinks sugar is wonderful too. We think less so, particularly when it’s in his food. Hyperactive crazy 5yo’s are not quite so wonderful really. πŸ˜‰
      And Welcome Jo. πŸ™‚

  5. Jo says:

    Mmm, I remember those crazy days – oh, that’s right, still get them with the 8yo after a party. We have ‘colour free’ parties too, but we cheat – have you seen the fab natural (really natural, as in vegetable dyes) food colourings at ? Great Aussie company, brilliant product from Germany.

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