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. 🙂 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 but 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 love  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. 🙂 Ok, cake flavouring decided. 😀

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 found this recipe for sweet potato icing 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. 😉