My birthday came and went! After I turned 25, birthdays seem so different now. I think since I got over the fact that I was turning 1/4 century old that anything else did not seem as important. HA! No, I thank God for being a year older. Do I feel wiser? No, I just feel older than my husband. ha ha ha. Anyway. I did celebrate with friends and with laughter.
On Friday, Ryan and I met some friends at a nice Mediterranean restaurant where I enjoyed a vegetarian delight plate. It had a little of everything! Baba ganoush, hummus, bulghur, lentils, cabbage roll, grape leaves,salad, and more. It was a great price for one dish too! My friend told me she felt like she should have ordered my dish. Oh well, next time! After dinner, we went over to their home and played a competitive game of Settlers of Catan. It had been a huge while since we played so we had fun. I tried not to be all mopey about that fact that I chose bad spots to play, but I was the first to lay down some choices. Next time!
During the game we enjoyed slices of the birthday cake I prepared. I have not made my own birthday cake in a long while but I felt inspired to try a new type of cake. It was quite simple to veganize and it was fun to frost too!
One of the things I did not expect was a super sweet frosting. Seeing that this was a one time deal, since it was my birthday, I decided to try the recipe as is. Come to find out that the frosting just turned out a little too sweet for MY taste, but that is only because I had not been eating sweets in the last 2 weeks. Lots of people do not believe that once you start cutting out processed or even natural sugars that the cravings are not very common.
Anyway, who wants to hear about that? The inside of the cake was marvelous. Who knew that bananas and crushed pineapple could make for such a great combination? The cake was like a banana bread but with crushed pineapple and toasted nuts. YUM!
Good thing we had friends to share this birthday cake because there was no way I could keep 3/4 of a cake at home. This weekend proved lovely since I could share the cake with friends!
Ryan gave some nice gifts including a chance to take some gourmet cooking classes about 20 minutes from where we live. I cannot wait to take a class on a type of cuisine I am not most familiar with.
Vegan Hummingbird Cake
adapted from Joy of Baking
1 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 flax "eggs"
- 3 Tablespoons flaxseed meal + 9 Tablespoons warm water
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, room temperature
16 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box (about 3 2/3 cups) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (for decoration)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Spray two - 9 x 2 inch round cake pans.
Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
In a small bowl, mix the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for 3-5 minutes.
In another large bowl, mix together the flax "eggs", oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped walnuts. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the margarine and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract.
To assemble: Place one cake, top side down, onto your serving platter. Spread with about a third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake layer, top of cake facing up, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of walnuts in the center of the cake. Refrigerate cake for a hour for frosting to set.
You thought I forgot to announce the Nicobella winner, eh? Congrats to winner #43,
The blueberry almond intrigues me the most! (please email me your address Becca!)
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!