Birthday dilemma

A big problem for me is children’s birthdays. As a mum I want them to have as much fun as their friends do, but at the same time, I don’t want them eating all that sugar and rubbish that usually accompanies a party.  Thankfully, I have implemented an alternate year party rule (meaning they only have a party every second year), however even on the off year, they still expect a cake that looks like it’s come from a lolly shop.  I’m always on a mission to adapt regular recipes and ideas to create a similar looking outcome without all the rubbish.  As my eldest daughter gets older, it does get a little easier for me.  She is beginning to understand the implications of what this all means.  So this year, she trawled through the Women’s Weekly Cake Book (as she does quite frequently), however she made a choice that was a lot easier than the usual ones – “The Owl”.

The original and my variation

I made a chocolate cake made from coconut flour (which to be honest was a bit dry), then I iced it with icing made from coconut oil, coconut cream, honey and a tiny bit of tapioca flour.  Next came the decorating.  The owl traditionally has desiccated coconut coloured with food dye.  I used organic shredded coconut which I pulsed in the food processor dessicated it, then as most of it was brown, I just mixed it with some cacao.  I then sifted out the excess cacao (and used it in a smoothie the next day).  To make the red colour, I mixed the coconut with some beetroot powder and did the same thing, sifting out the excess (and added that to my smoothie too!).  For the eyes, I used some of the icing and a tiny piece of dark chocolate (90%).  For the beak I used a slither of crystalised ginger with another 2 tiny pieces of chocolate as the nostrils.

My finished product