February 7, 2013

Formed in the Womb AND a paleo birthday cake

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us[a] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:4-6

That's right! Today I celebrate my 29th birthday for the 4 time now. I woke up this morning and thanked the Lord for creating me and choosing me before the beginning of time. 

Heavenly Father, thank you, that in your divine power, you created me. You made me from nothing. You reached out your hand and formed me in my mother. Your hand has guided me my entire life. You created me to glorify you. You adopted me into your Holy Kingdom. Thank you for allowing me to speak your Words and for giving me words of life. Use me as your servant and as your light. 

Isn't it amazing to know that He chose us? Before the beginning of time, he knew I would be sitting here on February 7, 2013 celebrating and praising him for my life. The life that would be nothing without Him. I have a beautiful life that He created for me. He loved me so much that he gave me breath and three gorgeous little boys and an adoring husband. And because of His unfailing grace, there is nothing in this world I can ever do that will make Him stop loving me!!

Paleo Birthday Cake

Call me old fashioned, or heck, just call me Southern. My all-time favorite cake is a good classic yellow with chocolate frosting. In staying on my paleo journey, I wanted to make myself a yummy cake. There are a ton of options out there for chocolate cakes because in paleo cooking, cocoa often is used to mask the gluten-less flavor. So I finally found a handful of cake recipes and used my prior non-paleo baking knowledge to whip one up! I adapted some of the ingredients and instructions from this recipe but changed things up quite a bit to make it my own. 

For a 2 layer cake
6 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
2 TB lemon juice
1 stick butter, room temp
2Tb vanilla
2 cups fine almond flour, sifted

1. Set oven to 325. Cut parchment or wax paper to set in 2 8" cake pans. As long as you have good condition non-stick pans, you won't need to grease. 
2. Separate eggs. Beat the whites & vinegar with a stand mixer or hand mixer until soft peaks form. (If using a stand mixer transfer these white to a clean bowl b/c you will need your mixer bowl for the next step). Set whites aside. 
3. Cream together your room temperature butter and coconut sugar until mixed well- 2-3 minutes on med-hi. It will never 'cream' like a traditional sugar, but mixing them together coats the sugar in fat to help it from changing form when mixed with the eggs & leavening agents. 
4. To egg yolks add vanilla, baking soda, salt, & lemon juice. Yes, it will fizz! Mix with a whisk. 
5.  Add the yolk mixture to the butter sugar mixture and mix on medium for 2 minutes. 
6. Add the whites back to the mixer bowl and mix on low until combines, scraping if necessary. 
7. Finally, add in sifted almond flour. Don't skip the sifting step! You wouldn't believe the 'chunks' that are left behind when you sift. This ensures a softer, finer texture and more rise to your cake.
8. Mix well for 2 more minutes, 
9. Pour into rounds, dividing evenly. 
10. Bake 18-20 mins.
11. Once done, remove from oven and immediately flip cakes out of pans, upside down, onto a cooling rack. Cool completely then wrap up and put in fridge to cool well. You need them cool to get your icing to spread. 

Paleo Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips
1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
1/2 Tb butter
pinch of salt

1. Heat coconut milk in a saucepan over med lo heat until it starts to simmer.
2. Place chips in a mixing bowl. Once milk simmers, pour it over chocolate. Let sit without touching for 1 minute.
3. Whisk together to reveal a gorgeous chocolate sauce!! Add in butter & salt now and whisk.
* If you prefer more of a ganache type frosting, you can leave as is and pour over cooled cake layers now. If you prefer more of an actual frosting, follow directions below.
4. Once mixed, set chocolate in fridge til close to solid- approx 1 hour. 
5. Remove from fridge and whip it with a hand mixer about a minute to add some air to it and get it spreadable. 
6. To assemble, place one layer of cake face down on plate. Spread about 2-3 Tb of frosting over the top of it. Place top layer over it. Use the rest of frosting to frost your cake. Keep in fridge until serving.