For Lent this year I gave up refined sugar - this gradually developed to include some natural sugars and then that developed to dh and I (mostly!) following a paleo diet for the last couple of months or so. We are both feeling a lot better for eating more of some things and less or none of others. However, birthdays still need to be celebrated, and after a fairly fruitless search for paleo birthday cakes (most had ingredients I had not heard of in them, or sugar!) I decided that I could come up with something myself! And this is what I came up with:
If you fancy having a go yourself then here's what I did:
50g coconut oil
600g soft cheese
120g dessicated coconut
3 teaspoons set honey (which was quite runny due to the current heatwave, but in winter I'd use runny honey!)
165g dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa chocolate)
I crushed the almonds in a plastic bowl with a heavy wooden rolling pin.
... and added the coconut oil (due to the current heatwave, the coconut oil was already much more liquid than in the winter!).
Then I remembered that this may well stick to the bottom of the tin so used some greaseproof paper to make a circle to line the bottom of the 20cm spring form tin
Then I melted the butter and coconut oil.
I added the crushed almonds ...
... and mixed it all up.
Then I put the mixture into the tin and pressed it down with the back of a metal spoon. It smelt great at this point :-)
I left it to cool down.
Then I put 600g full fat soft cheese into a bowl and mixed it with a wooden spood.
I weighed out 120g dessicated coconut ...
... and added it to the soft cheese. It did not look slightly green like it does in this picture!
It didn't taste quite right, so I (reluctantly) added 3 teaspoons of set honey - I think runny honey would be better in any temperature less than the current heatwave!
Then I put the soft cheese mixture on top of the nut base in the tin ...
... and smoothed it out and put it into the fridge overnight (I don't think it needs to be in that long though!).
The next day I took 165g of 85% cocoa dark chocolate (I think this was too much in retrospect, 100g would be enough!) ...
and broke it into pieces ...
... put some water in a pan and carefully put the bowl of chocolate on top ...
... and stirred it until it melted.
Next I hulled 200g of strawberries (the ones I bought were all huge, I'd look for smaller ones next time) ...
...and speared them with forks.
I covered a chopping board with tin foil
and then dipped the strawberries in the melted chocolate.
It was hard not to eat them straight away! They went into the fridge for about 20 minutes, although I think they probably could have done with longer.
I put the strawberries on top of the soft cheese mixture but there was still lots of chocolate left over so I spooned that over the top.
This is what it looked like with the wet chocolate:
I put it in the fridge to let the chocolate harden ...
... and this is how it came out:
I took off the sides of the spring form tin - a lot easier than I had thought it would be ...
... and slid it off the base (but left the paper in place). There was nowhere to stick candles without cracking the chocolate so I chopped an old apple in half and stuck them in there!
Just two more things left to do ...
... light the candles and sing Happy Birthday!
And just in case you are wondering, this is what it looked like inside:
It tasted nice and I will definitely make it again for another special occasion; I'd probably halve the quantities though. I wish I liked cream because that would be much easier than all the soft cheese, but there we go, mission accomplished :-)