REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
One of my little boys had a birthday today. He just turned 7. I wanted to make him a really amazing cake for his birthday. I’m trying to teach my kids that healthy eating can be delicious and satisfying. Of course, when it comes to a birthday cake, the pressure is really on. You really don’t want to mess up someone’s birthday cake. It has to be your best work. It can’t taste “healthy.” At least, not for my 7 year-old. It has to taste rich and decadent.
I decided to use my Just right Chocolate Cake recipe, as it is tried and true. I knew it was a great chocolate cake, and that it turns out of the pan really well. That was really important to me. I doubled the recipe. I wanted to make 2 rounds so I could create a double layer cake.
I needed the frosting to be out of this world. It had to taste great, and it had to stay put. I didn’t want the cake to look like it was melting away. I cam up with this great frosting recipe, and I had my little man taste test it before using it just to be sure. That was critical for me, so that I could apply it with absolute confidence. The result was rich, fudgy, chocolaty frosting. Here’s the recipe I came up with:
8 oz. chopped dates, soaked in water (2 hours or more) and drained
1/2 cup butter, firm (refrigerated)
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips (check ingredients, I used Enjoy Life)
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Directions: Puree everything in a high-speed blender, or beat with and electric mixer on high. It doesn’t matter the order in which you add ingredients. What is critical, is that it is blended completely and totally smooth. It takes a little time to get it completely smooth, but it is very important. From time to time, you’ll need to give it a good stir. I used my Vitamix. It comes with a big black stirring stick called a temper, and I stirred until my arm was sore. You really want it mixed and smooth. From there, you can go ahead and begin applying it. I applied my middle layer and top layer at this point. I refrigerated the remaining frosting for about 20 minutes before applying the sides. It thickens into a soft fudge, so you don’t want to wait too long to apply. Also, if you want extra frosting to pipe, you may want to double the recipe. This is enough to do a double layer, frosting between the layers, and all around. I did not have any leftover.
I added some chocolate dipped strawberries to decorate. They also added complementary flavor. I simply melted about a half cup of Enjoy Life chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and dipped the strawberries. For me, the coconut oil makes the melted chocolate easier to work with.