Life has this weird ability to speed up slow down simultaneously. I finished summer school on Friday after taking my Genetics final, but I don’t really have a break before school starts (in just a week and a half!) because sorority pre-recruitment has begun. It still creeps me out that I joined a sorority, but as false and cliche as it sounds – it really is different here. Essentially all of the girls are intelligent, hilarious, down to earth, and each bring something unique to the table. I mean, just look at these quality texts!:
get yer geek on at a frat party – why not?
There isn’t much drama (at least not that I’m aware of – which I guess isn’t saying much) and there aren’t any condescending rules or mandatory obligations. I see it as a nice little social safety net. After my experience at UCSB, I definitely can use a little backup support… I missed the first week of pre-recruitment due to summer school and my internship, so today was my first full day. Full day meaning 10am to 5pm. The goings-on are all under wraps, but I can tell you that the days most hilarious task was bleaching rocks. Apparently the rocks that line our gardens have to be a pristine and sparkly white to wow the potential new members – bahaha! Fine with me though, seeing as the alternative was crafting, which I am bizarrely incapable of.
Also – I started a new paying job a few weeks ago! I am the sample girl at Nugget and Food 4 Less, two local grocery chains owned by the same company. So far I have sampled organic, ready-made salads by Earthbound farms and a probiotic drink called Yakult! All nerded out:
In regards to the title of this post, last week was my friend Thibault’s birthday. He was throwing a potluck style BBQ and I had no idea what to bring. I had never baked a cake before, so it seemed meant to be that I bake a birthday cake to bring. I had been itching to use my stash of coconut flour and I have been on a peanut butter kick lately and thus..
[Gluten free] Coconut layer cake with coconut vanilla cream cheese frosting
was born! The secret ingredient is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the icing. It adds such a light flavor of peanut that some people couldn’t discern its presence. A peanut butter scented coconut cream cheese frosting, if you will. It was a hit. People had no idea that it was gluten free and really seemed to enjoy it. Many people asked for seconds, and some even got thirds! Which is probably the most flattering thing to me – ever. The recipe is also very easy to make dairy free. I used this recipe to figure out the ratio of egg to coconut flour needed for a successful flourless cake. Also worth noting is that
this cake has 80 grams of fiber in it. and we all know I like fiber.
Recipe: Makes 1 double layer cake
Wet ingredients –
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used a mixture of white sugar, homemade vanilla bean sugar, and coconut sugar – but it doesn’t really matter)
10 eggs (at room temperature; DO NOT USE LESS EGGS)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup milk (you can use more coconut milk, I just didn’t want to open another can)
2 droppers full of NuNaturals liquid stevia
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Dry ingredients –
2 cups coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut + plus 1 cup more for layering over the icing
Directions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-9 1/2 inch cake layer pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix vigorously (or use an electric mixer, which I don’t have). Add in the eggs one at a time and continuously mix. After all the eggs have been added, add the vanilla extract, stevia, and coconut oil and mix for another minute or two, until well combined. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the coconut milk to the sugar/butter mixture. Beat batter for about 5 minutes, until smooth. Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are light brown and they pass the toothpick test. Place pans on wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake. Let them cool completely before frosting the first layer. Add a layer of sweetened shredded coconut over the top of the icing and then lay down the next layer of cake. Ice the entire cake. Sprinkle and press coconut shreds all over the cake, into the icing.
For the icing:
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar (I used a mix of homemade vanilla bean sugar and white sugar – you could also use a bit less sugar and add in some stevia)
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions – Combine everything except the sugar in a bowl and whip until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing it well. Ice the cooled cake
The pictures do not do it justice! I was in a rush to get to the BBQ and obviously I had to wait until the cake was cut to take a picture of the inside. The lighting was shameful.
Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.
Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!
Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!