One of my favorite ladies, Julia Child, once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” And well, it’s just true.
I used to really dislike cooking. The eating food and enjoying it I had down, no problem there! But that wasn’t enough incentive to cook regularly or creatively. The hours it takes per week really add up- meal planning, grocery shopping, prepping, let alone the actual cook time. It felt mostly like a large chunk of time was lost.
During our time in Brazil, something changed. We were cooked for incessantly, and meals spoke volumes when language got in the way. People who had nothing would force us to accept meals or coffee they had prepared for us, and over time we learned not only to accept but to recognize these gestures as acts of love (plus, you guys, the food was always beyond). There are few things that can communicate love without words, and food is one of them.
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When we returned stateside and got settled back into our own apartment, I was shocked to find myself excited to cook! To explore new recipes and flavors, and most of all to share the food I prepare. So that leads me to this strange development- sharing a recipe on a photo blog. But here’s the deal. It is sort of easy to make food taste good. It’s another thing to find a recipe that also turns out pretty. And I just believe that pretty food tastes better. I combined a bunch of recipes I’ve made, added spices, and then converted the whole mismatched jumble of measurements into a gluten and dairy free dessert that’s tasty and is super hard to make look bad.
I’m not gluten or dairy free. I’ve been both at times, and always feel better when I choose to eat that way, but it’s optional for me, and I like butter a lot. This concoction I’ve made both ways- and believe it or not this gf/df version is better! Enjoy it!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and get to work on the caramel topping. In a small pot, bring water, coconut milk, and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring regularly. Once boiling, add coconut oil and stir until the mix is foaming. Then immediately remove from heat, and pour into a 9 inch cake tin. Sprinkle pecans over the mix in the pan, and then line the entire bottom with thinly sliced orange rounds.
Set aside, and begin working on the cake batter. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix the dry ingredients, then add eggs, vanilla, coconut milk, and melted coconut oil.
Once mixed, press dough into the pan on top of the caramel and oranges. The batter will be sticky, and difficult to spread. Fear not! It'll turn out tasty ( :
Do your best to make the dough surface flat, and be sure that it covers entire bottom of pan.
Then pop the cake in the oven for 30 minutes.
While it's baking and filling your home with scrumptious smells, get to work on your coconut cream whipped topping. Don't expect the texture to be like that of traditional whipped cream, but expect to be blown away by the flavor! It is best if the can of full fat coconut milk has been in the freezer for a few hours prior to use. When removing from freezer, be mindful to not shake or tip the can so the cream and liquid separate. Open it, and remove the thick cream from the top, placing in a chilled mixing bowl. Mix vigorously for one minute, then add in powdered sugar, vanilla, and flour. Mix until creamy, then pop in the refrigerator until serving. The consistency will be similar to Cool Whip, but taste sooo much better!
Remove your cake from the oven, and let cool for ten minutes. Then, carefully place a plate on top of the tin, and flip. Viola! There's your pretty creation( :
Plop a generous dollop of your whipped topping on there, and eat up!
Best enjoyed with a cup of coffee, friends, and maybe an extra scoop of cream ( :
This is one of our new favorites. I hope you enjoy it, and use it to love people well. Eat up, friends!