Do you ever really want to be somewhere and you just can’t? It’s one of those days for me.
My niece is celebrating her 14th birthday. My heart really wants to be able to throw my arms around her, give her a big hug, celebrate her special day with her, and yes, make her a birthday cake.
When she was little, I used to take her to the library and we’d check out a huge pile of books and read them together. We’d finger paint, color, draw, and when I made pancakes for breakfast I’d pull a chair up to the stove so she could drop the chocolate chips into the batter just before I flipped them over.
It’s hard to believe that nearly 8 years have passed since I moved. There’s not a day that’s gone by that I don’t miss her. Now when I’m home if I’m lucky she’ll let me take her shopping – if she doesn’t have plans with friends.
I’m so proud of the young woman she’s become. Allie is smart, hard-working, a truly gifted writer, tenderhearted, and responsible. I miss the days she when she thought reading books with me was fun, but I can’t wait to see what life has in store for her. She’s been blessed with so many gifts. Whatever unfolds for her will be beyond her wildest dreams.
Though I can’t share this cake with her I made it for her anyway. It’s not a typical birthday cake. I wanted to make her something simple yet sophisticated, decadent, and bursting with flavor. I know if she was here (or if I was there) she’d love every last bite.
Happy Birthday, Allie! I love you.
This recipe is adapted from adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- 12 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon liquid vanilla stevia
- 1/4 teaspoon instant decaf coffee granules
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds gluten-free, sugar-free carob chip cookies
- Put heavy cream, ricotta, cocoa powder, stevia, decaf coffee granules, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Mix on low until ingredients are incorporated, scraping down bowl if necessary, then gradually increase to high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
- Put a single layer of carob chip cookies in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Top with a layer of the whipped cream mixture, then repeat 3 to 4 more times until the pan is full. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top so it’s level with the top of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Save any extra whipped cream to repair any small defects once the cake is unmolded. Run a small, thin offset spatula between the cake and the pan before removing the outer rim. Serve cold garnished with slivers of carob if desired.
This cake can be made with any type of cookies and the whipped cream can be flavored any way you choose. I used a mix of carob chip cookies & carob-walnut chip cookies I made when testing recipes for my book. They’d been tucked away in my freezer. If you don’t have any leftovers, pick up your favorite gluten-free, sugar-free cookies or make your own. Mary’s Gone Crackers makes N’Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that use palm sugar as the sweetener. They’d make a fabulous Icebox Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream.
This post is linked to Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday. Stop by her place for more good food!