Last week, my brother, Mordy, celebrated his birthday. Growing up, nobody made much of a deal about birthdays and that has become part of my DNA. Most of the time, we forget each others birthdays and I have been know to forget my own birthday and anniversary. Thankfully, my brother, Itzy, often calls, texts or emails us to remember someone’s special day. Thank you, Itzy!
I do remember elementary school birthday parties from my childhood. My mother would invite the entire class over on a Sunday afternoon for birthday cake. My father would take down his huge and heavy polaroid camera from the top of the closet. He would take exactly one picture of the birthday child. We would be so excited in anticipation of that polaroid photo to develop and it would seem like an eternity until the photo was ready. My father would watch the time on his watch carefully, holding us all at bay until the picture was finally revealed. It was magical.
Many years ago, I discovered that Mordy enjoys two unusual foods: arugula and German chocolate cake. Both foods are ones that most people either love or hate. I prepare arugula most weeks and have a few wonderful arugula blog posts (see Crunchy Arugula and Jicama Salad and Arugula Salad Wrapped and Upright)
I have not prepared German chocolate cake in a very long time.
Years ago, I would prepare German chocolate cake in a 10-11″ tart pan using the basic guidelines of the recipe on the back of the Baker’s coconut bag. This week, I bought coconut and discovered that the German chocolate cake icing recipe was no longer on the back of the bag. I was determined to recreate that recipe. Thankfully, I found another recipe and made some enhancements to adapt it to a pareve and less sweet menu. Although I have not prepared German Chocolate cake in over a decade, it did not disappoint.
Happy birthday, Mordy!
1 chocolate cake or brownie recipe
12 ounces pareve milk or cream
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla powder
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optionally toasted
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
Large coconut flakes for garnish (optional)
Using cooking spray, heavily grease bottom of each 10-11″ tart pan. Prepare your favorite chocolate cake or brownie recipe and bake according to directions. Allow to cool. Gently coax cake from 10-11″ tart pan.
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, cook milk, coconut oil, honey, vanilla and and egg yolks, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add pecans, chocolate chips and coconut. Mixture should be thick, but spreadable.
Remove from heat and add mixture to center of chocolate tart. Optionally, garnish with flaked coconut.
Those were the days my friend.
They certainly were wonderful times. Life was so much simpler back then. Wasn’t it? Arugula and German chocolate cake are parts of my much less simple present and I find myself always trying to get back to those simpler times!