Belated Birthday

January 15, 2015 § 1 Comment






Birthdays are not a big deal for my husband, but they kind of are for me. I know I like to feel a bit special, a bit pampered, and remembered on my own day – so I try to give to others what I would wish to receive myself.

This Monday just past was his special day, but we spent the day mostly apart, driving home from a short holiday (separately), and with him attending a funeral. That night we spontaneously decided to go out for dinner to ‘celebrate’ – though I think the idea was also to save us the chore and work of cooking at home after a tiring day. We chose a family restaurant, full of TV’s showing the soccer, a kids movie area showing -what else- but ‘Frozen’, and with an outside play area too. Perfect for lots of children to entertain themselves and for exhausted parents to sit, dazed-eyed, with a glass of wine.

Today, three days later, I finally got around to the cake. Sol is not a sweets-man, preferring wholesome and often different flavours, and so I decided to make him the cake I prepared for his 30th birthday (over ten years ago now!). Then, we lived in rural QLD, far from family. I invited the only couple we knew over to our sparsely furnished but gorgeous modern “Queenslander’ home, a cornflower blue two level beauty with wooden floors and a massive wrap around verandah. Our guests were clean living folk who appreciated the nutty, not to sweet Choc Walnut Torte that I presented.

I presented the same cake tonight – unfortunately rejected by most of the children due to the amount of nuts involved, but happily devoured by Sol and myself; our little secret. The recipe comes from one of my all-time favourite cookbooks by Holly Davis, which I have owned for many years. I used to be a hard-core macrobiotic eater, and her cookbook ‘Nourish’ entered the market just when macrobiotics was becoming cool. It transformed the original macrobiotic principles into modern, fresh, gorgeous food with clean flavours.

Though not containing many ingredients, the cake is super moist with a few subtle flavours in there. The choc/coconut ganache is my own addition to the dessert.

Rich Cocoa and Walnut Torte (gluten free, dairy free).

4 cups ground walnuts

1 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cardomom powder, or seeds crushed up

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup maple syrup

2 unpeeled oranges, boiled whole for 15 mins.

5 eggs


combine all dry ingredients in a bowl

blend the maple syrup and whole oranges (yes, whole oranges!)

whisk the eggs to a frothy consistency

gently fold wet ingredients into dry

pour into an oiled, floured cake pan (flour with cocoa)

bake at 170 degrees celsius for one hour

serve with berries, cream and optional choc/coconut ganache.


Chocolate Ganache (dairy free)

100ml coconut cream

100g dark chocolate, dairy free if desired


heat the coconut cream to just boiling

remove from heat and add chocolate

stir till smooth and silky.


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