Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Thirty-Four (Happy Birthday to Me!!)

Having entered into August, the month of this Lioness's birth, I was finally the beneficiary of an incredible spelt birthday cake made by our in-house cake boss, Spencer, who has recently reached the ripe age of 14.

He pondered for several days on the perfect cake for mom's big 48th....He concluded that A GERMAN CHOCOLATE SPELT CAKE made with organic spelt flour and organic sugar would be fitting.  Unbelievably rich and complicated!!!

This cake and the process that went into it brought us full circle to the reason we have become such a foodie family.
Spelt German Chocolate Cake

Ingredients (adapted from

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups Vita Spelt organic white spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 - 9 inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
  4. Pour into 3 - 9 inch pans Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto wire rack.
  5. To make the Filling: In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.
  6. Spread filling between layers and on top of cake. In a small saucepan, melt shortening and 1 ounce of chocolate. Stir until smooth and drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Although the cake should have taken about 2 hours to make, it took Spencer nearly 6 given we don't even have an electric mixer (it broke somewhere along the way), and he had no help from adults.  

Tim put together a wonderful last minute birthday gathering at Gritty's on Exchange Street in Portland.  The photo is the cake perched on a ledge overlooking Wharf Street from back side of Gritty's.   

Typical of planning though, Tim was right on time, but I was an hour and a half late with Spencer and Olivia in tow.  It turns out, that while Spencer had a great time making the cake, he forgot to feed his own body during the process, and had such a protein low it was as if we were full circle back to where we started 7 years ago with this diet change.

Both of us quickly realized that the melt down was simply a lack of eating - and we called Tim to order a Gritty's burger for Spencer upon his arrival.  

With Spencer fed, friends imbibed, and kids clamoring, we had a wonderful time.  "Happy Birthday day to me...."

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