IMG_8185IMG_8191IMG_8207IMG_8222I’m 27 years young this year.

Birthdays as an adult have always been a little hit and miss for me. I put it down to being utterly spoilt each year when I was younger, somewhat setting a standard the grown up world could never quite meet.

My parents always did an incredible job in making us feel like we were the most important little girls in the world on our birthdays. From cake before school, filing the lounge room with balloons, to free reign over the dinner menu, we were whole heartedly encouraged to celebrate the wonder that is a birthday. We were allowed our favourite thing for dinner and even when we announced we would like Pizza Hut, which was at the time an hour return drive to pick it up, my mum obliged with a smile.

I find it a little saddening that as adults, the norm is to brush it off as just another day. My upcoming birthday was announced at a work morning tea last week and when co-workers started extending their well wishes, I uncomfortably waved away their comments. My own nonchalance shocked me a little.

Birthdays really are wonderful things. They are a chance to celebrate how incredibly full our lives are, surrounded by those who have jumped in for the ride. They’re also a great time to reflect on how much growth and achievement is possible in a year.

So here they are, five highlights of the year that was 26:

  • I created a home with someone I love
  • I started a new job, which for the first time ever actually felt like the start of a career
  • I finished the Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge, hiking a gruelling 100kms in 31 hours
  • I welcomed another niece into our sisterhood
  • I explored one new country

In the spirit of celebrating, I created a cake that is truly a combination of my favourite things. A moist, chocolate coconut flour cake what wont make my stomach churn, topped with whipped ricotta, Turkish delight and almonds. Most importantly, it’s the perfect size for two or three people without having to eat cake for a week.

Petite Turkish Delight Birthday Cake
For the cake (adapted from this recipe) 
¼ cup cacao
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch sea salt
3 eggs
1 tsp rosewater
¼ cup milk (any kind)
¼ cup melted butter or olive oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line a two cup ramekin with baking paper
2. Mix dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients and whisk until all lumps disappear
3. Pour into ramekin and bake for 30 mins
4. Remove from oven, cool and turn out onto wire rack

For the Icing:
4 tbsp full fat ricotta
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp icing sugar
1 large piece good quality Turkish Delight, roughly chopped (to serve)
Small handful of roasted almonds, chopped (to serve)

1. Whip ricotta, vanilla and icing sugar in a bowl with a whisk until smooth and frothy
2. Pile on top of cake, top with Turkish Delight and almonds and celebrate!

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