Monday, December 16, 2013

Leah's Strawberry Fennel Cake

Leah’s Strawberry Fennel Cake
This weekend was a rough one at our little home, while just two months ago we adopted young Alice an agile and full of spirit gal, we’ve watched our mellow elder boxer Leah decline as her legs won’t support her anymore. She falls, wobbles, can’t get up and gets into uncomfortable pickles. I assume years spent in a cage has done it’s damage, the bar marks on her nose and stubby tail are evidence of neglect and saggy breast skin of overbreeding. We adopted Leah as a senior 3 years ago, elder dogs have the toughest times being placed and deserve all the goodness in their last remaining years, to me this is most rewarding – watching them play, smile, love, sleep and shine. The couch was her favorite place and large pillows for the resting in more than one room provided many cozy afternoon naps. We say our goodbyes today, she will always be with us in the stories we tell, moments and feelings, and in the images captured. Leah was sparkly - eyes, sunshine girl. She liked my baked treats too so this Sunday I baked a strawberry fennel cake and fed her a slice.

Due to the gloom of the situation I spent Saturday and Sunday in sweeter distraction trying new desserts using spelt and almond meal, I like this combination for it’s texture, moist results and healthier benefits. This cake is lovely and the strawberry flavor comes through nicely. The fennel seeds I crushed to a powder. I really love this cake on it’s own without a topping, but if you want to dress it up for for a special occasion try my coconut whip and add ½ tsp rose water to it and top with sliced cherries and pinch of additional fennel – could make a lovely presentation.

love you Leah!

Bake 350 for 35 minutes rack in middle
1 cup spelt flour
½ cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1/3 cup fine ground brown sugar such as muscovado or sucanat
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup organic coconut oil melted
2/3 cup strawberries mashed in blender - fresh not frozen
1/3 cup coconut milk - I used So Delicious beverage
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ tsp rose water

Makes one cake using 6 cup bundt pan
Pre heat oven to 350 rack in middle, lightly oil and flour the cake pan

1. Combine the coconut milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside, will get clumpy this is fine.
Add the mashed strawberries, vanilla extract and rose water to a large bowl and set aside

2. In a large bowl using a whisk sift the flour, almond meal, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, sugar, ground fennel seeds and flax, whatever is left in sieve pour in bowl and whisk to combine.

3. Add the coconut milk mixture to the mashed strawberries and mix very well, add the melted coconut oil and mix again, now add this to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk until just combined, do not over mix.

4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes, toothpick should come out clean. Let cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing. 

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