My Birthday Cake

It's been almost two weeks since my birthday and I totally forgot about sharing these pictures I took of my cake (yes, I did bake my own birthday cake for the third consecutive year). Sorry guys, but I've been a bit busy this week developing and cooking new savory and sweet recipes for my friends at El Granero Integral (it's a spanish organic food brand, btw). Better late than never, they say.
As you can see this is not actually a recipe post, I think I already told you in my last post why I decided to only share the pictures of this cake. But I will do it again, just in case you feel a little too lazy to read the whole previous post, hehe.
Well, this cake is from Fran Costigan's marvelous cookbook 'Vegan Chocolate' and I've published several recipes from her book before: this Sachertorte, these absolutely luscious Banoffee Tarts, a mega creamy Chocolate Dulce de Leche, a Mocha Crème Brûlée two years ago, my favorite Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream, and the most recent recipe that I made from her book was this Orange Almond Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache. Needless to say this book is one of my absolute favorites and whenever I need a dose of chocolate goodness I always grab it and find the best inspiration.

Since I've published many recipes from that book before and this cake I'm showing you today is exactly like the original from the book (minus some small changes) I thought it had no sense to simply copy and paste the text. I mean, the recipe is already perfectly explained in the book and I didn't make big nor important changes that need to be published. Actually the only difference from the original recipe is that I didn't make the chocolate coconut whipped cream, not because I don't like it (seriously, coconut whipped cream with a touch of chocolate...who doesn't love that?!) but because my coconut milk contained guar gum.
Now let me tell you why I didn't use that coconut milk: guar gum (and xanthan gum also) prevents or retards the fat from separating and this is not what we want. We need a full fat coconut milk that only contains coconut and water, this way we will get a nice thick cream after letting the can set in the fridge overnight. This white cream can be whipped like heavy cream with great results but if you use a coconut milk that contains some thickening ingredient then the cream won't separate well, or not at all.

This is an important factor to keep in mind if you wanna make a fluffy good coconut whipped cream; so remember: 
- When making ice creams: using unsweetened full-fat coconut milk that contains guar gum or xanthan gum is good. You will get creamy ice creams with no ice crystals. This is for recipes that call for a whole can of coconut milk. If the recipe says to refrigerate the milk overnight and use only the white thick cream, then I would recommend (actually I'd encourage you) to use full-fat coconut milk with no additives.
- When making coconut whipped cream: go for the most natural version. Unsweetened canned full fat coconut milk that only contains coconut and water, nothing more!...or you'll get a weird pudding-meets-chewing gum consistency.
That's all for today! I hope my tips about coconut milk were helpful and that you like these pictures. The cake was so unbelievably delicious, coconut and chocolate are always a damn good combo!
By the way, no one paid me nor asked me to talk about the book 'Vegan Chocolate'.