Our little baby turns 1 today, so this text is to her. Maybe in a couple of years, she can go back and read this (if our blog still is online). But until then, don’t be a stranger, read it, leave her a comment, and dig in on some pancake cake!
Dear Elsa, if one word would define your first year, it must be Change. During this year, you have learned how to breath, nurse, point at, laugh, sit up, eat, crawl, play, grab, kiss, hug and walk. Every skill learned was soon replaced with a new one. It has been a constant evolvement. A constant change. And as we went on this trip around the world with you, change got a whole new meaning.
You have been flying 15 times during your first year. You have been on 3 different continents. You have been moving from 80°F heat one day, to 5°F and snow two days later, and then on to 100°F one week after that. During this trip you have slept in 47 different locations. 47! Imagine being 9 months old and being put in a new bed, in a new room, in a new city, twice every week. And we haven’t even counted how many time zones that you have crossed. When we think about it, we realize that you could have been seriously messed up by know. But how have you instead reacted to all this change?
Like a total angel. It’s unbelievable. You hit the high score in The-Most-Perfect-Baby-With-A-Backpack-Contest. On the airplanes you always put on a show; you stand up in your seat, wave your hand like a princess, and smile at everyone. And every single person on the airplane always waves back at you. It’s hilarious to watch. You have made new friends everywhere, and at the age of one, you have also become a global food enthusiast. You have been playing in the snow, in the ocean and on the beach. You are not fond of playing alone, but as long as we are close, you are happy. And you have been sleeping for 12 hours each night, no matter where you were. You adapt to change like a chameleon. If you would have been different in any way, this trip would have been much more complicated, or even impossible.
Thank you Elsa for putting up with all these changes, and for changing our world. Happy birthday, we love you more than anything.
/Mom & Dad
Now, let’s eat birthday cake!
We can go on and on about how you should not give small children sugar, sweets or even anything that is sweetened with refined sugar. They don’t need it and they don’t have any natural craving for it. Come to think about it, we will actually go and on about it, but not today. We will save that for another post.
Since we didn’t want to give Elsa a traditional sugar-flour-jam kind of cake, but we did want to give her a treat that she loves, this pancake cake was perfect. It was also perfect since it was the only cake that we could make without an oven or a blender. It is gluten free and sugar free. It is topped with a lovely thai-inspired coconut cream, and served with lots of fresh fruit. You might remember that we also did a pancake cake for Luise’s birthday, you could use that almond & date filling in this cake too.
Coconut & Banana Pancake Cake
10-12 pancakes (6 inch)
1/2 cup (1,2 dl) coconut milk
2/3 cup (2 dl) dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
Mash the bananas in a bowl, using a fork. Then whisk in the eggs, add the coconut milk and shredded coconut and stir to combine. Heat coconut oil in a pan and fry the small pancakes a couple of minutes on each side. Let the pancake cool off, one by one, on a big plate. To arrange the stack of pancakes, you start with one pancake, then a layer of mashed fruit, nut butter or jam of choice and continue with the rest of the pancakes. We varied mashed papaya and mashed mango between the layers. Pour over the Coconut Cream (recipe below) just before serving. Garnish with flowers, Happy Birthday!
Coconut Vanilla Cream (inspired by a recipe on Honest Fare)
2 cups (5 dl) coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 cinnamon stick
1 thin slice fresh ginger
2 large soft dates, pitted
2 tbsp corn starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot
Place coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and dates in a small pot on medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring, then lower the heat to a bare simmer. Mix starch with 2 tbsp water in a small bowl, add to the pot and let simmer for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, ginger and dates. Transfer the cream to a bowl and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It will become a little thicker when it’s cold. Serve.