Kamaile and I have been through a lot together. She’s one of those friends that just gets me, ya know? The kind I can call for a cry sesh without fear of being hung up on (even if I’m three hours ahead and stupid drunk). Close friends since freshman year of high school, we’ve had our share of ups and downs [way up and way down]. From two-hour astrological sign discussions while being immensely intoxicated, to “who’s-flippin-idea-was-this?” chocolate-cake-cookies, to pretend weddings (and then real ones!). From 22nd and 23rd Street battles to middle-of-the-night-freak-out-MY-LIFE-IS-GOING-NOWHERE-phone calls to continuing to love our best friend when he came out (duh, we’ve known all along!). And most recently: learning to live without a Mama and finding unparalleled strength in each other’s friendship as we grow and learn to navigate this crazy course called life.
[Back in the day.]
Kamaile and I stayed in touch while I was away for college in Oregon and I knew when I moved home that I’d be reconnecting with her. I never realized what an incredible impact this woman would have on my life. Throughout the years our relationship has evolved in unexpected and beautiful ways and I am fortunate to consider her a true sister. She is a powerfully gifted artist, fearless pioneer, and passionate lover of life – all with a timeless, beautiful soul.
When I asked Kamaile how she wanted to celebrate her quarter-century birthday, she said she was going to have us all up for pulehu [bbq] and that–instead of bringing food–she wanted us all to bring a cake. After realizing just how much cake I’d be surrounded by, my thought was, “I need to make this girl a cake that is both good for us AND delicious”. So I set out for the perfect Kamaile-birthday-cake.
A few things you should know about this girl:
- A couple of years ago, Ben and I introduced her to Nutella. She wanted to take the jar home with her.
- She’s beginning to test out the baking waters herself (and makes the best banana bread!).
- She knows about my borderline-ridiculous obsession with wholesome, healthy foods. And–for the most part–accepts it.
I’ve made a kick-ass vegan avocado key-lime pie before, but seeing as how I introduced Kamaile to Nutella, I knew I had to something that could be topped with the chocolate-hazelnut spread. When I stumbled across the energy ball recipe, I knew it had to be my crust for her pie. Because the crust would be so flavorful I thought it would be delicious to combine it with something simple, which made me think of Coconut Bliss (the most incredible creamy vegan coconut ice cream I’ve ever had). I planned to somehow top it all off with Nutella. After researching frosting for a while I realized my notion of having a sugar-dairy-and-wheat free birthday cake was going to change–then I thought about what Kamaile would like (which is legit Nutella frosting. Obviously).
[Insert crazy busy schedule and forgetting to buy Coconut Bliss twice.]
The time came to create Kamaile’s cake and I had no Coconut Bliss . I wasn’t about to make the 30 minute drive to pick any up, so I made a short trip to the grocery store down the street to check out my options. That was when I came across these:
Tropilicious Ice Cream + Sorbet! Here in Hawai`i we have a few ice-cream makers (most notably Roselani on Maui), but most contain dairy and sugar. Ben and I decided that, since we’re so big on supporting local products–and because we wanted to test out Tropilicious anyway–it was going to be the new focal point of Kamaile’s ice-cream pie.
We really couldn’t choose which flavor we wanted for the pie, so we chose the three we thought would work best: Kona Coffee and Toasted Coconut ice cream and Haupialani Sorbet [haupia is a sweet coconut custard dessert]. We taste-tested them to find that they are all creamy and packed with flavor. Kona Coffee was rich with a deep, strong coffee flavor that I can still smell when I think back on it; Toasted Coconut had a great texture–thick and creamy with flakes of coconut mixed throughout. Even with coconut milk and coconut cream as the first ingredients, we were surprised to find that it wasn’t overwhelmingly coconuty. Ben and I saved the Haupialani for last because we wanted to see what we thought of it compared to Coconut Bliss. True, they are both different products, but if I could get a local product as great as Coconut Bliss, I’d be SET. Alas, Haupialani is excellent – richer than I expected from a sorbet – but it isn’t Coconut Bliss. [ Also, if we're getting into details here, Haupialani contains both corn syrup and sugar, while Coconut Bliss' Naked uses agave syrup, giving Haupialani more than twice the amount of sugar (25 vs. 12 for 1/2 c serving); although Haupialani has less calories and fat--including sat fat--than Coconut Bliss (187 cals/7g fat/6 sat vs. 220 cals/16g fat/14 sat)]. Overall, Ben and I like Coconut Bliss Naked texture and ingredients best, but it’s nice to have a great local product as well!
But I digress. After our quick taste test, Ben and I decided to mix Kona Coffee’s intense coffee flavor with the cool, calm toasted coconut.
After we made the pie we realized that it should really be at least a 24 hour process, to allow the ice cream to really set so that you’re able to cut into it like a real cake (and not an ice-cream soup cake). Heed my advice = you’re going to want to allow this cake to freeze fully. Oh, and also, if you love Nutella as much as we do, you may want to just ice the cake with it and skip mixing it with sugar and butter altogether .
So that was the process we took for finding the ingredients and making Kamaile’s cake [in a nutshell = plan. find!. forget. find!. taste. decide. create!. oops. live and learn!].
And now, let’s get to the recipe!
Kamaile’s Nutella-Frosted Birthday ‘Mud Pie’
- Follow the energy ball recipe.
[Filling] (next time I make this I might even add more ice cream, to bulk up the pie a bit more)
- 1 pint Tropilicious Kona Coffee ice cream
- 1 pint Tropilicious Toasted Coconut ice cream
- 3 Tbsp Earth Balance or unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 c Nutella
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp milk (or milk substitute)
- 1 tsp vanilla
Line a round pie pan with wax paper or line the bottom with flour OR
[I recommend:] Press energy ball mixture into pie pan to form a raw crust, then flour the bottom and place it in the pie pan (because the energy ball mixture is sticky and you don’t want it to be a mess when you’re trying to serve). We used wax paper, which resulted in a delicious mess at serving time.
Scoop toasted coconut ice cream into pie pan evenly.
Cover with wax paper and freeze for at least an hour (until the ice cream becomes hard).
Remove wax paper and repeat with Kona Coffee ice cream.
Cover with wax paper and allow this to freeze for at least four hours (it needs to set very well before you can bring it out to frost).
While the cake is freezing, mix together all the frosting ingredients and scoop it into a piping bag.
Once the cake is frozen, frost as desired!
Freeze freeze freeze, until you’re ready to sing to the birthday girl.
Enjoy! [Do we really want to know the nutrition facts on this one?!]
I am so grateful to have such amazing people in my life. Happy 25th, Kamaile girl! We love you!