Yesterday I tried so hard to make a special treat I thought you’d all love and it fell apart in my face and I nearly wept. But, I made something else up and here we go!

Growing up I definitely struggled with self esteem and food issues. To put it bluntly, I liked bad food too much and I was overweight and boys didn’t like me. As a teenager it seemed to be the bane of my existence, and although I loved valentines day it was always hard to never actually have a valentine. It held a lot of weight for me, and I always thought about how special it would be once I got one. Once I grew up and my body changed and I got over my self esteem problems I had a few special guys but nothing like the one right now. Prepare for an abundance of gushing.

When I was 21 I went on a small solo back packing trip and while I was in Galway I was trying to find accommodation online in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I booked my hostel, hopped on a bus the next day and while I was on the bus I checked my confirmation email and to my horror realized I’d not booked the hostel I was looking forward too but another. Global Village Belfast. A little disappointed, I arrived in Belfast, walked to my hostel and buzzed in. A very cute ginger boy answered and checked me in. I didn’t have the right amount of change and he didn’t want to break my 50 pound note so he lent me 15 pence and said I owed him a drink. I hoped he was being literal.

I feel like this story could have gone so many different ways if I was afraid to go after what I wanted. This boy, Tom, was very shy and I could not for the life of me figure out what he wanted. He played guitar a little and asked for a request, I said Sum 41 but he didn’t really know any well. The next night when I had all but given up, he started playing fat lip and I knew right then to just go for it. I left the hostel the next day and while I was in Scotland we talked frequently. He asked me to come back, and so I did for a week before I flew home. I left sad and hoping one day we’d meet again.

One year later, after talking sometimes he said I should come back to the hostel and work there with him. And so I did. Four months working together in the city we both love was amazing. He went back home to Australia, and I to Canada but this time we were one. The rest is history really, I moved to Australia shortly later and lived there for a year and saw nearly all of it with him. Now he’s here in Canada and I can’t wait to see where we go next.

It’s funny how we could have so easily not met, had our paths been slightly different. I am so lucky we did though. Every day is a celebration with him but I love having some extra special ones. So I needed a nice treat to have after dinner tonight and cake is generally what I think of. This is my new favourite dessert, moist, dense, and not too sweet. It’s right up my ally. And beet in anything is going to put a smile on most peoples faces.

Happy Valentines day to all my readers! And happy valentines day to my love, thank you for learning Fat Lip for me. Our story is my favourite.

Cake

2 cups bobs redmill 1:1 gluten free baking flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups butter
2/3 cup chocolate
1/2 cup monk fruit*
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups pureed pickled beets (save the left over juice!)
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks 
3 tbsp nut milk

Glaze

1/4 cup pitted dates
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp nut milk
pinch of salt
1-3 tbsp beet juice

– Preheat the oven to 375 degress.
-In a small sauce pan melt the chocolate and 1/4 of the butter together.
-In a stand mixer or with a hand held in a large bowl, cream the remaining butter and monk fruit/maple syrup together. The trick here is to let it really combine for a good five minutes.
-Beat the eggs in one at a time and continue to whip for 1 minute.
-In a separate bowl, combine the flour salt cinnamon and baking soda.
-Slowly add it to the butter/egg mix, 1/4 cup at a time to prevent lumps.
-Mix in the chocolate, beets, and vanilla and blend until well combine.
-Grease and line a 8×8″ pan (or a bundt pan would work well too!)
-Bake for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.

-While cake is cooling, heat the nut milk and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and then mix until the chocolate is melted.
-Once the cake has cooled, cut it in half and spread the chocolate using a knife to make it even. Put the top layer back on and put aside to set.
-To make the glaze, blend the dates, nut milk, salt and melted coconut oil together. If the dates are too hard, you can soak them in hot water first. Slowly add the beet juice until you achieve the pink hue desired.
-Pour over cake and even out with a knife until smooth.

*monk fruit can easily be replaced with sugar, stevia, xylitol or any other sweetener of choice.

Enjoy!

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