Last weekend my daughter went to a birthday party, which is often a bit of a trial when I know she can't eat most party food. I have got very good at packing party teas for her and am always very careful to check what food will be on offer so that I can match her pack as closely as possible and she doesn't feel too obvious. She never complains, although I am sure that it must feel rather strange for her at times.
But last weekend I was asked to make the birthday cake for everyone! The birthday girl's mum is fab and is always really thoughtful to make sure that my daughter feels like everyone else. The bonus for me is that I get to make birthday cake, which is something I love to do, because I know my efforts will be enjoyed by lots of people.............
Chocolate was the order of the day, so I made a favourite chocolate sponge with delicious vanilla butter icing and decorated it with chocolate Kisses and my favourite sprinkles - Magic Sparkles
The Kisses are American - made by Hersheys and always look fantastic on special cakes. You can use lots of them or a few of them, but either way, the milk chocolate ones are gluten free! In the UK, you can buy them in Asda.
My favourite Magic Sparkles always add a really magical touch to cakes and never fail to impress, especially when they catch the light and sparkle like lots of tiny diamonds. Kids and grown ups love them and feel really special when they find them on their cake.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to eat any of the cake (it wasn't mine to eat), but I was very naughty and made a couple of cupcakes from the mixture before I baked it................ All in the name of quality assurance...... really! The sponge was really moist, the icing was really vanillary and overall, the cake was REALLY chocolaty. My sort of cake................ I hope the kids enjoyed it!
Chocolate Sponge (makes two large 9 inch round sponges)280g Alchemist flour mix A (from this post), or a commercial gluten free blend
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons GF baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum (1/2 teaspoon less if using commercial blend with xanthan added)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
115 ml hot water
1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
160g unsalted butter (room temperature)
430g caster sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
160g ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4. Base-line two 9 inch round cake tins with baking paper (or use smaller tins and some cupcakes cases).
- In a medium sized bowl, weigh, sift and mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, weigh the cocoa powder, sifting to remove any lumps. Gradually add the hot water a little at a time, stirring to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Combine and stir the milk and vinegar in a jug and leave to stand.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until light, fluffy and pale in colour.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring they are well mixed.
- Add the vanilla extract and cocoa paste and beat thoroughly.
- Using a large spoon or spatula, fold in the ground almonds until fully mixed.
- Gently fold in the flour mix alternately with the milk-vinegar mixture about a third at a time, ensuring all ingredients are JUST combined. It is important not to over mix.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the cake tins and smooth down the tops. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the tops are soft and spring back.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
Vanilla Butter Icing120g unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
approx. 400-450g icing sugar (sifted)
almond or rice milk (approximately 3 tablespoons) or cows milk
Decoration - 1 bag of Hersheys Milk Chocolate Kisses and sprinkles as you wish.
- Beat the butter until smooth.
- Gradually add and beat in the icing sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. You may wish to alternate with milk a little at a time as in 3 below.
- Add the milk a little at a time to achieve desired consistency.
- If the icing appears too stiff, add a little extra milk to achieve the desired spreading consistency, or beat in a little extra icing sugar if too soft.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated.