Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Girl.......

I have been insanely busy this week with all the stuff of life that takes you away from the kitchen and into a more mundane world. So I have had little time for cooking very creatively. Except that is, for birthday cake........


My gluten free girl has turned 8 and that calls for a celebration!


I have always made her birthday cakes, but since being gluten free there is really no alternative but home made, if you want something that will be unique and memorable to the party. We seem to have months of lead-up to birthdays in our house with our daughter pawing through cake books trying to find the ultimate cake decorations to request. Is it something that all children do? I don't know, but I always dread that she will want something I do not have the skills to produce and am usually ready to suggest and persuade a simple alternative that I can fit around a full time job.


Fortunately, this year she asked simply for a 'cake iced with blue butter icing'. Thank goodness for that! Her birthday has coincided with my starting a new job and the thought of having to stay awake half the night to complete some icing 'masterpiece' was more than I could entertain.


I have to admit that none of the recipe is new - I have posted all aspects before. And because of that I wasn't going to post the cake at all........ But my daughter has insisted that she wants her cake 'on the blog' and as the blog is essentially a catalogue of recipes that she can hold for her future, I was not in a position to refuse.


The cake decoration was not actually planned in any way (other than to have blue butter icing), but as I mixed up the butter and icing sugar, I decided it needed a bit more to it. It was meant to have 8 swirly dots on the top as candle points (yes, I really am that uncreative), but I got a bit 'dot-happy' and carried on adding swirls and spots until the cake was covered.


Actually, I am really quite pleased with it...................... A sort of abstract rose cake!

Fortunately my daughter was thrilled too and it got lots of positive comments from her friends and their parents, so I guess sometimes 'random' works..............


And..................... it tasted delicious. Moist, slightly fudgy chocolate sponge slathered with vanilla butter icing. Always a winner for a birthday................

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Vanilla Butter Icing and Rosy Swirls

Chocolate Cake

Make one batch of chocolate cake mix to bake two 8 inch / 20 cm round chocolate sponges as from this post.

Once baked, allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Vanilla Butter Icing (Frosting)

Make one and a half times the quantity of vanilla butter icing using the ingredients and method from this post.

Remove about a third of the uncoloured icing into a separate small bowl.
Use blue food colouring to colour the larger amount of icing for the main cake covering.
Use a dot of red food colouring to colour the smaller amount of icing pink, ready to pipe into 'rosy' swirls and layer the cake.


Putting it together                

  1. Place the bottom layer of the sponge on a serving plate or cake base and spread a thick layer of pink icing evenly across the top.
  2. Place the second sponge on top to form a sandwich cake.
  3. Using a flat-sided knife or icing spreader, cover the whole cake with a layer of blue icing and smooth it with the side of the spreader until you are happy with its appearance.
  4. Mark random circles lightly in the icing where you want your swirls to be placed. I used a very small cookie cutter and gently pressed into the surface of the icing to make a template.
  5. Put the remaining pink icing in a piping bag or piping syringe with a round nozzle (size 2 to 3). Starting at the outer edge of each marked circle, pipe a spiral, working your way in to the centre.
  6. When the spirals are complete, add some random dots to the cake between the spirals and finish with a sprinkle of edible glitter.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated

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