I am not a big cake baker because cakes are too much dessert for just Kay and myself, and it’s always tricky arranging Swiss expat schedules to help finish a cake off. (Surprising, no?)
Gluten free baking is also tricky because flour, baking, rising… all that acts differently without gluten, so I was a bit afraid to attempt my first cake. But I knew for my Swiss citizenship party that I wanted to make a real, chocolate cake!
I decided to make Blackbird Bakery’s chocolate cake and frosting, and as you can see, it did turn out OK. (I made a little mistake, so it wasn’t perfect.)
Most of the recipes in this book are pretty complicated and the chocolate cake had about seven different flours in it. This is by far the most complicated cake I had ever made and i was really nervous that the whole thing was going to turn out poorly.It had been over a year since I had made a real gluten cake and since then I had gotten rid of most of our cake pans in the de-glutening, so I had to buy another spring-form pan. I baked two pans of cake, although I could have left them in the oven even a little longer, because they were still a bit gooey in the middle when I cut them in half the next day.
The frosting is where I made my mistake… we don’t have cornstarch syrup in Switzerland, so I tried to substitute sugar and water, but I didn’t dissolve the sugar properly into the water before mixing it in the frosting because Kay and I were both in the kitchen trying to finish a million and one things the night before the party. Failing to do that made the final frosting a little crunchy from the sugar, which was a shame because I took so much care with all the other steps of the frosting.
It was still very yummy though and very chocolatey! This cake is brushed with chocolate liquor before frosting and it gave it a definite alcohol flavour. I loved it!
The party was a success and it was great showing off all the gluten free food we made for the night. We also had bite-size cordon bleu, bacon wrapped potatoes and dates, veggies with hummus and dill dip, guacamole and tortilla chips, dried meat, coconut and chocolate date balls, Kay made his gluten free tiramisu, and plenty to drink.
The next day, Kay and I were invited to his parent’s house for a lunch with some Brazilians from out of town who had attended our wedding. I told Kay’s father I could bring a gluten free dessert, which he was happy to accept because he always struggles coming up with gluten free desserts for me. I decided to try out Blackbird Bakery’s German chocolate cake with my own pecan coconut frosting.
I cut the cake recipe in half since it really called for three pans and I thought the final cake would be too tall for my cake carrying case, so I made a half recipe in one spring form pan and then cut that in half to frost.
On this cake I didn’t make any mistakes and it turned out pretty well. Success! Everyone thought it was really tasty and Kay has been going nuts for the pecan frosting ever since then. It is his favourite frosting of mine. 🙂
I was really pleased with my cakes. Even if I made a few mistakes, they turned out as well as my normal cakes would, or were even prettier in some cases.
Life gluten free is not the end of the world and even if I cannot have the office birthday cake, they don’t know how much of that chocolate cake I devoured every evening as we finished the cake after the party. It was so rich that even with 20 guests, we still had half of the four layer cake leftover afterward!