Sunday, July 13, 2014
Not for me of course, I have long believed that having a birthday entitles one to having a full weekend celebration, but this was the very first birthday for my little one. And I cooked up a storm.
The most complicated thing I made the whole weekend, was the birthday cake. I wanted to make it gluten-free, so that my father would be able to join in the festivities. I also had a mini-crisis in which I decided my baby was way too little for chocolate. In the end, I baked this lemon layer cake from Annalise Roberts* with some minor adjustments.
1. I did not make homemade lemon curd. I am lucky I managed to bake a cake, the lemon curd was beyond me. I bought and used one whole jar of Dickinson's Lemond Curd.
2. I made Ina Garten's cream cheese icing because I'm not really a buttercream person. The recipe is here. I substituted lemon extract for the vanilla extract and vanilla extract for the almond extract. It was heavenly.
Now, I may be a decent baker, but I am generally not a cake baker and despite my three cake stands, I own nearly nothing in the way of cake paraphernalia. No piping bag, no offset spatula, nothing. So what you see above was achieved through hyperventilation, hand-wringing, a knife, some water and a ziploc bag.
This particular layer cake required cutting the layers in half, so I did that with a bread knife, holding my breath, while my father said "up, down, no - hold steady".
Gluten-free cakes are even crummier than regular cakes, so I did a crumb coat. I popped it back in the fridge, then pulled it for a final layer of frosting. It was a warm day so whenever things got a bit too squishy I popped everything back in the fridge and walked away. I used a knife wet with a titch of water to smooth the coat of icing, then piped on the dots with a ziploc baggie. High class I tell you, high class.
Absolutely everyone thought the cake was ridiculously delicious, except the birthday boy, who spat out any morsel of cake or frosting that we managed to sneak past his lips. It wasn't exactly the reaction a mother could hope for, but I'm sure by next year he will be more into the whole idea of cake.
*I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog that her baking recipes are divine - her cookbook is Gluten-Free Baking Classics and I highly recommend it if you do any amount of gluten-free baking.