Let Me Eat Cake

Cake has been something of an obsession for me lately. There's birthday cake, there's wedding cake, and just-because-it's-Monday cake. All those things have been on my mind, but truthfully, the wedding cake weighs the most heavily on my mind.

I want a "traditional" wedding cake - you know, the kind with great big tiers. The kind that is on display for its own sake. I do not want cupcakes. And I'm really not interested in having lots of different cakes. The only thing is, since I'm planning this wedding from the other side of the country, it's really difficult when you add in the most important part - the cake has to be gluten-free.

One caterer suggested to my mother that the top tier could be gluten free. What?! No matter how careful they are to prevent cross-contamination, no matter how much icing and cardboard and who-knows-what else is between a regular cake and a gluten-free cake, there's no way I would be comfortable with that.

Similarly, there aren't many dedicated gluten-free bakeries in the area where we're getting married. (Did you know that flour can stay in the air for 24 hours?) The closest dedicated gf bakery that I know of is about 50 miles away from where we're tying the knot. And I don't even know if they would make a wedding cake. I know I'm just getting this whole planning thing really started, and I'm sure we'll work this thing out, but it's really getting to me.

So of course, I've launched into baking cakes at every opportunity. Right now, there's no way I can think of to safely bake my wedding cake...besides the stress and construction issues, my gf kitchen is in Utah and the wedding will be in Virginia. But still.

I've made this recipe twice now, and am quite growing to love it. (Mike likes it too.) Of course, I can't help having my own twist - a tablespoon of psyllium husk instead of gums, and no Cointreau because I don't have any on hand. The first time, it worked like a dream. I made cake donuts, cupcakes, and an eight-inch cake.

Using the cake donuts, I also made some divine raspberry shortcake with the last of the raspberries in the freezer from last year's farmer's market and homemade whipped cream:

Then the cake became tiramisu:

The second time around, I made cake donuts and one nine-inch cake. I also made the lemon cream called for in the recipe. For some reason, the donuts didn't do so well...I'm suspecting that I overfilled the tins and maybe didn't bake them long enough. Anyways, those became cake pops (crumbs mixed with icing and dipped in melted chocolate):

And the cake became what we're affectionately calling "Ugly Cake." It has the lemon cream, and a layer of the chocolate. I find the lemon cream too tart on its own, but the chocolate balances it out nicely.  It's ugly because it's not exactly the most picturesque cake I've ever made: 

Am I any closer to a wedding cake? Not really. All I know is that if a caterer or baker doesn't have something that wows me, I want to request they use this recipe. Oh, and if I really am going to bake my own wedding cake, it better not look like that ugly cake. I guess I'll go back in the kitchen and keep practicing.

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