Friday, 12 April 2013

40th Birthday Cake - Gluten Free

One of my besties recently turned 40. She shares similar tastes as myself so I offered to do her birthday cake for the event. She is gluten free, mainly dairy-free and tries to be sugar-free where possible. I couldn't achieve the avoidance of all that but she did suggest a wonderful (and I mean, this was GORGEOUS) orange and almond cake recipe. Unfortunately this recipe was so moist I had a bit of a nightmare trying to make it work for a stacked and iced cake, but boy, was it yummo.

I used this Recipe, although, I nearly had a heart attack at the shop counter when the assistant told me the price of almond meal and agave syrup! Agave is VERY sweet, it tastes like liquid toffee. The cakes sunk a whole heap when removed from the oven (before our eyes!) so I went to bed that night concerned I wouldn't have any cakes suitable at all to ice the next day. We placed them in front of the heatpump to try and dry them out a little in the morning. They were SO heavy and moist that I had to be VERY careful moving them as they felt like they might break in half. In desperation, I got permission to use a cream cheese icing filling for between the cakes (no one was the wiser when it all came pouring out from being in the sunken middles on cutting it, lol).

I piped with a large nozzle, a barrier around the outside of the bottom layer of cake of the cream cheese filling. Left it for 20 mins then poured in the rest of the filling. This prevented the filling all seeping out the sides when I added the top layer cake. I refrigerated the filled cakes for 30 mins, before removing and covering all over with the filling icing (for the fondant to stick to).
 I decorated a cake board with white fondant (rolled out as below). Then I placed the filled cakes on top.

 I found this decorated cake idea online and thought it was cute to use as a platform. I used food dye to colour the fondant a nice blue and rolled it out to a size that would cover the entire cake. I dusted the bench with icing sugar (lots) to prevent sticking. You have to work quickly or it can dry out quickly. Once it was the right size, I rollled the fondant over a rolling pin and laced over the still wet icing cover for it to stick to. I pulled the icing gently out and smoothed it back in to the cake so it sat flush.

At this point you can use a smoother to smooth out the fondant, after you've cut away the excess fondant from around the base with a very sharp knife.

 I had already in advance, made some fondant flowers and allowed them to harden for a few days.
These were cut out using a tiny flower cutter then I indented a centre for piping later with royal icing, using a wooden skewer end.

Royal icing recipes are available online. I piped the flower centres with it as it dries rock hard.

I made fondant numbers in advance by rolling out the fondant thickly and using cookie cutters. Then I piped on the detail with royal icing and stuck toothpicks in the bottoms and left them to set. They stood up nicely in the cake.
Add a matching ribbon and bow. I made the bow separately to make it sit nicely (by sewing it through the back to hold it together) and attached it with a sterilised pin which I removed prior to cutting the cake. I then added a matching ribbon round the cake board (see pic below).
I used royal icing as glue for attaching the flowers to the cake.
In advance, I made the name with royal icing and left to set hard. I did this by printing out a font in Word and placing it under wax paper, then piping the name over the top in icing. The letters popped off the wax really easily once dry.

I used royal icing to attach the letters to the cake board.

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