21 September 2011

Gluten and Dairy Free Almond Cake!

Hey! Someone had a birthday! It was my mom and, as the title of this post may lead you to believe, she can not have gluten or dairy. While a little more difficult, it's not impossible. In fact, I love baking for my mom because it gives me a challenge.

So I made an almond flavored cake with coffee flavored buttercream. Mmmmm. Delicious. I mixed the gluten free flour myself and it contained white rice flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, almond meal, and flax seed. I found the mixture recipe in a vegan cookie book I own. It worked very well as a cake flour. The cake itself was very delicate but I think that had to do more with the fact that there were no eggs in the cake. Mom can't eat eggs, either. 

Instead of eggs I used a combination of applesauce and baking powder. It works well enough, and makes it very moist, but does anyone have any other suggestions? I know that vegan egg substitutions are mixtures of starches but I'm not sure which ones and what the ratios are... help a girl out?

Coffee is not my favorite flavor, which surprises people because I'm a barista, but this frosting was amazing. I brewed some ridiculously strong instant coffee and used it for the liquid content of the buttercream. Seriously, this coffee smelt burnt and was undoubtedly disgusting but combined with enough sugar all was well. It's one of my favorite frosting flavors I've ever made.
As for the piping pattern I just thought it might be a fun challenge (it was) and something my mom would like (she did.) I wish the pictures were better but they were not taken with my camera so it's hard to see some of it. It's not perfect but I'm very happy with the colors, although I was having a little trouble with Wilton colors not blending well with the vegan buttercream. I've heard that Wilton does that with real buttercream too sometimes so I may start replacing my colors with other brands as they run out.

Oh, and see the cursive up there? I've never done much cursive piping before so I gave it a try. It's good to know and now that I'm decorating cakes for work I should learn how to do it right? What you see in the pictures was probably my 5th try. I had to wipe away buttercream so many times. But I got it eventually. At least enough to be legible. That has to count for something.


18 September 2011

More bread! Also, a cake that must've been made in Whoville.

I love taking a baking class. When I don't have the time to bake at home I can feel better about it knowing that I have a whole day each week when I get to bake. Not to mention I have a huge kitchen and all the right tools to bake with.

Here's what my class group and I made the other day:

Banana nut muffins! They were delicious, by the way. All those other baked goods I didn't make, though. They're all made by the students and sold to more students. It's a pretty neat set up because since we're just learning and we're making so many the baked products are sold at very decent prices.

We also sell these for $0.25 a roll. Seriously, one batch made five or six dozen.

So many little rolls. Unfortunately, these did not puff up as much as I would have liked. I'm not sure exactly what happened, I was talking with the chef (teacher) when my group was doing the actual mixing, but there was talk about there not being enough flour. I asked our chef about it and yeup; not enough flour. They didn't have enough to hold together the structure just right. See how I'm learning?

Oh, and speaking of learning. I am having a blast at my cake decorating job! I don't think I've mentioned it here in the blog, but I have two jobs right now and one is decorating ice cream cakes at Baskin Robbins. It's amazing. I pretty much can do what I want on the cakes. I also love it because I can decorate cakes without having to make and eat so much cake. Here's one that I did the other day.

I would very much like to apologize for the quality of this photo; it was taken with my phone. Obviously I had a lot of fun with this cake. I swear I made a classier looking cake later, I just didn't get a picture. I just adored the look of the "paint" streaks in some photos they had and I wanted to give it a try. For a finishing touch I could not resist the little sugar star on a spring. Well, I made it have a spring by wrapping the wire around a pen. It gives it a fun little pop!

Life is good. Really good.


07 September 2011

Busy little bees

School has begun, friends. I've been pretty busy that starting but I just wanted to share what I did in class yesterday.

Mmm.... French baguettes. It was the first time I'd ever made bread and I'm really excited about it. They're all different colors because each one has a different egg wash, or lack thereof. The furthest on the left was a whole egg wash, the next had no wash, next was just whites, and the last one was washed with yolk.

One of the things I like best about baking is that you can making something out of almost nothing. Those loaves right there have four ingredients. Four.

I also made sandwich bread, but in all the excitement (and the ending of class) I forgot to take pictures of that.

Anyway, once my schedule gets a little more set I'll be able to figure out a regular time to blog. Get ready for a lot of class pictures, too.