Sunday 29 April 2007

A very vampire birthday

Alarm sounds!

Blogosphere to Earth, Blogosphere to Earth! We have an intruder.

Yes, I have arrived in the blogosphere feeling a little tentative and out of my comfort zone! I am here to record and share my veggie food experiences. My experiences so far with the blogging software make me fear it might be a bumpy ride but stick with me and you just might like it. This is the pic that I aim to get on my banner header once I can work out how to function in the blogosphere.

Yesterday I made a cake for my partner (E)'s birthday lunch with my family. When I asked what he wanted he asked for a vampire cake. Sounded easy as I always see scary cakes in books and the net but suddenly all vampire cakes disappeared from sight. Even just a picture of a easy vampire face wasn't easy to find. So I took inspiration from a few images and came up with something I think is a decent stab at it. And my family all thought it looked just like E :-)

My other challenge is that my little niece has been recently diagosed with coeliacs disease so I wanted to try a gluten-free chocolate cake for her (little suspecting she would sleep through the whole birthday cake ritual - bless!).

So the recipe I used was this one (I am still grappling with getting my head around copyright issues with recipes but I am under the impression I can reproduce a recipe or at least my version if I attribute it).

Heavenly Chocolate Cake
Adapted from recipes sent by Beverly Messner to:

1 cup soy flour
¾ cup 100% corn flour (cornstarch)
1 ¼ teaspoon GF baking soda
½ cup cocoa
1 ¼ cups sugar
150g melted butter (1 1/3 sticks or 2/3 cups)
1 tablespoon GF white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 mashed banana
2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Grease two 20cm round sandwich cake pans and line bases with baking paper.

Sift flours, soda, cocoa and sugar into a large bowl and add butter, vinegar and milk. Beat with electric beater on low speed 1 minute, add eggs, banana and jam and beat on medium speed for two minutes.

Pour cake mix into prepared pans. Bake in moderate oven for 30 - 45 minutes or until cooked. Stand cakes in pans 5 minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool. Sandwich cakes together with whipped cream.


I decided I wanted to put more batter into one cake tin to make one main high cake and use a smaller (flatter?) cake for decoration. So I used the second cake to cut out scary pointed ears and a couple of bats because vampires always have their spooky assistants. The cake was easy to cut pieces out of and made a nice flat surface for decorating.

Most of the decoration is icing and gluten-free except the evil red gluten eyes (jaffas). I have a trusty fine icing nozzle (and make my own paper icing bags) which is great for doing strands of hair, outlining and filling the eyes and doing the other lines. Apart from my Gluten Free niece, everyone else loved it and the cake tasted great! The bats were useful for putting candles on the cake without ruining the face. The kids loved getting ears, bats or eyes to eat to feel like they had a special part. So all in all a success!

Update August 2009: I made this cake again but with regular low fat milk (instead of evaporated milk) and marmalade (instead of raspberry jam) and it worked well - revised version can be found in post on my Superhero Kapow Cake.
On the Stereo:The Trip - Various Artists: curated by Jarvis Cocker & Steve Mackey

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