Sunday, 29 April 2012


So I've been meaning to make a cake, because I love making cakes, and I wanted to make it special, kind of different.  Well, I had fun with this yesterday and decided to make cheeseburger cakes.  I didn't want to make a giant cheeseburger cake, I wanted to make it more lifelike, but couldn't figure out how to get it the right size.  Muffin tins are too small and I swung by the cake store and the only thing they had that was close to the right size were small bundt cake pans, but I didn't want the hole in the middle, it would have been too much work to fill the hole.  I stopped by one of my favourite places (the dollar store) and went to the baking section to see if I could see anything that worked..  Well, I found individual sized pot pie pans in 8 packs (the disposable ones).  It was perfect and I got pumped..

There were several challenges while making the burger.  First, I wanted to patty to overhang the bun, kind of like a real hamburger, so I made a thin cake (like the kind I make roll cakes out of on a cookie sheet with parchment paper).  Next I filled 6 of the pot pie pans 3/4 of the way and plunked it all in the oven and set to work making my fondant and icing.  Fondant takes FOREVER to make from scratch and it a lot of hard work for the hands and arms kneading it constantly, it took almost 30 minutes to get it the right consistency.  Finally, it was time to split the fondant and add colour (The "bun" is coloured with a touch of chocolate brown and a lot of ivory colour, and the cheese was a mix between yellow and orange - which strangely looked perfectly like processed cheese on my first try!).  Each of the "pot pie" cakes were sliced in 2 (top and bottom of bun) and I rolled out the fondant and covered both with butter cream (thin layer) then fondant, topped it off with the hand cut circles for the patty, the "cheese" then red butter cream icing for the "ketchup" and topped it off with the top of the bun where I made little sesame seed like dots of white butter cream for a bit of decoration.  It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I was pretty happy with it!  And it took a really long time!

After the joys of eating the cheeseburger (one burger serves about 3) I definitely need to go out for a bike ride since the weather finally cleared up, and it's chilly but at least it's not raining.  I think I'll take a break from cool cakes for a bit and focus a bit more on my fitness regimen!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bulbous Bread

My oldest daughter has a sesame allergy, but it's an odd one.  She doesn't react to an intact seed, only to the oil of the seed (apparently it has to do with the fact that sesame seeds do not digest and remain whole throughout our systems, so the oi doesn't release.  Apparently the oil is extracted through a cold press process when the make the oil that leaves the proteins intact and therefore is an incredibly concentrated form of her allergen).  This had led us as a family with 3 very young kids to play what I like to call the almost safe Russian roulette method with our bread.  Before her allergy diagnosis, we were using 2 commercially produced breads that "may contain" sesame.  That is because they are packaged on the same lines as products like hamburger buns with sesame garnish. 

Well, I've always meant to try making bread, but I grabbed a recipe this past weekend and went at it.  I still have yet to figure out if the yeast proofed enough before I used it in the recipe, but the results were encouraging, both loaves turned out nicely (one had a nice bulge because I'm apparently unfamiliar with what "shape into a loaf" means).  The result were two gorgeous moist golden brown loaves of bread, though one had a beautiful bulge in it.  A tad dense, but that's probably because either it didn't rise enough or the yeast hadn't quite finished proofing.

It's something I definitely will try again, the bread was somewhat sweet and toasted well, went very well with breakfast jam!  I also learned that i'd love to get one of those stand mixers with the dough hook, because kneeding dough is hard on the arms!

I'm going to try to post again later this week with stories of all my previous cakes.  Hope whoever tried the vanilla cake found it super tasty! More later from my allergic (and messy) kitchen!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

How to ruin a perfectly good workout

So I'm training for a 5km race in September.  I've never run in my life, always kept up the rear and had horrible cardiovascular fitness.  When it comes to getting fit, I HAVE to do it, I have no choice anymore, because I have 3 kids to keep up with a provide a positive example for.  SO as much as possible I head out 3 times a week on my C25k running program, and finished week3 day 1 yesterday.  I feel good about it so far, but oh man was it cold..  I naturally I get home looking for comfort food.  I must resist, I know it's too tempting, it beckons me from its translucent cake carrier sitting on my counter.  No matter which way I turn, I see the maraschino cherry eyes follow me around the room.  Oh what the hell, I'm working on my fitness level at the moment, and cake wont prevent me from getting fit, just losing weight.  I cut a slice.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Ups and Downs and vanilla cake

So many ups and downs in the life of a mother with kids with allergies, and they haven't even started school yet!  I started creating recipes shortly after my oldest daughter turned 1, when the store bought allergy safe cake left me somewhat disappointed style wise and I couldn't imagine serving the plain sheet cake at her 7th or 8th birthday party with all her friends.  I want her cakes to be the envy of the neighbourhood kids.  I don't want anyone to realise that they don't have any dairy, egg in them.  I want to wow people - and so I set out on a mission to create beautiful and safe cakes that EVERYONE at my parties could enjoy. 

There are ups and downs to being a mom of a kid with allergies, for instance, last night I developed my vanilla cake recipe, tried it out for the first time, just to be awoken by my eldest daughter screaming and scratching in bed, covered in hives (except her face/mouth).  I break out the benadryl and put her on anaphylaxis watch, which of course means that my 3 year old is watching me make cake, which results in meltdown when it comes time for her to go back to bed because she realises she can't eat the cake.  So I make a big deal about taking pictures and how much more fun that is (of course - I do find it fun) and secretly all I want to do is take a nice slice of this newly created cake and taste how my handiwork turned out.
dairy, egg, peanut, nut and sesame free vanilla cake, optionally soy free as well

It turned out amazingly!

Best vanilla cake I've ever had, and even my hubby wanted a second slice, which says a lot because he's a chocoholic and looks forlorn every time I say I'm making anything but my decadent chocolate cake.  I feel ready to conquer the world now, because this truly is my recipe.  I sat down and weighed proportions and quantities, sweetness level and moistness and came up with a winning combination the first time!