Friday, 23 September 2011

Time for Cake...

Alan blowing out the candles with my niece Symphonie looking on

Alan celebrated his birthday a couple of weeks ago and I had decided to get him a cake.  The local supermarket doesn’t have much choice of wheat free cakes so I went to the health food shop instead who had a larger selection, but nothing that visually looked like a ‘celebration cake’.  I ended up getting a Crimbles stem ginger cake, It didn’t look like a birthday cake so I glamed it up a bit and decorate it with some icing.  Not having done this before I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and got the ‘ready to roll’ variety.


What I didn’t bargain for was how much I would enjoy decorating the cake.  I guess it was about being creative, so with the icing, a bit of imagination and colour, anything is possible!
I got some lettering, hearts, sprinkles and got to work.  I even made a mini version of Alan reading his favourite book....the Bible.  I was so surprised at how easy it was and how effective it can be...I know I'm by no means an expert now!.  I improvised a bit and used marmalade to stick the icing but it added a lovely taste to the stem ginger pieces in the cake, in fact it tasted delicious and if you get a chance you should check out some of Mrs Crimbles products. They have also got gluten free recipes.
Taking a stroll down memory lane I thought about growing up as a child and the baking my mum would do...... Mum would bake her famous Fruit Cakes - a moist to the touch cake with flavours that complimented each other in a taste explosion in your mouth.  She baked when we were little and carried on up until around 2000 when dementia began to take hold.  She would put all the ingredients together effortlessly without recipes, holding the secrets in her head.  The cakes would come out perfectly all the time. 
We would argue as kids who would get the bowl or the spoon that that she used to mixed the ingredients as you knew this would taste equally divine, the bowl was the preferred option.  In those days we didn’t have problems with salmonella poisoning or we never heard about it.  I remember us getting excited with anticipation as the baking smells wafted through the sun drenched kitchen, the exotic smells of the nutmeg, mixed spices, vanilla essence and the wine soaked fruit that made the cake so moist.  We longed for it to be cooked and knew mum would let us taste a slice of the not-yet-cooled cake.  When she wasn’t baking cakes she made cupcakes, buns, breads, pies, you name it she could put her hand to it.  When I left home I tried to continue the baking family tradition, but as life took over, the tradition dwindled.  Every now and then I feel the urge to bake and have my sultanas and raisins pre-soaked in wine waiting....

I guess now that I can no longer eat wheat I will experiment with the other flour products you can get, and try out some of the recipes from my book, maybe a cake from scratch is due.....
My son’s birthday is coming up and I’ve brought some supplies to have a go with the baking and decorating, so then I’ll be able to taste the cake as well, will let you know how I get on!

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