Thursday, May 16, 2013

When Artists Cook: Happy Birthday Jenn!

Hiya, it's Jenn again from Just Add Water Silly and this month, on May 16th it's my BIRTHDAY!! So what I thought I'd do is throw a little celebration here and make some birthday cupcakes. Of course they have to be delicious and also gluten free but making a successful gluten free baked good from scratch can be daunting. I therefore decided to start with a commercial GF cake mix and tweak it so it was much more rich and glorious. I researched what everyone using a box cake mix does and I combined ALL the ideas into this one recipe! Holy COW, it actually worked, hehehe.
Of course the cupcake also needs icing and because I'm an artist, all the colors have to match and blend together. I think, once a year, you should really indulge and there's no better way of indulging that making Seven Minute Frosting

It's a little bit of work, unlike throwing milk, butter and icing sugar together and beating the heck out of it, but it's SO worth it in the long run. Seven minute frosting is luscious, light and marshmallowy and since it's my birthday and I get to choose, it's also PINK (to match the cupcake papers!)

Most people don't know but I'm actually a girly girl. You'd only really tell because of the gorgeous nail polish I'm always sporting. It's my one vain thing that I allow myself, pretty nails. I don't want to always be worrying about what my hair looks like or if I'm wearing this season's must haves, but my nails make me happy. It's all about the color, I must say. I'm not surprised that nail polish intrigues me, artists love color.
Every year I have a tradition. On my birthday I buy a bunch of bread and go feed the seagulls. This year, since we've moved to Nanaimo, we have ducks in a duck pond right outside the back of the apartment! In the past I've had some really unusual and wonderful interactions with ducks (read about that here) so on my birthday I'm going to go feed those hungry little suckers bags of duck food that I got for Christmas. 

In my pantry I must have two dozen baggies filled to the brim with duck food, just waiting for the warmer weather to come. The ducks are really aggressive with each other and so totally pushy, biting ducky bums and quacking hysterically when someone pushes their way toward the food. I have to be strategic with my placement of food piles if I want the less aggressive ducks not to starve! It's such fun and being with nature makes me supremely happy. (the orange duck feet also totally make me laugh, I think of ducks as God's comic relief.) So, those are my plans for May 16th, cupcakes and ducks. :o) It'll be grand.
Jenn's Best Gluten Free Cake 
From: Jennfer McLean Yield: makes two 5" rounds (or one 9" round) Category: Cakes

Ingredients: 1 GF cake mix (chocolate or white)
1 pkg vanilla pudding mix 4 eggs 1/2 cup almond milk 1/2 cup butter (softened) 
Directions: 1. Add the powder of the cake mix, pudding mix and all other ingredients into the KitchenAid mixer and put on stir for 30 seconds. 2. Turn power up to medium and whip for 2 minutes more. 3. Separate the batter into two halves. 4. Butter the 5 inch round cheesecake pan and add the first half of the batter. 5. Bake @350 degrees for approx. 50 minutes. 6. Take out when dipped toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and remove from pan. 7. After cleaning pan, regrease and put other batter in and cook for requisite time etc. 8. Let both cakes cool, slice and ice as needed. 
  • If making cupcakes, use cupcake liners or batter will stick like crazy!

Seven-Minute Frosting  From: Donna McLean Yield: Covers 9" Round Cake Category: Fillings & Frosting 
Ingredients: 2 Egg Whites 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup, or 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 1/3 
cup water, cold dash salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 
Directions: 1. Place all ingredients except vanilla in double boiler. Beat 1 minute with electric mixer or rotary beater. Cook over boiling water, beating constantly with rotary or electric beater until mixture forms peaks, about 7 minutes. 
2. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat until of spreading consistency. 3. Will frost tops and sides of two 9-inch layers or one 10-inch tube cake.
4. Cover and refrigerate if needed, will harden on top if not covered.
  • will also cover the 5" double tall cake or cupcakes from above recipe.
  • add paste food color to desired shade. 

If you're looking for this week's APR just click here.