Yesterday, we made red velvet cakes, two of them, one for Z (allergen-free) and one for us (the regular one). When I asked S what kind of cake she wants for her TQ party, she picked red velvet, so red velvet it is. We didn’t really have enough red food coloring, so we didn’t use as much as directed in the recipe. I didn’t feel too good about using the coloring, and we had gone to the co-op to look for natural red food coloring after tennis. They didn’t have any. We went to Toucan. They didn’t have any either. So we made our red velvet red with whatever red food coloring we had, and for Z, I kept his cake chocolate. I’m guessing that if I want the natural red food coloring, I’d have to buy it online.
The recipe I used for Z’s red velvet cake is from Cybele Pascal’s Allergen Free Baker’s Handbook.
I love her recipes, and this one was pretty easy to make too. And unlike many other allergen free recipes, her baked goods actually taste good! She even has the frosting recipe, which I have been finding hard to find for allergen free ones. I’m thinking of buying her book instead of checking it out of the library again and again. This is one book I can really use and refer to long term.
For our red velvet cake, I used the recipe from Joy of Baking though we didn’t use her frosting recipe because we didn’t have the heavy cream she specified. So S just made the cream cheese frosting from some other random recipe. We had discussed the design for this cake a while back. Inadvertently, I realized that I suddenly have the ability to do Arabic calligraphy, and so I tried it out on paper. It is pretty good if I do say so myself. I have tried before in the past to do Arabic calligraphy, but they never turned out. This time, I guess I have been looking at some for quite some time and the connections just sparked in my brain and subhanallah, I was able to come up with a decent calligraphic representation of Taleem Al Quran at least. It wasn’t done with calligraphy pen, but it was a start.
I had discussed with S the design for her cake, and so I started decorating the cake yesterday. The thing that made me the most nervous was the calligraphy part, because I have never done this before in cake icing. I practiced on the practice board, and subhanallah, it wasn’t too bad for starters. I thought I was going to do worse than that! Though I do think I did better on the practice board than on the cake. If it was a sheet cake it would have been somewhat easier.
The only thing that I wasn’t too happy about is the smoothness of the frosted cake. I could have done better, but we were short on frosting, so I had to make do. It was close to dinner time too, so there was rushing, and cleaning up to do. This is one thing I don’t like about cake decorating. I have to schedule it way in advance so it doesn’t run into lunch and dinner time. Anyway, we ended up with two frosted red velvet cakes yesterday. I have to make more frosting for Z’s cake in order to pipe some decorations on it, though I most probably will not color any of it. So it’ll be white, or at the most chocolate, from cocoa. For S’ cake, we need to add the royal icing flowers on it.
Z didn’t know we were making a cake for him. When I told him, he looked at me with the most joyous expression there is. His expressions have always been intense since he was a baby, especially since he has a speech delay. He conveys a lot through his expressions. A slow but sure smile literally grew on his face, and his eyes lit up, and you could just see the delight radiating from his expression. He kept on asking for the cake though after that and I had to tell him that it’s for tomorrow.
But since we’re celebrating S starting Taleem Quran, and since I am also making a cake for Z, I thought I’d make it an occasion for him too. I had wanted to make a cake for him when he graduated potty training, but now, I think, I’ll celebrate his Quran Arabic reading, so as to further motivate him, and to make it also in alignment with celebrating S’ Taleem Quran. I’m thinking of writing some Arabic words on his cake and maybe have him read them. That is today’s project, yet to be done.