Friday, August 20, 2010

Has it been a year already?

As September approaches, so does the little man’s first birthday. Since so many people want to see the new house and, of course, love the little guy, we decided to have a party. And a bigger party than we would usually have for such an occasion. How does a newly organic mommy manage to feed so many guests and (most importantly) her son organically on a budget? Well, I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I will let you know once it’s all over.

What I do have the answer to is CAKE! I have spent more hours than I care to admit researching this issue. I want a healthier cake, but I also want it to taste really, really good. I want this to be a happy occasion for all involved – birthday boy, guests, and later into the evening, parents. The later into the evening is referring to not having to take care of a sick, vomiting little boy after preparing for and hosting a birthday party all day. I also have to consider his lactose intolerance and a slight reaction to bananas, plus his likes and dislikes.

Here is the recipe that I have decided to use:

Pumpkin Apple Harvest Cake
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen

1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
 2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Whipped cream or confectioners’ sugar for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare an 8-inch round cake pan by greasing and flouring it.

2. Combine pumpkin, eggs, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, and salt, stirring to combine. Add apples and nuts, stirring again. Pour mixture into prepared pan (smooth it out as the pumpkin makes it bake in whatever shape it goes in there with).

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

4. Cool the cake, still in the pan, on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack, remove pan, and cool cake completely.

5. When ready to serve, turn cake on to a pretty plate and top with whipped cream or confectioners’ sugar, if desired, or serve plain.

Any ingredient that can be organic will be. I am going to omit the nuts. I am not sure if my son will have a reaction and I don’t love them, so adios! I am also going to purchase a cake pan in the shape of the number “1” to make it cuter and less obvious that it’s not a traditional birthday cake.

Now, the next question – frosting? Once again, I have spent hours upon hours trying to find a recipe. I feel that this cake just screams for a cream cheese frosting, but immediately threw that idea out. Then, I thought that I would do a simple powdered sugar and water glaze and just give up the idea of the frosting covered baby pictures. But I don’t want to have to compromise. Just because the little guy isn’t tolerant of milk doesn’t mean that he should have to give up the experience of fun with frosting. So, I began my research again. I found that a lot of people recommend prepared store bought frosting that doesn’t contain any milk. I would prefer to skip the preservatives and make my own. I have it narrowed down to two recipes, and I probably won’t make up my mind until I have to go shopping for the ingredients. Here they are:

Frosting #1

This icing is lighter than a frosting, but a bit richer than a simple glaze. Perfect for denser cakes or muffins, this is an easy recipe that only takes minutes to make.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup plain unsweetened soy yogurt
1 T. hot water
1 t. vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, combine the confectioners’ sugar, soy yogurt, hot water and vanilla extract, beating until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Icing can be used chilled slightly or immediately.

Frosting #2

This frosting is, quite literally, the icing on the cake! It is really important to make sure that your soy margarine is cold when you start mixing and that you do not add the vinegar and vanilla until the powdered sugar and margarine are well combined. If the soy margarine is too warm or the vinegar is added at the beginning of mixing, the margarine will "separate," and you'll have less a frosting and more a soupy sloppy sweet sauce. This recipe is really simple to make; you just have to follow it!
Makes about 2 cups frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
1 ¾ cups confectioners sugar
6 T. dairy-free soy margarine, such as Willow Run
2 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on low speed, cream the powdered sugar with the soy margarine, adjusting the speed up to high once the powdered sugar is incorporated into the margarine. Add the cider vinegar and vanilla extract, and continue to mix on high speed until frosting holds stiff peaks. Store in a covered dish or container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
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1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to read this and also have a reference for the recipes you were going to try. Can't wait to hear the official reviews:)