This past weekend, a good friend of mine got married. The event was called “My Big Fat Geek Wedding” and was a themed/costume wedding. I was a bridesmaid, dressed as Nausicaa, from Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. If you’ve never heard of or seen this movie, it’s fantastic and a must see. I’m not much into anime, but I adore Miyazaki. Nausicaa is one of my personal favorites. Here she is:
Here’s me! I’ll post a better photo once the professional wedding pics are posted, but I’m the 3rd from the left, in between David Bowie and Hermione Granger. And yes, that is Teto on my shoulder!
Along with being a bridesmaid, I had some added food responsibilities. I was originally supposed to aid in making the main wedding cake, but there was a change of plans and I focused on a few things:
1. Creating edible “Nyan Cat” wedding decorations for the main wedding cake, modeled after the bride and groom’s kitties, Daisy and Mia.
2. Creating a not gross soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free cake modeled after the “Portal 2” cake.
3. Making last minute black bean and sweet potato tamales w/ the groom, the groom’s brother and the groom’s father.
I really wasn’t familiar with the Nyan Cat meme or with Portal 2 the game. I had to google these things, but I worked my hardest to come up with something that the bride would be happy with.
Here are my Nyan Cats. They are vegan, filled w/ chocolate soy pudding and the kitty heads, feet, tails are made of marzipan rather than fondant.
Originally, the cake was supposed to be larger, but a last minute decision was made to scale down the cake and make cupcakes. I think that was a great idea and ultimately I think it worked much better than having a huge tiered cake, but that explains why my Nyan cats are a lil bit big. The grey kitty represents Mia, the black kitty represents Daisy. They were most definitely not perfect, but this was the first time I had ever made anything like this, so I think they turned out okay.
Here is what I am really proud of, the allergy free Portal 2 cake:
Probably not the best photo, but this cake was 100% vegan as well as both gluten and soy free. I had never done a gluten-free, soy-free, vegan cake and was very nervous as to how it would turn out. I imagined it tasting chalky or being too dry….flavorless or too crumbly….I was also really worried about both of the cakes melting in the heat. The wedding was held outdoors on Sunday and unfortunately it was very hot and humid. Both of the cakes held up VERY well though, much better than I expected.
And…the Portal 2 cake was outstanding. I really don’t mean to brag, but this thing tasted insane for being made of nothing. It was very moist and had good flavor and texture. It was a bit more delicate than cakes that contain gluten, but held together and didn’t fall apart when sliced. I was so happy that the people who had food allergies were able to enjoy dessert. A really super sweet guy who did the music made my day by complimenting the cake. He is allergic to gluten and was like yes! I get to have cake! I never get to have cake! Haha, I can identify with him because most of the desserts and cakes at the events I attend are not vegan, unless I make one and bring it 😉 So, I was thrilled to death that people enjoyed the cake. I feel compelled to share the recipe, as this should be everyone’s go-to cake for people with food allergies. I did throw a lil almond milk in there, but I’m sure rice milk would work too and then the cake would be 100% allergy free with no dairy, eggs, soy, gluten or nuts. I call it the:
Portal 2 -Zooey Deschanel- Super Chocolate-Allergy-Free Cake for Everyone
Yields One 9″ cake or a dozen cupcakes, double recipe if making layer cake or bundt.
1 c almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 c non-bleached granulated cane sugar
1/3 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp chocolate extract
1 c all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp non-bleached sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F
Spray a 9″ cake pan w/ non-stick cooking or baking spray, or line a muffin tin w/ liners.
Mix together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, canola oil, extracts and whisk until bubbles start to form or it looks foamy.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: gf-ap-flour, xanthan gum cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the non-dairy milk mixture. Beat until there are no large lumps. Pour your batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 22-24 min, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool for a little while before trying to remove the cake.
Allergy Free Chocolate Frosting
1/2 c Soy Free Earth Balance
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp almond milk or other non-dairy milk or non-dairy creamer
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp chocolate extract
Beat Earth Balance in your Kitchenaid or with a hand held mixer until it’s creamy–this won’t take long. The soy free Earth Balance is much softer than the original kind. Add cocoa and beat until well incorporated. Add powdered sugar, about 1/2 c at a time and continue to beat that in until you’ve reached about 2 1/2 c–adding the non-dairy milk in between scoops of sugar. Lastly, add the vanilla and chocolate extracts and continue to beat for a few additional minutes.
*The chocolate chips used to decorate the cake are Enjoy Life brand. It’s pretty difficult to find soy-free chocolate and they were the only chips I could find that were certified allergy free. It worked out though, because the chips are really delicious. Try them if you need allergy free chocolate!