Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Challenge

This past year has rushed by, and I'm not even sure where it went. I've been in Washington the majority of the year, so I've gone through a blur of new housemates and friends, school, exploring Seattle, and soul-searching. All good stuff, right?

And baking. So much baking.

There was a time when I preferred cooking to baking, but since going gluten-free, I've come to love playing around with my ingredients. I find it almost impossible to follow a recipe, even my own, without changing something around. Why make something the exact same way twice when you could do something different each time?

Today, I've become a slave to my love of baked goods, mixing gluten-free flours with abandon and experimenting like a crazy woman in the kitchen. If a few days go by without being able to bake, I start getting antsy. Baking has become my meditation, something I can do when my mind starts whirling. In the kitchen, my focus narrows, and I can concentrate on using the perfect amount of almond flour, the correct type of starch, debating whether to go with xanthan gum or flaxseed meal. The kitchen is perhaps the only place where I can truly be in the moment.

All this is simply a prelude to telling you two exciting tidbits of news in my life. They both involve baking:
  1. I'm writing a cookbook. If you follow me on Facebook, you probably already know this, but if not, here's the short story. First, I fell in love with the blog, Real Sustenance, written by Brittany Angell. Then, Brittany and I connected on Facebook. We started talking and realized how confusing all the gluten-free flours still are, even to those of us who bake with them daily. So we got this little idea that got bigger and bigger, and the next thing we knew we had turned into mad scientists... Gluten-free mad scientists of course. Of course there's more to it than that, but the bottom line is: we want to learn everything there is to know about all the gluten-free flours, and package all the information up in a beautiful cookbook to share with you. No more googling every time you want to figure out how to substitute one flour for another. Just look it up in your handy dandy Guide to Gluten-Free Flours.
  2. On June 28th, I'll be turning 29. The last year of my twenties! (Eek?) 28 has been a blast, and I'm determined 29 will only be better, but I'm asking you for help to start it off on the right foot. You see, I'm on a quest to come up with the perfect birthday cake. A gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free birthday cake. So here's the challenge: 
Create a fabulous cake by June 25th. I'll be attempting to make a gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free cake, but your cake doesn't have to fall within those guidelines. It simply has to be gluten-free. The rest is up to you. On June 28th, I'll post a roundup of all the entries, with links to your posts (if you have a blog).

Bloggers: E-mail the link to your Gluten-Free Birthday Cake post to me at  iris(at)thedailydietribe(dot)com. Include a photo that you would like to accompany the link. Please link back to this post to help spread the word.

Don't have a blog? You can still join in! Email your recipe to iris(at)thedailydietribe(dot)com along with a photo if you have one. Tell your friends on Facebook to check out your recipe on June 28th!

Deadline: Please e-mail me no later than June 25th. On my birthday (Tuesday, June 28th), I will post a roundup of all the cakes we've come up with.

Sound good? Any questions? Ready, set, go!  


Tasty Eats At Home said...

Woohoo on so many fronts! First, a book? How exciting! And the last year of your 20s? Congrats - I think I finally decided I was an adult for real once I turned 29. I mean, I already accomplished adult things - got married, had a good career going, finished college, that kind of stuff, but I felt finally like I started to know who I was around that time. Your 30s will be great too.
And the final woohoo - an excuse to make cake! I'm definitely going to try my hand at this!

Iris said...

Thanks Alta! I'm definitely at that age where I "should" be settling down, getting married, etc. But once I let go of the "should" and started to follow my own path, everything started coming together perfectly. :)

I'm so glad you're joining in on the cake challenge. I love your desserts!

Ricki said...

It's probably not necessary for me to say this, but I LOVE cake ;) Coincidentally, my dad's 90th birthday is on JUNE 25th, so I am going to be eating a lot of cake between now and then. Can't wait to join this challenge.

And once again, congrats on the book! Looking forward to when you two finally let some people test recipes (hint, hint) :D

hunterslyonesse said...

*rubbing hands together* Perfect challenge for what I've had rambling around in my head! mwahahahahahah!

Ashley Wakefield said...

Woo hoo! I can't wait for your book! I've been cooking gluten free (and dairy, soy, corn, sugar free) for a little over a year now due to intolerant issues. I used to use primarily almond flour for my flour. Now I have found out I can't have nuts or seeds (or anything else with tyramines in them). So it will be a challenge figuring out a recipe, but one I am excited for! I hope I have time!

I love your blog so much! I am always anxiously (and excitedly) awaiting your next post! You do a fantastic job with recipes, talking about all the other issues that go along with eating with restrictions and feelings about food in general. Keep up the great work!


Kelly said...

Happy almost birthday! And congrats to you guys on your book! I know a really awesome book designer if you need one ;-) Also, I may have just the recipe for your challenge—yay! Love, Kelly

Brittany said...

You know how terribly excited I am for this :) (and the book too) I have been thinking about the perfect cake for well months.. :)

And Kelly.. We might just be in touch :)


Iris said...

Ricki, recipes are coming soon! I promise! We gave ourselves a deadline of June 10th, but hopefully we'll be sending some recipes out this week.

Debi, I knew I could count on you!

Ashley, thank you so much for such a sweet comment! I had to take nuts out of my diet for a while too (also because of the amines), but I've recently been able to add them back in, and have been using a lot of almond flour. But I'm hoping to come up with a nut-free cake recipe this month since I know many of my readers have problems with nuts. Hopefully I'll come up with something that will work for you!

Kelly, you're awesome! Thanks!

Britt, you had me at hello. :)

Amy said...

I'm looking forward to all the different recipes. I am trying so hard to change my eating, but I am having such a hard time committing. How do you come up with recipes? How do you know how to use alternative flours?

Amy said...

Also, I'd love to test recipes!

Iris said...

Amy, that's a great question with a long answer! I'm going to have to think on that first... But if you can send me an e-mail, I'll add you to our list of recipe testers. :)

gfe--gluten free easily said...

I agree with Alta ... so much news and good stuff here, Iris! Yes, I knew about your upcoming book ;-) but am super excited for you both and us, too, your readers. :-)

In your twenties, you are still so young, but you are wise already and the older you get, the more you learn to focus on the important stuff and let the other stuff go. It's all good as the saying goes! ;-)

A birthday cake challenge! I think you mentioned this possibility a good while ago. I will do my best to participate and gf/df/rsf sounds perfect to me!


Barb said...

That's so amazing! Your very own cookbook. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be adding it to my bookshelf for sure.

Zoe said...

Happy (early) birthday, Iris! I think I'm up to this challenge, since June is a birthday month in my family and not to mention Father's Day. :) I'll see what I can come up with!

Qi said...

OH MY GOD! We have the same birthday! I turn 18 on 28 June! Love your blog immensely! :D And congrats on the book :D That's really cool haha

Qi Ting @ Misadventures of Fat free Baking said...

OH MY GOD! My birthday's on 28 June too! haha Love your blog and congrats on the cookbook! :D

glutenfreespinner said...

Congrats on the upcoming book! What a great plan and a must for anyone living gluten free. Best of Luck!

Hmmmm, birthday cake contest...who doesn't love birthday cake? I might have to find the time for that one. : >

Megan said...

I'm super excited for this! I turn 30 in early September, and now I know I'll have the perfect cake recipe in hand. Now to find someone to make it for me.....


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