This month our daughter is going to be nine. Recently, she received an early present, a book from American Girl called "Micro Mini's." The book kit will allow you to construct little foam, wood and bead furniture and accessories. As soon as she realized how small her hand crafted items would be, she decided that they needed to be enlarged so that her smallest dolls, the 3 1/2 inch Winx Fairies could use the furniture.
A few years ago the Winx Club fairies as well as the American Girl dolls, took our house by storm. No Barbie's and Bratz dolls for my girl, it's got to be the very cool and powerful Winx Club girls and the realistically and niftily accessorized American Girl dolls. These beautifully styled dolls complete with books and movies, make up much of her Birthday and Christmas wish lists.
The Micro Mini's quickly under went redesign. The new plans gave the fairies upscale living room furniture and then completed with a usable pool, bathtub and a picnic table so her fairies could enjoy a cool drink pool side. Her small project that started on a piece of newspaper on the kitchen counter took over the kitchen island before the end of the week. Now there is a design in the works for a cardboard treehouse so Winx Club girls can have have a home of their own.
At home, we celebrate with a small family party and a special cake. Each year, I try out several different cake recipes for the kids to try out and then choose which one they like the best for their birthday. Juggling my test baking this year around the intense fairy construction project, I began with converting the Boston Favorite Cake from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook to be gluten free. This cake has a marble version, my children's all time favorite cake.
This is a delicious cake tastes the best when made one day ahead of time. The frosting was easy to make and tasted so good that the kids kept taking spoonfuls off the cake plate. Overall the cake was a hit with my family, but my daughter discovered that she doesn't really care for marzipan. Her thinks it tastes like the allergy medicine she used to take, so her pieces of cake had the filling removed.
3 Tb vegetable shortening 1 cup cane sugar 2 eggs, separated 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2/3 cup oat milk or other milk 3/4 cup brown rice flour 1/2 cup chestnut flour 1/4 cup sweet rice flour 1/4 cup arrowroot starch 2 tsp chia seed meal 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated 1 cup cane sugar 3 Tb cornstarch 1 cup water, boiling 1 Tb vegetable shortening 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/8 tsp salt
Filling & Decoration
1 can gluten free Marzipan
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two 8 inch cake pans with with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, dump in the vegetable shortening and cream with a paddle attachment. Slowly pour in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture. Plop in the egg yolks and vanilla extract and continue beating.
3. In a large bowl, combine all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and chia seed meal, then stir together.
4. With the paddle attachment on slow, add one third of the dry ingredients to the creamed vegetable shortening. Then pour in one third of the oat milk. Continue to alternate between the dry ingredients and oat milk until everything is blended together.
5. In another mixer bowl, plop in the egg whites. Switch to the whisk attachment and place this bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on high until the egg whites are stiff.
6. Using a spatula, add one third of the egg whites to the batter bowl. Then gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites into the batter.
7. Pour half of the batter into another bowl, then fold in the 1 ounce of melted chocolate.
8. Randomly place spoonfuls of the chocolate batter into the cake pans, leaving space around them. Then switch to the bowl of yellow cake batter and drop spoonfuls of the batter into the space between spoonfuls of chocolate batter. Continue like this until the pans are filled.
9. Place the pans into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for about 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out onto cake racks to cool completely. While the cake cools, begin making the frosting.
10. Into a heavy bottomed saucepan, dump the chocolate, sugar and cornstarch on medium low heat. Stir in the cup of boiling water and then constantly stir the ingredients until the mixture is thick and smooth.
11. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla extract and salt. Then beat the mixture with the spoon. Allow to cool slightly before frosting the cake.
Filling & Decorations
12. Filling: On a sheet of parchment paper, place a golf ball sized piece of marzipan. Cover it with another sheet of parchment paper and roll it out until it is a thin sheet. The circle should just be big enough to cover the bottom layer of your cake.
13. Ease off the top layer of parchment paper and dust a little powdered sugar over the marzipan, so it will be easier to handle. Then lay the marzipan over the bottom layer of cake. Slowly and gently ease the top layer of parchment paper off the marzipan. Then cover with frosting.
14. Decorations: Place another ball of marzipan between the two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the marzipan until it is about 1/8" thick. Then ease off the top layer of parchment paper and sprinkle the marzipan with powdered sugar. Gently rub the powdered sugar into the marzipan. Then using your cookie cutters create your design of flowers. Once cut, ease them off the parchment paper and place on top of the cake. To make the centers of the flowers, roll little balls of marzipan and then place in a pleasing design in the center.