Monday, October 4, 2010

Cake makes everything better

.... or so I'm told.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth, which is actually beneficial since the BF is a diabetic. But the other night I was watching Jim Gaffigan on Comedy Central, and he reminded me that I really do like cake. So, rather than go through trial and error creating one from scratch (gasp!) I cheated and pulled out the box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix. FYI -- the picture on the box looks positively sinful. But here's where my lack of baking skills got me in trouble...

For some reason I assumed because the box showed a delicious looking frosted cake, that the cake mix actually came WITH frosting. For those of you who don't know, it most certainly does not. Generally rectifying an oversight like this wouldn't be an issue, but it wound up turning into a crisis that took hours to solve.

I remembered reading somewhere that Jello brand pudding was gluten free, so I started clearing out cupboards in search of pudding to top the cake. I found only 2 boxes of Safeway brand (wheat starch), and 1 box of Jello sugar free fat free. OK, there's a possible back up, but who wants sugar free fat free pudding with their yellow cake? I set it aside and continued my search.... I found a bajillion boxes of various fruit flavored Jello gelatin, 2 containers of French Fried Onion Rings (???), 2 boxes of Progresso Bread Crumbs in Italian and Parmesan flavor (???!!!), several cake decorating items, and FINALLY..... a container of Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate Fudge frosting in a can. I'd remembered reading that Betty Crocker has gone gluten free with all of their cake frosting, so the happy dancing commenced.

So now I'm irritated that I have all of this glutenous stuff in my kitchen a year later, and thrilled that I can now frost my cake. I decide to go on a kitchen decontamination binge to get rid of All Things Gluten so I don't have to look at them ever again. But... just to be safe, I check the can of frosting for an Use By date or something, because I honestly have no idea how long it's been hiding in the recesses of the pantry.

Wheat Starch. It turns out my can of frosting is over 2 years old. Of course it is.

I've actually gotten to the point where I no longer question why anyone puts wheat starch in anything. Twizzlers, for example. Certain salad dressings. Seasoning mixes. Canned soups, broths, bouillon. Toothpaste. Mouthwash. Lipstick. Vitamins. Obviously I need to quadruple check everything I come in contact with, and just when I think I've gotten the hang of this whole gluten free thing the rug gets pulled out from under me again. But I keep chugging. What other choice do I have?

Then, just before I'm about to burst into tears the little light bulb goes off in my head.... I have chocolate chips! Nestle Toll House semi-sweet morsels which I know for a FACT are gluten free. And once upon a time I had a recipe for a chocolate chip glaze that I'd used to frost a cake once or twice before.

Thank GAWD for the internet. It turns out that with a little sugar, butter, milk and vanilla extract I could melt down some chocolate chips and make....... FROSTING!

It's darker than the stuff from the can, and will most likely be richer as well. I'm still too chicken to try it yet, but here's what it looks like.

I love that my impatience waiting for the chips to melt created that nice stippling texture on top. Wish me luck!