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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Chocolate Gluten-Free Wedding Cake!

Almost one year ago, I put together a delicious Gluten-Free Wedding Reception for my brother Mike and his wife Amanda.  The three-tiered wedding cake was made from a delicious, moist chocolate cake with different fillings in each tier (Raspberry, Mint, Triple-Chocolate). Each tier was topped with dark chocolate ganache, then semi-sweet ganache to create a smooth layer.  The cakes were then decorated with white chocolate ganache piping and a semi-sweet chocolate ganache scalloped edging.  Fresh flowers decorated the cake.  Happy Cake Making! Enjoy!
GF Chocolate Wedding Cake!
Homemade and Gluten-Free Chocolate Wedding Cake! 
GF Chocolate Wedding Cake!
#bromanda cutting the cake! They cut into the middle mint layer. Yum!
Above wedding cake pictures by Ali Sumsion Photography

Chocolate Gluten-Free Wedding Cake!
Makes 1 three-tiered cake (6", 8" and 10" layers)

Cake can be filled and arranged as described: (recipes for filling shown after cake recipe)
Bottom Tier (10") - three fillings
1. Raspberry Jam
2. Raspberry Dark Chocolate Ganache
3. Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting
Middle Tier (8") - three fillings (with mint-infused chocolate cake in this tier)
1. Dark Chocolate Mint Ganache
2. Crushed peppermint candy
3. Mint flavored Marshmallow Fluff Frosting
Top tier (6") - three fillings
1. Dark Chocolate Ganache
2. Milk Chocolate Ganache
3. Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

One Batch Chocolate Cake Batter:
(makes two 10" cakes OR three 8" cakes OR two 8" + two 6" cakes OR two 6" cakes + 24 mini cupcakes)

Butter the cake pans.  Then line them with parchment paper.  Cut a circle for the bottom of the pan. Then cut long strips for the sides. This will give you the cleanest removal of your cakes.  

In a measuring cup, combine the following and set aside:
1 1/2 cup milk (lactose-free works great)
2 Tbsp white vinegar

In a large bowl, whisk together:
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

In a mixer, beat until fluffy:
3/4 cup salted butter, softened

Add sugars to butter, and beat until fluffy:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar

Add one at a time, scraping down the sides of the mixer, as needed:
3 eggs (room temperature)
2 egg yolks (room temperature)

Add in:
3 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
(6-9 drops high quality peppermint essential oil, for peppermint layer only)

Turn the mixer to low.  Alternately add the flour/cocoa blend and milk/vinegar mixture.

One mix of cake batter makes two 10" rounds.   A second mix will allow you to make two 8" rounds + two 6" rounds.  (My top tier was a bit taller because I made three batches of batter here, in order to have extra for cupcakes.  Batch 1 made two 10" cakes. Batch 2 made three 8" cakes. Batch 3 made two 6" cakes + ~24 mini cupcakes (baked about 12-14 minutes).)

Bake cakes at 350 F.  Bake 6" rounds 20-25 minutes and 8" - 10" rounds 25-35 minutes.

Let rest a few minutes before removing carefully to cooling racks to completely cool.   Once cakes are cool, you have a few options: 
1. Make cake right away - fill layers as desired, chill in refrigerator to firm.  Cover in first layer of ganache, chill.  Cover in 2nd layer of ganache, chill.  Assemble cake (with dowels or on cake stand), decorate with white ganache, or as desired.  
2. Fill and stack each cake layer.  Wrap each filled cake layer securely with a few layers of plastic wrap.  Freeze until ready to use.  *This is my preference, since it allows you to make the cake a few days in advance, and you only need to assemble and do the final frosting of the cake. 
3.  Wrap each cake layer securely in a few layers of plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.  


When you remove cakes from the freezer, let them rest wrapped on your counter for ~15-20 minutes, so any condensation is on the plastic wrap and not on your cake.  Then, you can unwrap and glaze/frost as desired.

Cake Fillings: 
Purchased fillings:
High quality raspberry jam
Peppermint candies/candy canes, crushed

Fillings to make: 
Raspberry Dark Chocolate Ganache
Dark Chocolate Mint Ganache
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Milk Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting
Mint Marshmallow Fluff Frosting

When assembling the cakes, I used ganache while it was still slightly warm when placed as a filling, as shown below.  Once chocolate ganache was spread on a cake layer, I then let it cool completely in order to set before adding on another layer of filling.
GF Cake with Ganache Filling

Cakes were assembled with the following fillings (same as shown earlier):
Bottom Tier (10") - three fillings
1. Raspberry Jam
2. Raspberry Dark Chocolate Ganache
3. Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting
Middle Tier (8") - three fillings (with mint-infused chocolate cake in this tier)
1. Dark Chocolate Mint Ganache
2. Crushed peppermint candy
3. Mint flavored Marshmallow Fluff Frosting
Top tier (6") - three fillings
1. Dark Chocolate Ganache
2. Milk Chocolate Ganache
3. Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting


Cake on left is assembled middle layer - with dark chocolate mint ganache, crushed peppermint and mint flavored marshmallow fluff frosting.  The cake on the right was an extra peppermint cake I made with the extra 8" round I had.  
GF Wedding Cake being prepped for assembly
Filled cakes after being removed from the freezer.  They are resting to allow any condensation to accumulate on the plastic NOT the cake.  

Semi-sweet and Dark Chocolate Ganache was used as a glaze on each layer.  I made a few batches of chocolate ganache, using the following recipe: 

Bring to a boil over medium heat: 
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Remove from heat and pour over
8 oz high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate

Cool slightly before pouring or spreading over cakes.  Cool fully if you would like to whip and use like a regular frosting.  I first spread a thin layer of dark chocolate as a crumb coat, and then used semi-sweet for the final layer.  
Gluten-Free Chocolate Wedding Cake
All cakes received an initial layer of chocolate ganache glaze.  This was allowed to set before a final coat of ganache was added.  

The cake was then assembled using dowels (each layer was on a foil-wrapped cardboard circle).  White Chocolate Ganache was used to pipe decorations on the cake.  

White Chocolate Ganache was prepared as follows: 
Heat to boil over med-high heat:
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cream
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (preferred) OR vanilla extract

Remove from heat and add:
6 1/2 oz. high quality white chocolate

Stir gently until smooth.   Let cool until the ganache is a temperature and consistency that can be piped.  You could cool fully and then whip the ganache, to pipe like you would regular frosting, too.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Wedding Cake!
The final product, with white ganache piping to decorate, and a final scalloped edge at the bottom of each layer done in semi-sweet chocolate ganache.  
Gluten-Free Chocolate Wedding Cake!
The GF chocolate wedding cake at the fully GF reception, with fresh flowers to decorate. 
Gluten Free Chocolate Wedding Cake
The top of the cake with smaller slices of the middle tier (mint) and bottom tier (raspberry) served, saving the top layer for the happy couple. 

Thanks to Ali Sumsion Photography for pictures of the completed cake! 

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