November 08, 2008

Sparky Night, A Wedding, and An Experiment

Guy Fawkes nights should mean to be bright and sparky and that what we get each year. Although showers were still stubborn in between the sparks and the heat of the bonfire, they gave up in the end, leaving us chilled but excited.



We went out to visit our good friend, The Dwens, down at Te Kohanga, about 25 minutes driving from our place. Their place, which is hundred of hectares wide that you can even see the Waikato river stretches from East to West from their place, is the most spacious place we can find to brighten the 5th of November with possible assorted fireworks.


Started with dinner and finished with desserts, we began to split up into the night, try to combat the chill and the rain. It was just so much excitement I can tell from the only man who lit the fireworks from the noises he made; 'a bit worrying', Sue said. Imagine that fireworks can even bring joy to whoever lights and sees them.

Today, it is an election day. New Zealanders are voting for their prospect future. Watch the news, then you'll know. Not on my side to talk about politics. At midday, there was quite a hectic movement in the house. While we were attending the garden, applying fertilizer and such, we were reminded that today is Krystal's wedding day. Throwing away the gardening boots and gloves, rushing ourselves to get ready and be as representative as we could. It could be a bit of help if you keep an agenda for a thing like this, you know.


It's just so amazing to witness someone weds. The colour and expressions of their faces promise the future of forever love that they're ready to weave together. I've never seen Krystal so happy and so bright like today. She was so beautiful in her wedding gown. Good luck, Krystal. We're so happy for you. Well done and we wish you all be happy together forever.

I was not on the happy side yesterday as I found out that my name was used by somebody on a shoutbox of a website. I was really furious and sent an email to the administrator immediately to ban the person who did it. I don't know why someone would do that to me while as far as I know I never hurt anyone. I hope it does not happen to you.

Back to the kitchen, I've done a little bit of experiment while ideas are playing around in my head. I develop a gluten-free recipe which I think I have to improve it somehow in the future. I call it Gluten-Free Chocolate Spice Cake.

I have been using the gluten-free package from Healtheries Simple baking mix and I thought why I don't mix some myself. There I did. I found out that sticky rice flour can also be used to make a cake as well as potato starch. I am using a large number of free-range eggs because I believe the natural emulsifier in the yolks can lift up the volume of the cake and also moisten it.

I am sending this experiment cake for World Food Day-Time to be Thankful, hosted by Ivy of Kopiaste. I am thankful to be in such happy condition to be able to feel gratitude in a healthy life and green environment where I still can breath the fresh air. I wish the world would always be green, so our children in the future will always be thankful they live in such a prosperity earth.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Spice Cake

12 free-range eggs
180g caster sugar
50g rice flour, sifted
160g sticky (glutinous) rice flour, sifted
50g almond meal, sifted
150g cocoa powder, sifted
400ml coconut cream (cook until thicken and reduce to 325ml, then cooled)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, sifted with flours
1/8 tsp ground star anise, sifted with flours
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, sifted with flours
1/4 tsp ground cardamom, sifted with flours
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (I use Queen product)

experiment cake gluten free chocolate spice cake2

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a round cake tin measured 26cm x 7cm. This cake will rise high (that if you do not overmix it). Beat the egg yolks until foamy, add in the sugar a little at a time. Keep beating until thick and forms ribbons with pale colour. Remove the beaters and fold in the sifted flours, cocoa and spices, gently. Take care not to knock off the bubbles in the batter volume. Pour in the cooked and cooled coconut cream in a thin stream until all used. Do this very gently, otherwise your batter will gone flat. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until springy to the touch. The finished colour will be golden brown.


Now, I was thinking to pour in the coffee and spice syrup while it was hot but then I was afraid it would be too much spice thing mixed up in one whole cake. Then, I decided to just sprinkle some icing sugar. Perhaps, you may like the sound of coffee spice syrup? Here's a hint: 2 cups double-srength espresso simmer with caster sugar and whole star anises and cinnamon quills. Cook until the syrup is thicken and reduced. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to your liking, but then you have to remember that when the syrup is thicken, the sugar will then make its way to sweeten the syrup. If you add too much sugar, it might well be empowering the whole flavour in it.

the petals

I also want to thank you for your concern of my mother's condition and my own last time I posted. Your warmth approach is greatly appreciated. Thank you for being my readers, friends, and sympathizers. I am nothing without you.



Andrea said...

Where to start? I love the firework photos and your cake looks amazing! I have no idea what a shoutbox is, but if it's negative, I can't imagine someone doing it to you, either! I'm getting married next year, and I only hope to find a photographer as wonderful as you are!

Arfi Binsted said...

Oh Andrea, how lovely to hear that! I wish you the very best. It's such a big decision and you go girl!! Hey, let me know when it happens! Yeah, I wish I were there. I love taking wedding photos.

Vij said...

Hi arfi
Thanks for ur comments in my blog. Trust me next time I will post the recipe in a more clearer manner so a Non-indian can easily try it at their homes.

Cake looks amazing!! hats off ur photographic talent..gr8 job..the bride looks so pretty!

Peter G said...

You're a busy little bee aren't you Arfi? Weddings, fireworks, cakes...never ending! Love the spice cake and it's good to experiment with different types...the bride really looks happy! Great pics as usual!

mae said...

Mbak, I always love the way you write all of your stories you've passed through, and visualized them in beautiful pictures.

Hope Ibunda will get well soon... *hugs*

Bellini Valli said...

Your photography is beautuful Arfi. Thank you so much for submitting this gluten free recipe to our event. We have so much to be thankful for:D

Zita said...

Beautiful pictures as always, my fav this time is the bride's potrait :)

Passionate About Baking said...

Each picture is beautiful Arfi...touches a chord in my heart! The cake you developed is special too; yes, it's great to count our blessings! xoxox

Kitchen Flavours said...

As always my dear friend is back with bang. Iam happy for you dear. I wish happy married life to Krystal. Cake looks scrummy and yummy. Wish i could finish it off all alone.

linda said...

Lovely fireworks pictures.
The gluten-free choc cake looks delicious!

Pearlsofeast said...

Lovely post Arfi, felt nice going through it.The photographs are awesome and cake slice looks very tempting.

I hope u are keeping well.Take care.

MiNDY said...

lovely posting and photographs, mBa. your gluten free choc spice cake looks so good.

Jescel said...

arfi, thanks for this recipe. i've a friend who's allergic to gluten. your cake looks perfect for Thanksgiving. I'm goin to try this.. question though, can i substitute caster sugar for regular sugar, or maybe light corn syrup???

Cakelaw said...

Hi Arfi, Wonderful photographs - we have been banned from celebrating Guy Fawkes in Oz because of the fire danger. Sorry to hear someone has been flaming you without reason. Your gluten-free cake looks devine - could do with a slice with a coffee right now.

Yasmeen said...

Spectacular fireworks.Krystal looks gorgeous in her wedding gown.
We recently had our elections in US,it is exciting to see a change with Mr.Obama as the new President,our hopes are high ...
And the Gluten free cake looks rich with coconut cream,love to try it!

Magdalena said...

Mniam, mniam :-) Kind regards from Poland! :-)

Y said...

Great photos! And that spice cake looks delicious. Never thought of using glutinous rice flour in a cake before. Now, that's cake for thought..! :)

Ivy said...

Arfi, sorry I'm so late to visit and thank you. Where do I start from. I remember the time we used to live in London and I was a child how impressed I was with the Guy Fawkes fires everywhere. Congratulations to the beautiful bride who looks radian and very happy. Your cake sounds delicious and your photos are beautiful as always. Thanks again for participating.

dessert girl said...

Mmmm...this sounds wonderful!