Friday, August 15, 2008

Baking David's GF/CF Birthday Cake from Scratch

Yesterday, David turned sixteen! Saturday, we are taking David, three of his friends, and Pamela to Carowinds. He requested a carrot cake, which I plan to bake today. Pamela wanted to bake a cake for him, and we went gf/cf so that we can keep a piece for her for Saturday's celebration. She pulled out a gf/cf baking mix and pointed to a chocolate cake recipe for us to make from scratch! The baking mix we used includes fava and garbanzo bean flours, and even my picky Dad scarfed it down with gusto! We slightly adjusted the recipe:

GF/CF Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose GF Baking Flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthum gum (a little bit goes a long way)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 stick Buttery Sticks
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup soy milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer. Pour into the cake pans and bake for 30 minutes (or until the toothpick inserted in the cake's center comes out clean). Servings: 12.

I used the same frosting recipe as before, except we used Buttery Sticks instead of coconut milk.

One thing that struck me about watching these video clips is how much more comfortable Pamela is in the kitchen. When we first started baking in March 2007, I scaffolded by getting all the ingredients and utensils out. Now, she finds the ingredients on her own and searches the drawers for utensils. She can crack an egg with one hand! She can put a pan into a hot oven (although I am still pulling them out for her). She knows how to turn on the oven and set either timer (the oven or microwave). She is even starting to read the recipes and decide the next step to take!

Here is what I wrote about the cake baking clip:

Objective: To spotlight when I am not listening and when I am listening so Pamela learns to spot the differences in my body language.

What Worked: I was much more subtle today in my non-listening spells. Pamela did very well. She responded well when I complained about her jabs. She has had a lighter touch since then.

What Frustrated Pamela: I had to be careful to reassure Pamela when she got frustrated at glitches: a mom who doesn't listen, a pesky can opener, a mixer that spewed, etc. She did recover without melting down and finished all of the steps in baking a cake. I have to walk a fine line of working on the objective without pushing her off the cliff.

Comment: I loved when she cracked an egg one handed and make a pun on the word can. Her confidence in the kitchen is soaring!

We had a minor glitch between making the cake and the frosting. Pamela and her consultant were going to spend three hours doing things together like eating lunch, browsing at Wal-Mart or the store, and playing at the park. Something came up and our consultant had to postpone their visit by a week. Pamela cried and talked about being broken-hearted. I soothed her with stim phrases to help change her thoughts, rubbed her arm, and spoke to her gently. I also promised a trip to the health food store in Columbia today to make up for it.

As you can see in the clip, she is back to normal. Last night, we all went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. While I was telling Steve about the altered plans, I mentioned that Pamela was broken-hearted. She said loudly, "I'm not broken-hearted." So, her heart is healed! :-)

Another interesting thing was that Steve was being silly and nearly knocked over the salsa. Pamela laughed loudly and laughed with us. Then, she said, "Comedy!"

My objective was again to demonstrate non-listening body language, more subtly. This time I gave different reasons for it. Pamela does recognize when I am not listening, so I think I will start pointing out when "I can't tell if you're listening."

Finally, we have the birthday boy being serenaded. We took him out to eat at the local Mexican restaurant and threatened to alert the waiters about his birthday, so they could pull out the silly sombrero and serenade him. But, we did not. Why he is embarrassed at our singing, I cannot fathom. But, he recovered sufficiently to blow out all the candles in one breath.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday David!

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

is this the frosting recipe you are referring to? i have a cake to bake for next week...8 yo..

walking said...

We are off to Carowinds in two hours!!!

Queen Mum, that is basically what is on the back of a box of cocoa powder. Now that we buy Buttery Sticks we just use that instead of butter.

Anonymous said...

Tell Pamela I think she should make you call her Martha Stewart. I can't even crack an egg one handed! LOL. (And I can't remember the last time I made a cake from scratch, either!) Way to go, you two! You are amazing. I posted a link to this blog on my new autism blog: