Friday, September 3, 2010
First off, let me be clear: this post is NOT intended to share a "healthy" food/product/habit. It's about indulgence, and what day more deserves indulgence than a birthday? Of course, this being NatureKidz, I will share my pictures and attempts at making an all-natural (albeit full of fat, sugar, and other bad stuff) birthday cake that I made for my youngest Nature Kid, who recently turned eight.
One of the toughest parts about raising Nature Kidz is that typical mainstream food that is marketed to kids is almost without exception full of chemicals. Petrochemicals to be clear. Artificial flavors like Vanillin (which has absolutely no chemical relation to vanilla), and colors (anything beginning with "FD&C") and other additives are petroleum based chemicals, and the truth is that they can make some people sick. Plus, who wants to eat petroleum? Not me!
So, I have spent the past couple of years experimenting with various natural colors. I reviewed the India Tree colors here. This time I ordered Chefmaster natural colors from Baker's Nook online (can't find them anywhere locally that I am aware). The pictures show the results.
The first rule for those who want to try this is that you just can't expect the brilliant colors you find in the "flavor blasted" fish crackers or in ice pops and that sort of thing. But my Nature Kid, an animal lover, designed the cake herself. I merely put in the hard labor.
What we ended up with is a yellow cake in 2 tiers with buttercream frosting (real butter, sugar, and cream--no shortening here!) and gumpaste figures for decoration. The "dog food" in the bowl is actually Whole Foods' 365 brand Cocoa cereal. The gumpaste figures and the floral border/trim are all colored with the natural food colors. The result? Absolutely sinfully delicious. And Nature Kid was completely thrilled. Mission accomplished.