Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Before I introduce you to the Picaken I want to introduce to Etsy shop! I said in my last post that I wanted to list some hand painted boxes and I decided to take a leap and create my own shop. Check it out, please tell your friends. It's a work in progress, I have two boxes up and am adding canvases. I'm getting there!

And now...the Picaken.

Cate Took This Picture For Me

 I saw this cake on The Very Worst Missionary's blog. At first I thought it sounded interesting. Then I kept thinking about it. And then I became enthralled with the idea and I couldn't get it out of my head. It doesn't help that her icing decorations are so pretty. Anyway. Basically it's a pie inside a cake. I have yet to make a delicious sugar free and whole wheat cake and while I can eat some pies (SF), if I don't have a cake to insert it in, it wouldn't be a Picaken. My sister, Lauren, came down from Atlanta last week and we were planning to celebrate my sister, Cate and my mom's birthday and I immediately got excited. I don't bake for Witt and I very much and I love standing in the kitchen with a glass of wine, knee deep in flour and sugar, most likely making a disaster and hoping it turns out. And of course it had to be the Picaken! (The word must always be capitalized). You basically bake any kind of pie and put it inside any kind of cake. I think the flavors should probably match a little, though the possibilities are endless. I remembered this cake that Lauren loves to make, Italian Cream Cake, and I thought, why not bake a coconut cream pie (Witt's favorite) into a yellow cake?

Gypsy Slow Down

As you know, my mom is gluten free and almost everyone else. That didn't stop me from going to the store and buying (and baking) a pie crust, then as I'm about to dump my pie filling in I realize that this won't work. To make a long story short I found myself grinding up rice in a blender to make rice flour. Somehow the part of the top of my blender lid went missing so I have to put my hand over the top and as I'm grinding up the rice I am getting pelted with rice pieces that feel like little shards of glass. But it did grind into a nice looking flour. I added a little corn starch and then made a pie crust by cutting chilled butter and using some ice water to mix it into a crust with some vanilla. I think I figured since the whole thing was going to be inside a cake it was going to be ok. There are gluten-free pie crusts available to buy and other flours, like coconut flour, might be more tender.

Here's how you do it.

I used a gluten free cake mix from Betty Crocker and my pie recipe was from Food Network, which you can find right here. I left off the meringue topping because I didn't know how that would bake into the cake.  The pie was delicious on it's own, according to Witt, who asked me to make him an extra pie with meringue topping in the discarded pie shell (so it wouldn't go to waste, of course). The things we do for love.

When the cake was done I let it cool in the fridge overnight. This is just because by this point, I'd made two pies from scratch, one pie crust from scratch, butter cream frosting from scratch and it was 10pm. The next morning I whipped up the butter cream again before church. Letting it sit overnight really didn't work so well since it hardened and I didn't have time to let it get back to room temp. Re-whipping helped but it separated a little so I recommend making it right before you are ready to ice. I made butter cream frosting from a recipe on this blog. It's so easy to make your own butter cream frosting and more delicious than the kind in a tub.

To make the design on the cake I frosted a thin coat of butter cream onto the cake and then piped the dots onto the top and sides.

Gypsy Slow Down

We got to my parent's and suddenly ended up with the first snow of the the end of February. We had to post-pone the party for the next night so that Witt and I wouldn't get stuck overnight (we can't drive in the snow down here, y'all). Of course, this week it's supposed to be 70 degrees. C'est la vie.

Cate Took This Picture For Me

Monday night we came back up and had a wonderful meal, my mom and Lauren made a truly delicious shrimp and grits with white chedder yellow grit cakes and a beurre blanc sauce my dad made to go on top with sauteed spinach and cherry tomatoes. I hope to get the recipe and share with you. And we had Lauren's famous goat cheese stuffed peppers.

I wish I could have tasted the cake, but everyone said it was amazing (and they ate their whole piece, so either it was good or everyone was being nice to my feelings!). You'll have to bake one for yourself.

So that is my adventures with the Picaken. I will end this post with a pic of my niece that I borrowed from Cate's blog, since the last time I posted a picture of Ela was Easter last year. I wish we lived closer.

Cate's Photography

Happy Baking.

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