Introducing My Extraordinary Gluten-Free Artisanal Chocolate Cake
Explanation and Story
Why am I not making porcelain?
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it impacted my prospects quite significantly. I had been struggling in my usual fashion to make a living by doing a variety of things related to making pottery; teaching regularly in my studio, doing craft shows, and consigning work to galleries at wholesale prices.
All of this came to an abrupt halt in late March. I could have continued making porcelain and accumulated a large inventory of work, but.given that selling my work is my biggest challenge at the best of times, and with galleries closed and all shows cancelled, that would have served no useful purpose. Teaching was completely halted as well. So, I walked out of my studio and haven't been back at the wheel since.
However, I will be back....
Why Cake and why now?
The Cake has been waiting in the wings for a couple of years. I introduced it alongside my porcelain at the Peterborough Regional Farmers Market in 2018, while I was still perfecting the formula and method. The Cake received a positive response there as I served free samples, and some cakes began to sell.
I first began developing the Cake making as a small business concept about 18 months ago, but then had to put things on hold because all my time and scarce resources were being fully utilized to make and sell porcelain.
When COVID-19 struck, I saw it as an opportunity to further develop the Cake enterprise. I pivoted immediately. My dream is to have a Cake-generated income, such that my ceramic pursuits can be more focused on exploration, and less on trying to make a living....
Is making the Cake similar to making porcelain?
Yes. The two pursuits are essentially identical. The only difference is that one is made with chocolate and you can eat it!
Truthfully, there are strong parallels. Both involve an exploration of processes and materials to achieve a goal or vision over time. Like porcelain, a total commitment and constant engagement in the cake-making process leads to accidents, problems, problem-solving and unexpected discoveries. Eventually, the process takes on a life of its own, as an evolutionary path is followed.
The other important commonality is that both begin with a vision or desire that I choose to realize, despite being completely unaware of where it could lead and how long it may take. The Cake could not have come into being as a corporate-sponsored project. No corporation has that kind of patience!
The Cake is a work of art and craft, which evolves over time, driven forward by curiosity, commitment and passion. I experience a sense of fulfillment and gratitude when a Cake I have created is enjoyed, as I do when my ceramic work is enjoyed.
A brief history of the Cake journey
The story of the Cake begins in the 1960's, but properly became a pursuit of mine about eight years ago.
I was inspired by the memory of a cake from my childhood that had a remarkably rich, dark and delicious chocolate fudge icing. My Mom frequently bought the “French Chocolate Square” from Women’s Bakery in Toronto more than 50 years ago for 85 cents. I encountered it again in an altered form in the 1990's at Bregman's Bakery Restaurant in Toronto.
Eight years ago, I was struck with a serious craving for a slice of either! Because it was no longer available, I decided to attempt to re-create it.
I have a history of baking cakes since childhood. Later, as an adult, I collected every model of the Sunbeam Mixmaster including all the attachments, recipe books and ephemera from the company's "classic" design period; 1929 to 1958. I call it the poor man's vintage car collection. It reflects my combined interest in design, social history and baking.
So, after more than a thousand cakes and eight years of exploration and dedication to this vision, an amazing gluten-free manifestation of the ideal has come into being. It has taken on its own identity; I barely remember the original cake, as the waters off memory have been muddied by a lot of chocolate!
What are the ingredients?
As I have said to many people, if it wasn't for the sugar, you could live off of this Cake! I do, however, point out that this Cake provides a "spiritual nourishment" dividend which outweighs the calories 2.8 to 1.
For some, gluten-free may suggest that the taste or quality of a baked good has been compromised. Certainly not in this case, as the almond flour creates a delicately exotic flavour and a moist texture. The Cake is so moist, it is like drinking a glass of water! Many have said, “this is the best cake I have ever had in my life”. The Cake seems to improve with age. In other words, it lasts. It can also be apportioned and re-frozen.
Ingredients: almond flour, sugar, tapioca flour, coconut milk, avocado oil, fair-trade organic cocoa, local eggs, decaf espresso, baking powder, baking soda, salt, apple cider vinegar.
Fudge Icing: fair-trade organic cocoa, sugar, butter, coconut oil, salt.
Mocha Icing: fair-trade organic bitter chocolate, sugar, ground decaf freshly roasted coffee, butter, vegetable shortening,local eggs, salt.
I was developing a sugar-free and gluten-free version of the Cake, pre-COVID-19. Its nutritional profile is exceptional - you could literally have that cake as a main course, or skip the main course and go straight to dessert. Think of that - gluten-free, sugar-free and guilt-free chocolate cake!
Evidently, my goal here is to “Have my Cake and Eat It too”.
I will continue working on this version, depending on access to a miraculous alternate sweetener called Allulose.
How are the cakes shipped?
The cakes are frozen and wrapped as soon as they are created. When shipped, the frozen cake is surrounded in bubble wrap then enclosed in a rugged shipping box. During periods of cool temperatures, this method works very well.
The outer fudge icing acts as a protective layer, due to its firmness when cool. It softens with increased temperatures. During the heatwave, I have encased the frozen cakes in three pounds of water, securely contained. When frozen, the water forms to the contours of the cake. As it thaws, it becomes a water cushion for the cake.
The cake arrives in 24 hours fully intact. I charge a flat shipping rate of $15 for 1-4 cakes to any populated area of Canada. For areas such as Whitehorse, Yukon, a quote is needed. And yes, I have shipped cakes to Whitehorse!
Please watch this video of me packing a cake for shipping:
How can I get one?
Currently by contacting me directly by email, text, messenger, Facebook or Instagram.
To view this email in your browser, please see: https://www.billreddick.com/cake/promo/ When ordering is available from my website, this will be noted there.
I deliver free to your door locally. When travelling to Toronto, I will deliver free of charge to all localities between Peterborough and Toronto, like Newcastle, Bowmanville, Oshawa, Ajax, etc. on my schedule.
The Cake is priced at $50. Shipping to any populated area in Canada is $15 for up to 4 Cakes. E-transfer payments are accepted.
Fathers Day Promotion: Free shipping on two or more Cakes! Cakes re-freeze for later beautifully!
~ Reviews ~
I have 100 Cakes available for delivery for Father's Day, June 21st, if ordered by Wednesday June 17th. Free shipping on two or more Cakes.
See me at the Peterborough Regional Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 am til 12 pm at the Peterborough City Centre, at Aylmer and Charlotte Streets.
for porch pick up:
171 Lock Street
Peterborough ON. K9J 2Y8
Please friend me on Facebook and Instagram for updates.