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Baking A Gluten Free Cake For The First Time, Need Help

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Hi, my friends birthday is coming up and she is a coeliac.  It's a big birthday so I wanted to bake her a cake.  

I bake normal cakes all the time (I'm a cake decorator) so need to check a few things before I start as I want to make sure I do everything properly and don't make her ill!

Please let me know if I've missed anything out or if anything is not necessary. 

Before I even start I need to buy new equipment, new mixing bowl, cake tin, utensils, decorating tools etc?  Or is washing in a dishwasher sufficient?

I need to switch the flour to a gluten free flour which will be stored in a different cupboard to my usual flour. 

I'm going to buy a new decorating mat (plastic) for rolling out fondant on and filling/crumbcoating the cake, even though I will obviously clean the surfaces too. I want to play it safe. 

Everything will be either metal or plastic, no wooden spoons. 

Wash my hands more often than normal after every step and not touch anything I don't need to (ie kitchen chair) with my hands. 

The main thing I am worried about is the flour in the air.  I bake a lot and when mixing it does go into the air.  Will this cause contamination if I make sure no 'normal' cake is baked 24 hours prior?

Check any flavouring/colouring for gluten before using them. 

Is there anything I've missed?  She never gets to eat cake so I really want to do this for her but I'm scared of making her ill.  I want it to be a surprise also which is why I'm asking here rather than asking her, although she has no idea how to make a cake so probably wouldn't be much help anyway!

 

Thank you in advance for your responses. 

 

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Hi, my friends birthday is coming up and she is a coeliac.  It's a big birthday so I wanted to bake her a cake.  

I bake normal cakes all the time (I'm a cake decorator) so need to check a few things before I start as I want to make sure I do everything properly and don't make her ill!

Please let me know if I've missed anything out or if anything is not necessary. 

Before I even start I need to buy new equipment, new mixing bowl, cake tin, utensils, decorating tools etc?  Or is washing in a dishwasher sufficient?

I need to switch the flour to a gluten free flour which will be stored in a different cupboard to my usual flour. 

I'm going to buy a new decorating mat (plastic) for rolling out fondant on and filling/crumbcoating the cake, even though I will obviously clean the surfaces too. I want to play it safe. 

Everything will be either metal or plastic, no wooden spoons. 

Wash my hands more often than normal after every step and not touch anything I don't need to (ie kitchen chair) with my hands. 

The main thing I am worried about is the flour in the air.  I bake a lot and when mixing it does go into the air.  Will this cause contamination if I make sure no 'normal' cake is baked 24 hours prior?

Check any flavouring/colouring for gluten before using them. 

Is there anything I've missed?  She never gets to eat cake so I really want to do this for her but I'm scared of making her ill.  I want it to be a surprise also which is why I'm asking here rather than asking her, although she has no idea how to make a cake so probably wouldn't be much help anyway!

 

Thank you in advance for your responses. 

 

 

The standards for mixed-use facility recommend waiting over the weekend for any gluten dust to settle - do you have an air purifier? Maybe you can run that overnight?

 

It's my impression that anything that can go in the dishwasher should be safe, so long as it isn't wood or a scratched up surface that can hold hidden gluten.

 

You're an absolute gem of a friend to make this cake for her! I had to make my own birthday cake (it was delicious!!) but this will be really special. The world needs more people like you!

 

Can you share your recipe with us so we can try to copy it? :)

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Plain metal pans would just need to be clean. If it's a springform I'd say a new one. (I had a springform I couldn't for the life of me get safe.) Things like a rolling pin, since they're often wood, would need to be new and uncontaminated. It sounds like a great idea, and I agree with coffngrl about the air. Something to remember though is that not everyone would be comfortable eating it. It is entirely possible that your friend will think it's the sweetest thing ever, and not touch it. Many here (for good reason) wouldn't touch a thing out of a combined baker with a 10-foot pole. On the other hand, plenty do enjoy such treats and she may eat it. I'm just saying, please don't be offended if she doesn't. This is the sort of thing some of us hate being surprised with because it puts us in an awkward situation where we're expected to eat it, and it's rude to come of as ungrateful but we need to ask a million questions and may still simply not be comfortable eating it.

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Thanks for your replies.  I completely understand the reluctance and I will tell her straight away I won't be offended if she would prefer not to eat it, I'd get a cake to myself then haha!

I don't have an air purifier. So airborne flour is a problem?  I have a solid rolling pin (not even sure what material it is, it's not plastic but is solid, not wood). 

I don't have any other cakes to make the week before so I can air the kitchen out for a week.   

I do have a spare room where I've never had food before, would it be safer to mix up there, bring down to bake in the oven, then take back up to decorate?

I also use baking strips to line my pans with so batter doesn't actually ever touch the tins. 

I will of course write a list of all ingredients and preparation to give to her too.  I really want to make a cake for her she can eat.  As I said I bake a lot so she will most likely trust me if I say it's safe, but I won't say that unless I know 100% that it is.  I know a tiny minuscule crumb could harm her so want to get it right.  

Does an air purifier cost a lot?

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Hi, my friends birthday is coming up and she is a coeliac.  It's a big birthday so I wanted to bake her a cake.  

I bake normal cakes all the time (I'm a cake decorator) so need to check a few things before I start as I want to make sure I do everything properly and don't make her ill!

Please let me know if I've missed anything out or if anything is not necessary. 

Before I even start I need to buy new equipment, new mixing bowl, cake tin, utensils, decorating tools etc?  Or is washing in a dishwasher sufficient?

I need to switch the flour to a gluten free flour which will be stored in a different cupboard to my usual flour. 

I'm going to buy a new decorating mat (plastic) for rolling out fondant on and filling/crumbcoating the cake, even though I will obviously clean the surfaces too. I want to play it safe. 

Everything will be either metal or plastic, no wooden spoons. 

Wash my hands more often than normal after every step and not touch anything I don't need to (ie kitchen chair) with my hands. 

The main thing I am worried about is the flour in the air.  I bake a lot and when mixing it does go into the air.  Will this cause contamination if I make sure no 'normal' cake is baked 24 hours prior?

Check any flavouring/colouring for gluten before using them. 

Is there anything I've missed?  She never gets to eat cake so I really want to do this for her but I'm scared of making her ill.  I want it to be a surprise also which is why I'm asking here rather than asking her, although she has no idea how to make a cake so probably wouldn't be much help anyway!

 

Thank you in advance for your responses. 

 

I live in FL. I am not sure where you are. But a friend of mine just had a gluten free cake baked for me. The lady that did it lives in Ft Walton Beach FL. She does all kinds of allergy free baking and knows all about it. She is  " Different Kinds of Cake...850-496-5308. If you would like to call her, perhaps she can answer your questions. 

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I live in FL. I am not sure where you are. But a friend of mine just had a gluten free cake baked for me. The lady that did it lives in Ft Walton Beach FL. She does all kinds of allergy free baking and knows all about it. She is  " Different Kinds of Cake...850-496-5308. If you would like to call her, perhaps she can answer your questions. 

I'm in the U.K x

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I do have a spare room where I've never had food before, would it be safer to mix up there, bring down to bake in the oven, then take back up to decorate?

 

It would be a great idea to do the mixing and decorating in there, less to worry about.  

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Do you think I can safely make a gluten free cake based on the above?

I have an air filter on the way, I'll have a new mat for rolling the fondant, in a room I've never baked in, all tools and pans washed in the dishwasher, or new bought if they can't be washed, gluten free flour, no wooden tools.  And obviously surfaces cleans, hands washed etc. 

Thanks so much for everyone's advice :D  

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I would eat the cake.  I agree, you are very thoughtful, and you seem to understand the needs of the Celiac world.  I will add that you may want to do a practice run with the cake layers... sometimes gluten-free stuff comes out a bit different, so give yourself time to remake the layers if you need.  

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The dishwasher rule doesn't really apply to everything. I wouldn't reuse pastry bags no matter how many times they may have gone through, and I'd be wary about the plastic items as well, especially if it is flexible or scratched in any way so as to be more porous or more difficult to clean. Glass or ceramic bowls would be better. Pans are mainly a problem if they have non-stick coatings because even minute scratches can trap gluten.

Else I'd research more about gluten-free flours before making a purchase. I've been burned by a few awful ones.

Here is a link to an NPR article about their best flour results from their test kitchen and their recipe for making your own gluten-free flour from scratch.

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/20/291873792/test-kitchen-have-your-gluten-free-cake-and-love-eating-it-too

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/20/291873792/test-kitchen-have-your-gluten-free-cake-and-love-eating-it-too#flourblend

If you wanted to do more gluten free baking in the future, keep your eye open for a glass rolling pin. They are out there.

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Do you think I can safely make a gluten free cake based on the above?

I have an air filter on the way, I'll have a new mat for rolling the fondant, in a room I've never baked in, all tools and pans washed in the dishwasher, or new bought if they can't be washed, gluten free flour, no wooden tools.  And obviously surfaces cleans, hands washed etc. 

Thanks so much for everyone's advice :D

 

It might be nice for your friend to know where you got the ingredients, so she can be assured they were certified gluten free. That would be my deciding factor more than your kitchen. Having seen my kitchen after a baking binge, flour gets everywhere so your air purifier should help eliminate any wheat flying around. If you use the other room, the air purifier shouldn't be necessary. I wouldn't think that much could travel that far. It's just important to make sure the wheat flour hasn't settled on your clean working surface.

 

I would totally eat the cake!

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Hi everyone, thanks so much again for your help. 

 

Ok I'm going to make this gluten free cake tomorrow. I understand how important it is to get everything 100% right so wanted to double check everything I've already tripled checked with the parent.

Understand that unless I am 100% certain it is safe I will not be serving it. I'm very serious about getting this right and I wanted to check I've not missed anything!

I've bought a new mixing bowl, new mixing tools, new decorating tools, new knives, new smoother, new scraper, new rolling pin, new unopened jam, butter, gluten free flour, caster sugar, flavouring and box of eggs, new little sheet cake tray, new round cutter (very small mug cake so it'll be easier to bake a sheet and cut a few circles out to stack).

Everything is upstairs in a room that has never had any food/cake or gluten in it. The batter will be mixed up there. Tray will be lined up there. Brought down to bake (covered in baking paper), then brought back up to stack/fill/cover. It'll then be wrapped in cling film until I'm ready to put it on the board the day I take it to school, after I've completed and sealed (and brushed off any excess corn flour etc) the main cake.

So everything used to make the cake, apart from the oven, is new and it'll be made in a room no food has been as I'm worried about particles of regular flour in the air in the kitchen.

 

The ingredients are Stork butter. Tate & Lyle Caster Sugar, Dr Oetker Madagascan vanilla extract, this flour http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/flour-and-ingredients/gluten-and-wheat-free-s-r-white-flour-x-1kg/, and free range eggs for the main cake.  For the buttercream I use Stork butter again and Tate & Lyle icing sugar.  I bought a new pot of this jam http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=254849603. 

 

Is there anything at all I've missed out? x

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Since I am from another country, I cannot comment on ingredients, but I agree with the above comment that you are a great friend to be doing this and doing it right :)  I think your handling practices are as good as it gets.  The only additional thing I can think of, is beware of a dirty pot holder potentially touching the cake.  Just use a clean, thick towel.

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