frank and i celebrate 5 years of marriage tomorrow. it was one of the best days of my life, a day filled with such an overwhelming amount cheer and enthusiasm from so many people that it's hard to describe with just mere words.
since i was a little girl, i thought i would get married where i summered every year on martha's vineyard. i had the venue picked out and everything! we would get married on the patio of beach plum inn, while overlooking menemsha bight at sunset. there would be twinkling lights, and great food, and dancing, and all around awesome time. clearly little me wasn't thinking about grownup things like cost and logistics. so when frank and i started wedding planning a wedding on martha's vineyard was quickly crossed off. so we switched gears to something a bit more local, and affordable. a quick google search of "farms by the ocean", turned up with some interesting, but very limited options. luckily, we found salt air farm, which by the name alone had me super interested. it happened to be located on long island, where i grew up when i was little, and everything quickly fell into place, and felt so right.
our wedding was very much a family affair, which makes the memory that much sweeter. my mom, a close family friend/planner/caterer, and i planned every last detail. our dj was another long-time friend, as was our amazing photographer. i designed the invitations, seating cards, table numbers, etc.! and salt air farm also happened to be a fruit and flower farm, so all the centerpieces came right from the fields that the entrance of the farm welcomed each guest with. there was so much heart and soul that went into our wedding, but we also never felt more appreciative of the outpouring of love than on that day.
but the best part was marrying frank. never have i known anyone like him. he is simply the sweetest, kindest, most patient man i will ever know. i am forever grateful to whatever cosmic powers that led to us meeting.
ok, let's talk cake before i start crying even more than i already am. our wedding cake was 3-tiers, and aside from being yummy and gluten-and-dairy-free, i didn't really care too much about it. we went to babycakes in nyc, and tasted a few of their flavors, and i'm pretty sure we just settled on a basic chocolate and vanilla duo, with a traditional vanilla frosting. the cake here has two really luscious chocolate-y layers, a chocolate fudge frosting, and it's topped off with an almond butter-based caramel sauce. i decorated it with the same blush-y shade of flowers that was in my wedding bouquet, as well as in the centerpieces on each table - a subtle, little reminder of that day. the recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks from this past spring, sweet laurel. the book is full of thoughtful gluten-and-dairy-free recipes. from morning treats, to breads, and nut-based cream cheese; to beautiful cakes, and tips on how to decorate them. it's a lovely book for those who love to bake, or someone who is new to gluten-and-dairy-free baking.
love & cake. xo!
**all non-cake photos by: kisha bari
Double Chocolate Caramel Cake | gf & df
chocolate cake and dark chocolate fudge frosting recipe from Sweet Laurel, by Laurel Gallucci & Claire Thomas
| make a two 6-inch layers |
dark chocolate fudge frosting
- 4 pounces 100% cacao unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, solid
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup almond milk or full-fall coconut milk, or as needed
- coconut nut oil, for greasing the pans
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup 100% unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate fudge frosting (ingredients below)
- 1 cup caramel sauce (ingredients below)
caramel sauce (recipe from Pinch of Yum)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- pinch of sea salt
- make the frosting. in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring constantly. remove the pan from the heat. slowly add the maple syrup and stir to incorporate. allow to cool completely.
- transfer the chocolate mixture to a medium bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat in the almond butter until a thick frosting forms. add the almond milk and stir with a spatula until smooth.
- refrigerate for at least 8 hours, then bring to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until spreadable.
- make the cake. preheat oven to 350°F. line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, then grease the sides of the pans with coconut oil.
- in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. a little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until a batter forms.
- divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. invert the cakes onto racks, and allow to cool completely (*my note: i let the cake cool in the pan on a rack, then inverted them onto a rack to then cool completely).
- place one layer on a cake plate and top with 1/2 cup of the fudge frosting, smoothing it evenly over the entire surface. drizzle a few tablespoons of the caramel on top. add the second layer and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of frosting, then drizzle more caramel over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
- refrigerate until ready to serve. take out 20-30 minutes prior to serving. decorate with fresh blooms, sprinkles, herbs, herbs flowers, etc.!