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Chelseas Gluten-Free Cake
August 4, 2010
I am not a gossip columnist, but when I heard that Chelsea Clinton served her guests gluten-free wedding cake, I was all ears. “This is one wedding I would not mind attending,” I thought. The reason was the food.
So I got on the horn (no twitter or e-mail for this important assignment) and called the bakery that created Chelsea’s cake. Fran Steenman, co-owner of La Tulipe Desserts in Mt. Kisco, New York, could not have been more generous in taking my questions (she knows the magazine.)
I wanted to hear all about Chelsea. Who in the family was gluten-free? Fran didn’t have any answers, or if she knew, she wasn’t talking. She told me the assignment came through Bryan Rafanelli, the wedding planner who, according to an article in the New York Times, made everyone sign confidentiality agreements. Despite the “my-lips-are-sealed” policy, Boston-based Rafanelli was talking to the Times. He told them that “despite the bride’s commitment to veganism, the menu offered ‘everything.’” The Times reported that the “wedding cake was gluten-free, as was the bread. So were the chocolate-chip cookies in the straw welcome bags in the guests’ hotel rooms.”
Fran said Rafanelli asked them to come up with a couple of ideas. “We were honored to be selected,” she said.
What type of cake had Chelsea requested?
Fran said the cake was a labor of love, a white cake made from organic gluten-free flour and local eggs and dairy products. The filling was chocolate mousse and the frosting was a white fondant.
“We experimented with formulas,” she said. “It was gluten-free, but we wanted to be sure nothing was missing. We were looking for the best taste possible.”
Fran and her husband Maarten own La Tulipe Desserts, but they had an entire team working on the cake, which served 500 people.
We’ll be telling you more about La Tulipe Desserts, including publishing their recipe for a gluten-free wedding cake, in an upcoming issue of Living Without.