Monday, May 18, 2009

Sugar High! Flourless Chocolate Cake

My old college roommate is hosting a bake along on her site. The rules are that you can bake anything you want, it just has to be gluten free. Post a photo, a recipe and let her know what you've done. It all has to be done by May 25.

Since shortly more than 2 years ago I attempted to go gluten free & dairy free, I happened to have a favorite recipe in my stash. I can't tell you how happy I was to learn that Lily was only allergic to dairy - the wheat was a real killer for me. One of the things that I absolutely craved was baked goods. Bread, yes. Cookies, definitely. Brownies, oh man I wanted them. Cake, the absolute most. It was a blessing when I found this recipe. Plus, it has all my favorite things: chocolate, butter, coffee, and eggs!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
From America's Test Kitchen
1 lb semi sweet chocolate, chopped (obviously the better the chocolate, the better the cake will be)
16 Tbs butter
1/4 Cup strong coffee
8 eggs

Set up: Preheat oven to 325. Spray a springform pan with Pam, line the bottom with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of aluminum foil. set inside a large roasting pan. Bring 2 pots of water to boil on the stove.

Mix chocolate, coffee and butter in glass bowl. Microwave until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.
Beat eggs for 5-10 minutes. (the recipe says until doubled in size, but I think 5 minutes is a better measure since my eggs rapidly doubled but were not beaten enough).
Fold in 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate until just a few streaks of egg remain. Continue adding egg mixture and folding until it is completely incorporated.

Pour into prepared pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan and place in oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature is 140. Cool at room temperature for 3 hours, then place in refrigerator overnight.


The water bath is key, it allows the cake to cook slowly and evenly and helps maintain the smooth texture.
The other must is beating the eggs long enough. I actually set a timer for 5-7 minutes, otherwise I get too impatient. This ensures that the eggs are frothy enough and helps with the smooth texture. If you don't beat the egg long enough, the cake will taste a little custardy in spots.
Use good chocolate!! I use the best tasting dairy free chocolate that I can find, which is difficult as they all seem to taste a little off.

When Daddy Makes Breakfast...

When Daddy makes breakfast, it's always an adventure. Today we helped Daddy make green and orange eggs. They tasted great! We had a little picnic on the floor of the living room with our eggs while we watched cartoons. Lazy Saturday mornings are the best.*

*The best part for Momma was being able to sleep in!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Park Cleanup

I took the girls to the park yesterday to help clean up the beach and park areas. The girls did very well to start with, but the wind off the lake was very cold so I ended up carrying Lily for a good part of the garbage pickup part. We walked along the beach and I picked up garbage while Addie collected feathers and pinecones. She ended up making a pinecone indian - a pinecone with feathers sticking out of the top as a head dress.
Later, the girls played on the playground equipment while I patrolled the area for litter.

The highlight for the girls was after most of the people had gone home. We paused for a snack with Bill. Bill shoveled sand off the sidewalks while I swept. Pretty soon I heard, "We need more sand!" Bill was shoveling sand over to the girls so they could "plant" their stick.

That's not a sand castle, it's a plant.