Health Food

You know when people say, oh, just a small piece for me, it’s so rich! And you think, rich = delicious; I’ll take a slab, thanks.

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Or is that just me?

This cake has no flour in it, so it’s naturally gluten-free, which I gather means it is just as healthy as apples or marshmallow fluff. How you’ve managed to stay alive without it I do not know.

Fudge Cake

1 cup butter + 3 Tablespoons butter, separately

8 oz bittersweet chocolate + 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, separately

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 cup cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375.

Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper. Spray the paper with cooking oil.

Melt 1 cup butter with 8 oz bittersweet chocolate.

Pour that into a bowl, then add the sugar.

Add the eggs, stirring well.

Sift cocoa powder into the mixture and stir til blended.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Let it cool for 15 minutes, run a butter knife around the edges, release the spring, and remove the sides.

Leave it on the counter til it’s cool to the touch, then cover with a sheet of waxed paper, wrap in tin foil, and stick it in the fridge. Overnight is ideal, but as long as it’s cool through you’re good to go.

About an hour before you want to eat it, pull it from the fridge, remove it from the bottom of the pan, set in on your serving plate (upside down if you prefer a flat top) and prepare your glaze:

Melt 3 Tablespoons butter with 4 oz bittersweet chocolate.

Remove from heat and add milk, honey, and vanilla.

Pour onto center of cooled cake, then spread with the back of a spoon. I like to cover the top and let it drip down the sides a bit, but you do you.

Once it’s glazed, store it at room temperature in something airtight.

Cool It

I make a delicious cake, but not a particularly pretty one.

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Yesterday I got some lessons in cake decorating from a friend. How to level the cake, what consistency the frosting should be for the crumb coat vs. the piping, what each pastry tip is used for, and most importantly, how to stay cool when you realize it’s over 90 degrees and your cake is beginning a slow tilt on its rapidly melting middle layer of frosting.

Because my friend is vegan, we made a vegan version of buttercream, using a coconut-based margarine and almond milk. As a long-time frosting lover I can attest that not much is lost in the translation, but use butter or margarine as you like and your milk of choice.

(Vegan) Vanilla Buttercream

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup shortening

6 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

6 Tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whip margarine and shortening, then alternately add sugar and wet ingredients. If too stiff, add a bit more milk; too wet, add sugar.

Up Side Down

When I make my peach preserves, I’m sure to set a few peaches aside for upside-down peach cake.

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Three or four peaches will do, but you’re probably going to want to make this twice, so you may want eight.

Upside-Down Peach Cake

Preheat oven to 350.

4 peaches, peeled and sliced

3 egg yolks, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup boiling water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

Beat yolks til thick and light.

Add sugar gradually.

Add water and vanilla.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt and set batter aside.

In an 8″, ovenproof frying pan, melt butter over medium heat.

Add brown sugar to butter and let cook a minute or two until it starts to become bubbly.

Turn off the heat and layer peaches on top of brown sugar mixture. This is going to be the top of your cake, so you can attempt to lay the slices in prettily but they’re slippery so don’t stress yourself out. This is cake.

Pour your cake batter over the peaches.

Set the frying pan in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, til golden.

Let it sit for a few minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Remember, the handle of your frying pat is hot!

Serve plain or with whipped cream.