Rich Chocolate Cake (plus... a treat for gluten-free bakers!)

There's a chill in the air, and it's time to start baking!  Something warm, comforting and delicious.  Here's just the dessert.  You'll love this one!  I made this cake for Gary about 25 years ago. (and ever since...)   It was a surprise for a his birthday.   We weren't really even dating yet, but I think this may have  sparked the flame.   Our friends just celebrated their 45th anniversary and I made this for them.  It's very romantic, and perfect for a party.  The best news... I substituted Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour, for the wheat flour.  It worked perfectly.  No one could tell the difference including me.    Here's the recipe that will make you a star as the holidays roll in. Everyone I know loves this cake.  It's dense, very chocolatey, and even appeals to those who claim not to really like chocolate.  You can serve it at room temperature  or cold.   Invite friends because one cake goes a very long way since it's so dense.   The ingredients are pretty simple.   Melted chocolate, butter, a dozen eggs, sugar and some flour.    I bet I had you at melted chocolate.   I used Cocoa Barry 58% French chocolate.   Use any bittersweet/semisweet you like.   Just not milk, it will be too sweet.


My Lost Crates box this month from Joy the Baker, included vanilla beans, vanilla extract and a big bag of Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour by Thomas Keller.  When Chef Keller does something, it's always great.  The flour looks and feels like wheat flour.  No funny taste, smell or texture.  I would highly recommend going finding some right away and giving it a try.  If you have a moment, follow the link to Lost Crates.  It's always a surprise and very fun!

To print this recipe, click HERE

Dark Chocolate Cake

14 ounces semisweet chocolate (the darker, the better

12 eggs, separated

2 cups granulated sugar

3  1/2 sticks butter, softened

1 cup unbleached flour, sifted (or 1 cup Cup 4 Cup flour)

Confectioner's Sugar for serving

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and sugar an 10 inch spring form pan.  Tap out any excess sugar.

Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in microwave or in a pan placed over another pan of barely simmering water.  Stir until smooth, and cool slightly.  Be careful not to burn the chocolate.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until they are pale and light yellow.  When you lift the whisk or beater over the mixture, there should be a ribbon of the mixture that falls from the beaters  and gently lays on top of the egg/sugar mixture.  Add the chocolate and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the butter, and flour.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff.  Spoon a spoonful of the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and mix.  Then add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture, folding very gently until mixed.  Be very careful not to overmix, or deflate the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it will come close to the top) and set on the rack (middle rack) and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  A cake tester or toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.  The cake will rise and crack, but will settle as it cools.   Cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes, then release the ring of the springform pan.  Allow the cake to cool, then refrigerate until cold.  It's best to wait until the cake is cold to remove the bottom of the springform.

To serve sift with powdered (confectioner's) sugar, and some whipped cream, if desired.   Makes 20 servings (small... but rich)

Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook.



Here's the cake on it's pedestal at the anniversary get-together.  I wish you could smell it... it's SO good.

I'd love to hear how your cake turns out!     Cheers.

Grilled Corn Salad

What an exciting weekend!  I'm back from  San Francisco.   I went for a class on food styling and tips on food photography.   It was really fun and very interesting.   Joy Wilson from Joy the Baker sand Tracy from Shutterbean were the teachers.   They were full of ideas and great information.  Now the trick is to put it to good use.   Tracy and Joy prepared two recipes, and we got to style and shoot using our new props and tips.  Here are some oat bars, and my best shot of the day.

Walnut Oat Bars
Walnut Oat Bars

It's been awhile since I was in San Francisco.  What a gorgeous city!    The hotel's driver/maintenance man invited Gary and I to the roof top to see the view on our last morning there.   Amazing!

Here's my postcard to all of you!

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge

Upon arrving home, I found our CSA box brimming with lots of fresh vegetables.   I wanted to make something crunchy, tasty and cool.  My version of a grilled corn salad - minus the grill.

The best part about this recipe is that you can use anything you like and leave out the things you don't like.   I had little baby eggplants, zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes and fresh sweet corn.

Beautiful Produce!
Beautiful Produce!

To start, shuck the corn and carefully slice off the cob.  Then,heat a grill pan or skillet and place the corn in a single layer ith just a little olive oil.  I used about 2 1/2 cups of corn and about 2 tsp. oil.  Let the pan get hot, really hot.  The corn will sizzle and snap.  Get it quick stir and your should see searing on the corn.  Move to corn to a heat proof bowl.  Add eggplant (I didn't peel mine), and zucchini to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes, just to heat through.  Add these vegetables to the corn and toss.

grilled corn
grilled corn

Now for the fun part.   Add other chopped vegetables, feta, black bean, cilantro/parsley... anything you like.

My salad included parsley, red onion, cilantro and a small piece of feta I had left over from another meal.

To finish the salad, mix in 1 T lime juice or vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder.

You can eat the salad warm, or cover, chill and enjoylater.   This salad is great with any grilled meat, or by itself for a light supper.

To print this recipe, click HERE

Grilled Corn Salad

2 1/2 cups corn (kernels)

1/2 -1 cup chopped zucchini

1 cup chopped eggplant

1 small red onion or scallions, chopped finely

1 can black beans (optional) rinsed

1/4 cup chopped parsley, cilantro or both

1/4 cup feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup cherry tomoates, or 1 large tomato, chopped

1 T olive oil

1 T red or white wine vinegar (or a squeeze of 1/2 lime)

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

salt/pepper to taste

Shuck corn and remove from the cob.  Heat a skillet or grill pan with 1-2 tsp olive oil.  Add corn in a single layer and sear until light brown marks appear on some of the kernels.  Remove from pan to bowl.   Add zucchin and egglant to pan and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to the bowl with the corn.  Add the chopped onion, and black beans.  Add remaining olive oi, vinegar and spices.  Toss in tomato, feta and mix gently.   Remember, you can add any other vegetables or spices to make it your own!

Happy Summer!