Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Honey Cake

Dusted with powdered sugar and coco powder
We were invited to a Rosh Hashana celebration for dinner tonight, and I asked if I could bring a dessert.  This will be our family's first Rosh Hashana dinner so I did a little research about traditional desserts and quickly found that Honey Cake is the most obvious choice.  After looking over so many recipes this morning I finally found one that I liked and had most of the ingredients for.  I made my exchanges for gluten free flours, and adjusted for the one or two items I didn't have in the house and away we went.  It was really easy to make, and baked up nicely too.  I did sneak a crumb off the bottom of the cake before I turned it out on to the drying rack, and it tasted pretty delicious, hopefully our hosts will think so tonight.  Below you will find the recipe I adapted from the original Chocolate Velvet Honey Cake by Marcy Goldman

After dinner we cut into the cake, and it was amazing!  Ceci had been waiting ALL day to have a few bites of that delicious, moist, chocolate, sweet, treat.  Everyone enjoyed it and was raving about it, in fact I was told that this could be my new passover assignment next year.  I was so pleased that it came out so sweet and moist, and everyone truly liked it.  Hope your family and friends enjoy it too!

1/4 cup Soy flour
1/2 cup Brown Rice flour
1 cup Tapioca Starch
1 cup Sweet Rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1/2 cup cocoa

1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 cup Strong Coffee
1/2 cup coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
Garnish: confectioner's sugar, cocoa, drizzled melted semi-sweet chocolate, 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously spray a nine- or 10-inch tube pan or angel food cake pan with cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.
In a stand mixer, add in the oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugar. Blend well about 1 minute. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and Coffee. Blend well for another minute.
Fold in the dry ingredients and blend for about two minutes, until smooth, stopping the machine once or twice to ensure that ingredients are all blended and not stuck at the bottom.
Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon or pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake on baking sheet and bake until done, about 60-75 minutes, until cake springs back when gently pressed with fingertips. Cool 10 minutes before unmolding from pan.
Dust cake with confectioner's sugar, or cocoa. Or, drizzle on melted, semi-sweet chocolate. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

3rd Birthday deliciousness

Happy Third Birthday Ceci!
A few weeks ago we celebrated Ceci's 3rd birthday, it was so much fun.  I can't believe how much she has grown and changed in the last year, and how well she has survived all we have been through.  She is speaking so well, running, jumping, dancing, joking, laughing, and enjoying life.  We have also in the last year found that she is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and been battling Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in her left ankle.  Through it all she is cheerful and sweet and loving.  

Now about the party, we decided on a super hero theme for her birthday after we started looking at the invite list and realized there was only one other girl.  All of our friends have sons!  It was obvious that we would have to put princess or fairy parties on hold for at least another year until there are a few more girls participating.  The good news is that Ceci LOVES Super Hero Squad!  She knows all the characters names, and their super powers and whether they are good or naughty.  The show is a kids version of Marvel super heroes and villains and their battles against one another.  

One of the games, to fill a bucket with cups of water

My poor girl, and her silly father
We bought all sorts of Marvel Hero decor, plates, napkins, a pinata and other fun stuff.  I also allowed Tim to write up a fun adventure for the kids to work on during the party, it was great.  He picked a few games and wrote up messages from Iron Man for the kids to read and discover.  The kids LOVED it, the were screaming and yelling about how Iron Man had sent them all a special message just for them, Ceci still likes to look at the message and have Tim read it over and over again to her.  The only problem came when Tim came out in an Iron Man costume, the kids freaked out a little, even Ceci would tell me it was her Dad, but was very afraid.  The worst was when we had a friend come out in the Dr. Doom costume we created, the kids ran screaming, even though he was holding a pinata full of candy.  They eventually got over the fear enough to pull the strings and break the pinata open.  

I was up until 2 am the night before the party decorating super hero cookies, made from my gluten free sugar cookie recipe for everyone to enjoy at dessert.  One of my coworkers had previously purchased these cookie cutters herself and was sweet enough to loan them to me for the party.  My dear friend Sheri made the cupcakes for the party, and they came out great!  She made all the chocolate toppers freehand with with chocolate since she was away from all her equipment and supplies due to the hurricane.  They were so delicious, there was cinnamon in the vanilla cupcakes and a little mint candy in the bottom of the chocolate cupcakes.  I would never have dreamed of such elaborate gluten free cupcakes for a party, let alone for my gluten free, nut free child.  I really love all the possibilities that exist now, we are so fortunate.

Aren't these AMAZING??  Ceci was so pleased with them!