Thursday, December 27, 2018

Chocolate Cake-- that your guests won't know is gluten free

I made this cake on Christmas Eve to serve for the Christmas Day meal that I cooked.  To be completely honest, I made this cake for myself.  I have food sensitivities and often can't fully enjoy traditional treats, because they'll literally make me sick and cause me to have a migraine that lasts two days or more.  I wanted to be able to have a yummy dessert that I could eat without worrying about how it would make me feel.  I did choose to alter a traditional recipe rather than making a "gluten-free" recipe dessert so that no one would notice it was gluten free.  I wanted it to taste like a regular cake and not having anyone guessing it was gluten free.

You can use regular flour, or you can make it gluten free, which is what I did.  This is a rich, dark chocolate cake.  The cake itself is almost a brownie texture with the potential to stick to the roof of your month.  One of my complaints with cake is most of them are dry, flaky, and boring.  Not this cake.  The icing is equally delicious.  I was tempted to just eat it out of the bowl by itself.

I'd like to make this again but experiment by making it dairy free.  I'd like to replace the eggs with flax or chia eggs.  I would also substitute the milk with almond milk.  I always cook with almond milk, but this time around I actually used 2% milk since I was serving it to other people and wasn't sure how the almond milk would do.  I would also like to substitute the white sugar with coconut sugar.  That will alter the flavor but will be gentler on my body.

This isn't a cake for people who don't like chocolate.  This is a cake for chocolate lovers.  I would name it Death by Chocolate Cake and make mini chocolate candy headstones to set on top surrounded by crumbled Oreo cookies (freshly dug graves, duh) if I was making this around Halloween instead of for Christmas dinner 😂.

I hope you enjoy this decadent cake!

Death by Chocolate Cake
adapted from "Especially Dark" cake and frosting recipes on back of Hershey's Dutch Cocoa package

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups Pamela's gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Dutch Processed Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 inch round pans.  I then lightly sprinkled cocoa powder on the greased pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water.  Pour batter into pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes then remove from pans to wire racks.  Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting (or let's be real, I call it icing):
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark Dutch Processed Cocoa (I used half Hershey's Cocoa and half Sunflower brand cacao.  Cacao has super power nutrients and makes the icing taste even darker.)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa/cacao.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Add small amount of additional milk if needed.  Frost the cake!

This cake isn't overly complicated, and it's worth every bit of work!  I'm definitely going to make it again soon!

Note: If you want a little different (not so dark) chocolate cake, give this one a try.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

How the Lineage of Jesus Applies to You

If you see a genealogy list in the Bible and think, “I can just skip over this”— DON’T!
The first chapter of Matthew starts with the genealogy of Jesus. Boring way to start, right? Wrong!
We first see that Jesus is from the line of David and Abraham— just as the Old Testament prophets foretold.
We close the genealogy by seeing the importance of Joseph being his earthy father. That’s how Jesus comes from the promised line.
We see men throughout this genealogy, godly men and evil men. God uses even the evil to complete his plan.
Let’s talk about the women, though. This is some real shouting ground for not only women but all mankind for how we can be used by God.
We read about Tamar in Genesis 38. Tamar’s story is one of heartbreak, full of evil, deceit, and broken promises. None of those things can thwart God’s plan. Through everything that happened to Tamar and even the deceit she committed, God showed grace and continued the line through her.
Rahab’s story is told in Joshua 2. She was a prostitute who came to have faith in God. God can use anyone, no matter their past or current situation.
Ruth gets her own book of the Bible! Despite being a widow, living in poverty, and going to a distant land, she has faith and is greatly blessed because of it. She is the great-grandmother of King David.
Who is Uriah’s wife that we see in the genealogy? That’s Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12). Even in the genealogy list we’re reminded of the sin of David, the adultery and murder. Bathsheba becomes his wife, but she’s listed as her first husband’s wife in the list. God forgave David and later blessed him and Bathsheba with a son that would become king.
Bathsheba is the only one of the women above that was Jewish. Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth were from other nations, nations that practiced idolatry. God can use you no matter your background. Don’t use your background as an excuse to keep from being faithful to God.
God sees women. God uses women. God gives us grace beyond anything we deserve or can imagine.

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