Delicious and Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

You only need a small slice of this dense, fudgy flourless cake. I’m re-posting this recipe because it came out great again, and it was a great compliment to the Passover Apple Cake.

Happy holidays, hon!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 pound unsalted butter (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used about a cup.)

6 large eggs

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 10-inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper, and butter paper.
  3. Melt chocolate with butter in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.
  4. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  6. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into pan.
  8. Bake until top has formed a thin crust and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out with moist crumbs adhering, 35-40 minutes.
  9. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove side of pan.
  10. Invert cake onto a plate and reinvert onto rack to cool completely.
  11. Dust cake with cocoa powder before serving. (or dust with confectioner’s sugar)

Serves: 10-12

Tips: serve with berries and whipped cream, add espresso powder for a mocha taste, freeze some slices for a future chocolate craving

Source: Genius Kitchen

Related Posts: Flourless Chocolate Torte, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, Gluten Free Pie Crust, Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche

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Passover Apple Cake

Risky Business!

Hon, I’m taking a chance by posting this recipe for Passover Apple Cake from Martha Stewart.com because I haven’t actually tried it yet. I’m hoping it puts those disgusting, store-bought Passover “cakes” to shame. And how bad can apples and lots of spices be? (Hmm, there was the time that my Lemon Meringue Pie turned into Lemon Soup, but I digress.) I altered the recipe slightly and tripled it, adding two batters-worth to a bundt cake pan and one batter-worth to the recommended 8″ x 8″ cake pan so that there will be enough dessert for 12 people (and some left over). It’ll either be a big hit–or not! Stay tuned…

Passover Apple Cake
Ingredients:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I divided this into 3/4 cup granulated sugar to be mixed with eggs and 3/4 cups combo granulated sugar and brown sugar to be mixed with spices.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (It may have been redundant to add this, but I had it in the house, so figured why not?)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clover
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 5 medium apples, such as Golden Delicious or Crispin, peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup matzo cake meal (I ran out of matzo cake meal, so I added rice flour to make up the difference.)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center. Lightly spray an 8-inch-square glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. (I used a metal, square baking dish.)
  2. Mix together walnuts, 3/4 cup sugar (combo granulated and brown sugar), nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cardamom, and clover in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat eggs on medium speed until well combined. Slowly beat in remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until mixture is thick and foamy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in matzo cake meal.
  4. Pour half of the batter into prepared cake pan. Add a layer of apples (just add them haphazardly), sprinkle raisins and half of the walnut/spice mixture. Pour remaining batter in pan. Top with remaining apples and sprinkle remaining walnut/spice mixture over apples.
  5. Transfer cake to oven and bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the baking dish very slightly and topping begins to caramelize, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven and let stand for several hours until completely cool, before cutting. Keep cake covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to 2 days, as the flavor improves with age.

Yield: Makes one 8-inch square cake.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Passover Cookies

Chocolate Lovers Only!

These cookies came out so chocolatey that I might make them when it’s not Passover! Hon, I’ve never hosted a Passover seder before, but this year I am–yikes–so prep included baking cookies that can freeze well. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart. I didn’t have the amount of bittersweet chocolate called for in the recipe but still, these came out tasting fudge and yummy!

P.S. A few years ago, a statement was released that eating rice during Passover is now allowed, so I’ve been using rice flour or a combo with matzo meal when I bake for Passover.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Passover Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter or nondairy margarine, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (I had a 3 oz bar so I used that & added 1/2 Tablespoon cocoa powder.)
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal  (I used 1/4 cup matzoh meal & 1/4 cup rice flour.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter or margarine and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Add chocolate, matzo meal, and salt. Beat until mixture just comes together. (It should be thick.)
  2. 2. In a clean bowl and with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into chocolate mixture. Add chocolate chips, and stir. Let stand 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Scoop 2-inch balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack, and let cool completely.

Squishy Oversized Knit Cardigan

Color: “Bells of Ireland”
Juniper Moon Farm, “Bud” is a chunky weight, 100% Organic Peruvian Cotton yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my daughters commented that she liked a friend’s squishy, oversized knit cardigan. What came out of my mouth? “I can make that.” Umm–I hadn’t knit a sweater since college! But there I was, searching online for a similar looking sweater when the actual pattern for the “Downtown Cardigan” by designer Stephanie Lau was featured on loveknitting.

The pattern is too many pages to share in a post, so if you’re interested check it out on loveknitting. ($3 to download) I adjusted the pattern to reduce the sleeve length and width, but the sleeves are still too long and a bit too oversized. If I knit this again, I’ll adjust then even more. Other than that, the pattern was easy to follow and the parts easy to sew together. Lau has a bunch of interesting looking projects.

Since my daughter moved to LA, I thought cotton would be better than wool. At my favorite yarn shop, Wool and Grace, it was hard to decide which color of Juniper Moon Farm’s 100% organic Peruvian cotton to choose from. Bells of Ireland won out!

Happy knitting, hon!

Morgan wearing her new sweater.

 

Everyone’s Got Something: My First Year with Celiac Disease, Authors’ Interview, Part 2

Interview with the authors of
Everyone’s Got Something:  My First Year With Celiac Disease!

High-schoolers Hallie and Rayna, along with their mom Lori, answer questions about Everyone’s Got Something: My First Year with Celiac Disease, a fictional story about a girl diagnosed with Celiac Disease. In addition to the story, there are extras:  “what to look for on ingredient labels, ‘BIG’ word definitions, questions to ask at a restaurant, the best brownie recipe ever, insight from a mom, and the chance to start your own journal!” Check out the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

NG:  How old were you when you were diagnosed with Celiac Disease? What grade?
H&R:  We just turned 13 years old, and in 7th grade. 
NG:  How did you feel when you found out?
R:  Shocked, confused and determined to deal with it in the best way I could.
NG:  How did you explain it to your friends?
R:  We told our friends we had a huge announcement, to which they replied, “Oh my gosh, we’ll be the bridesmaids!” which was comic relief that we didn’t know we needed. When we told them we had celiac disease we didn’t even fully know how to explain. A couple of our friends assumed they knew what gluten was (incorrectly) and at the time we didn’t know how to correct them, which is now something we have since learned and mastered how to do.
NG:  What was the biggest change you had to make?
H:  The most drastic change was converting our entire kitchen into a 100% gluten free space. This required getting rid of many kitchen items and running many loads of other items in the dishwasher. The most difficult change was eating outside of our house. It was hard to find restaurants that could prepare food safely. A lot of restaurants offer gluten free options, but they do not all prepare the food safely and without cross contamination. Another change involved having to bring food with us when we went out to eat or eat something before.
NG:  Why did you decide to write the book?
H:  The idea for the book started after we began writing down our thoughts and experiences as a way to process the changes that were occurring. We decided that it might actually benefit others to read it so we thought about how to organize our thoughts, our feelings and our experiences into a book format. When we were diagnosed, we looked for books on celiac disease for tween/ teenagers and we mostly found picture books for younger kids and heavy research, scientific books more geared for adults. We wanted to create a book that suited the tween/teen age group.
NG:  Did you want the book to be fiction, non-fiction, or both?
R:  We wanted it to be a bit of both! We created a fictional character to tell about many of our real life experiences. The main character is a mix of both of us with a few fictional aspects, but her experiences are completely based off of ours.
L:  Our goal was to create a relatable character that inspires hope and optimism in the face of a major life change.
NG:  How long did it take you to write the book?
L:  The [girls] were diagnosed in spring 2014. The initial draft was completed by the summer/fall 2015. However, we went on to more than double the book the following year or so. We started the publishing process the summer of 2018 and it finally became available for purchase this past March. It is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites in paperback and it will be available as an e-book by May (for Celiac Awareness Month). People can start their own journal at the end of the book which lends itself more to the paperback version, but a lot of people enjoy e-books, so we wanted to make sure it would have that option as well. 
NG:  How did you two and your mom collaborate?
R:  We wrote a lot of it together, but also some separately. We each read every section to ensure we were happy with the end result and that the voice of Lexi stayed consistent throughout the book! Writing it was all teamwork! 
NG:  Did you work with an editor?
L:  Yes, we worked with a local editor from Westfield, Lillian Duggan. She was referred to us by Eva Natiello. Eva spoke with us in the very beginning of the publishing process to give us a guideline and some suggestions of how to proceed. Lillian was meticulous in her editing and really helped ensure there was consistency in the character’s voice as well as making sure it was grammatically correct, yet vibrant and true to how a 13-year-old might speak and write in her own journal.We worked with the staff at Jera Publishing who helped with all things publishing: formatting, the cover design and interior images that are throughout the book. There are a couple of original drawings by Rayna and Hallie that are in the book.
NG:  Did you have to do a lot of research?
L:  We did research to back up any facts that were included and particularly the “big” words that were used. We include a glossary in the back of the book called Big Word Definitions to explain the more complicated words associated with celiac disease. For example, cross contamination, endoscopy and villi are defined in the book. It was important to us to use the accurate vocabulary to describe celiac disease, but also break the “big” words down to increase understanding for readers of all ages. 
NG:  Are you planning on writing any other books?
R:  Who knows?! We’re not opposed to it and would be willing to sometime in the future. We might already have some ideas in the works :). For now our hope is to be able to get this book into the hands of people who could really benefit from it. 
NG:  Any other comments you’d like to add?
H&R:  Celiac disease is something that is part of us, but does not define us. We are grateful that we were diagnosed when we were, that we now know what is healthy for our bodies and that we have had to opportunity to meet really good people that we otherwise would have likely never met. 
Also, the title seems to strike a chord with a lot of people whether they have celiac disease or not – we did feel that it is true that “Everyone’s Got Something” – sometimes you can see it, sometimes you can’t, and sometimes you have more than one thing – we hope the book serves as a resource to both empower and reassure people that they can do this!  

Everyone’s Got Something: My First Year with Celiac Disease, Part 1

Darcy, Hallie, Rayna, and friends volunteering at Habitat for Humanity.
Darcy’s friends have published a book!

Along with their mom Lori (shout out to the most wonderful Girl Scout  leader ever!), Hallie and Rayna Katzman have written a book about a very personal experience–Celiac Disease. I remember when Darcy’s friends received the diagnosis  as middle-schoolers. Now, as high school seniors, they can add authors to their lists of accomplishments.

Everyone’s Got Something: My First Year with Celiac Disease is geared toward tweens, teens, and parents, as well as people who’d like to understand more about Celiac Disease. It’s available on Amazon and portions of the proceeds will be donated to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

Lori says, “It has been a meaningful journey translating Hallie and Rayna’s longtime love for reading into writing a book that they hope can help others feel understood and less alone.”

I can’t wait to read it, hon!

Synopsis of Everyone’s Got Something: My First Year with Celiac Disease

Thirteen-year-old Lexi hasn’t been growing as well as expected. In fact, she basically fell off her growth chart over the course of a year! Blood tests revealed “ABNORMAL, VERY ABNORMAL” results. As far as Lexi was concerned, there wasn’t much normal in her life already–par for the course for a newly minted teenager! Learning she had celiac disease gave her a whole new perspective on what’s normal and what’s not. After some ups and downs, Lexi learns how to make lifelong changes and realizes that although celiac disease is something she has, it does not define who she is. With supportive family and friends, Lexi comes to believe that she can “do this,” and she knows that you can, too!

This book is written by teen sisters, Rayna and Hallie Katzman, and their mother, Lori. They created the fictional character Lexi to describe what life was like for them that first year after being diagnosed with celiac disease. In journal entry form, Rayna and Hallie describe how Lexi handles the many “firsts” she encountered in the doctor’s office and with friends and family. The authors’ intention is that readers feel understood, less alone, and more confident in managing this life change.

Be sure to check out some of the “extras” the book has to offer: what to look for on ingredient labels, “BIG” word definitions, questions to ask at a restaurant, the best brownie recipe ever, insight from a mom, and the chance to start your own journal!
Coming up:  Q & A with Hallie and Rayna.

Corn Bread

Have you heard of Sylvia’s Restaurant? I haven’t been there, but I found the one and only corn bread recipe I use in a magazine and it’s Sylvia’s Steamin’ Corn Bread.

From the restaurant’s website:

Sylvia’s Restaurant, the “The Queen of Soul Food”, was founded by Sylvia Woods, in 1962. Established in the historic village of Harlem, Sylvia’s is a community favorite, known as the world’s kitchen. Serving authentic soul food for over 55 years, this icon remains a culinary must-visit for foodies. Gospel brunch Sundays, Live Music Wednesdays, and Daily Specials scream home-style cooking, within an at-home environment. Come visit for yourself, and experience why Presidents, celebrities, and Harlemites alike call Sylvia’s home.

Happy baking, hon.

P.S. I don’t have a photo of the whole dish, but I’ll add a new pic when I make this again.

Ingredients:

–2 cups each yellow cornmeal and all-purpose flour

–1 cup sugar

–2 Tablespoons baking powder

–1 1/2 teaspoons salt

–2 1/2 cups milk (Use non-dairy creamer, almond milk, rice milk, etc. to make this parve.)

–1 cup vegetable oil

–5 large eggs

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In second bowl, whisk together milk, oil and eggs just until blended. Stir in cornmeal mixture just until blended; pour into prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden and wooden picks inserted into center come out clean. Let bread cool slightly in pan on wire rack. Cut lengthwise in thirds; cut each third in 5 pieces. Serve warm.

Yield: Makes 15 servings.

Related Post: Tortilla Soup