Monday, 26 January 2009
Birthday chocolate cake and crazy computers
When I told my mum I would bring a cake for her birthday lunch, I said unless she had any special requests I would make a chocolate one. She seemed happy with that but once I got off the phone I suddenly wondered if I should be making a cake for the dieters or the celiacs in the family. Catering to both seemed a bit difficult. In the end, I settled for a decadent gluten free cake.
Searching my flourless cake recipes, I was surprised to find that I had not posted a flourless almond cake and thought it was time to make amends with a recipe from the ever-reliable Jill Dupleix. I think I found the recipe in a newspaper many years ago at the time when flourless chocolate cakes were still a bit exotic and gluten free diets were unheard of in my world. It appealed because it wasn’t huge and full of lots of eggs. One other similar recipe had 10-14 eggs in it which seems excessive to me.
I was glad to have chosen the gluten free option when my gluten free niece watched the eating of the Bombe Alaska that my mum had bravely made. (I never thought I would like it and wasn’t too keen on the meringue outer layer but loved the pannetone and raspberry icecream layers inside.)
Meanwhile, back home, I am building up a little backlog of posts, as I haven’t had lots of energy for blogging and now computer troubles have complicated the situation. Last week our internet connection was so bad that we couldn’t use it. At the end of the week, we got someone to look at it and they managed to fix the internet connection and crash my computer at the same time. The best he could do was open it in safe mode so I could copy files off it. Grrrr!
We have been talking about me getting a new computer as mine has been slower lately but I didn’t expect to have to do it so quickly, and not in the same week I bought a new camera that I had to adjust to. I bought a new laptop yesterday but decided to change from a PC to a Mac. My first computer was a Mac. E’s computer is a Mac. So I am not totally unfamiliar with them. Yet I am seeking new ways to do everything I have taken for granted. I was unprepared for how very slow and frustrating it would be.
Right now, it feels that if this post gets up on my blog, it will be a huge achievement. Formatting and adding photos are driving me crazy! I hope that soon, I will be more comfortable with this new computer and new way of thinking, but if I am a little slow and clumsy at the moment, you know why!
Jill Dupleix’s Flourless Chocolate Cake
200g good dark chocolate, broken up
1 tbsp brandy, cognac or other liqueur (I used whiskey)
1 tsp ground wattleseed (or coffee)
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds (I used a bit more)
3 eggs, separated
Preheat oven to 160 C. Grease and line an 18cm round cake tin (or if you don’t have one, a 20cm round cake tin will be fine, that is what I used).
In a large microwave proof bowl, melt chocolate, liqueur, wattleseed and butter. Stir in sugar, almonds and egg yolks. Beat egg whites til stiff peaks form. Stir a spoonful into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold remainder of egg whites in with a metal spoon. Spoon cake mixture into prepared tin.
Bake for 45 minutes. Cool in tin. (I think I cooled mine for about 4 hours.) Turn out and serve. If desired sprinkle with icing sugar, and accompany with cream and berries. But this is good just by itself.
On the stereo:
Eisiges Licht 2: Various Artists