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Monday, February 8, 2010

happy birthday to me...

For my birthday this year I made a gluten-free cake. I have been working on going gluten-free but still wanted to celebrate my birthday with something yummy. I found the recipe below in the Living Without Magazine...now go make you some...Enjoy!

05/365...Gluten Free Cake...

Mocha Chocolate Cake


“When I began living gluten free, this was the first cake I re-created,” says Diane Kittle. “Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.” Top with Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting or Chocolate Ganache Frosting.

1 cup hot brewed coffee (decaf works fine)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
3 cups gluten-free All-Purpose Flour Blend more for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup dairy-free margarine or organic shortening
2½ cups sugar or evaporated cane juice
4 large eggs,* room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans for Chocolate Mocha Cake on cover. Or prepare three 8-inch round cake pans for Chocolate Ganache Cake, pictured here.

2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder. Add hot water and whisk until smooth.

3. On a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the margarine or shortening and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla and cream well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Blend half the dry ingredients into the wet batter, followed by half the cocoa mixture. Blend in remaining dry ingredients and cocoa mixture, mixing on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

6. Spoon the batter equally into prepared cake pans or standard-size cupcake tins. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Watch carefully as time will vary depending on oven and pan size. Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

7. Remove cake from oven and cool in pans for 20 minutes. Then turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Frost tops of layers with Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting or Chocolate Ganache Frosting Assemble cake and frost sides.

Dairy Free, Too!

Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting


This versatile recipe makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake. For a wonderful Vanilla “Buttercream” Frosting, omit the cocoa and coffee extract and add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

6 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sifted cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup boiling-hot water
2½ cups vegetable shortening, such as organic Spectrum shortening
¾ cups dairy-free margarine of choice
2 teaspoon gluten-free coffee extract
Fresh raspberries or shaved chocolate, for garnish

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar, cocoa and salt.

2. With a whip attachment, add boiling water and whip at medium-low speed until smooth and cool, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add shortening, margarine and extract to the sugar mixture. Whip at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, approximately 10 minutes.

4. Scrape down the bowl and whip an additional minute. Frost cake and garnish with raspberries or shaved chocolate.

Each cake serving with Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting contains 838 calories, 49g total fat, 18g saturated fat, 2g trans fat, 53mg cholesterol, 949mg sodium, 99g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein.

TIP Refrigerate leftover frosting in an airtight container for two weeks. Let frosting return to room temperature and then re-whip for 2 minutes before using.

*TIP For Egg-Free Mocha Chocolate Cake, mix ½ cup applesauce with 2 teaspoons baking powder in a small bowl. In another small bowl, thoroughly mix 4 tablespoons cold water with 1 tablespoon egg replacer. (For gluten-free egg replacer, visit ener-gfoods.com) Add egg replacer mixture to applesauce mixture. Then add the entire egg-free mixture to the creamed shortening and sugar and proceed with recipe instructions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a little bit of this and a whole lot of that...

I feel like my blog has taken a back seat to life the past few weeks. I started working on my Early Childhood Education Master's program through Arizona State University and I have spent the past few weeks to get settled in with my classes...balancing being a wife, mother and grad student.

I have been out and about taking photos. Did a photo shoot of my son for his 10th birthday...wow, 10 years old already...where has the time gone? I will get some of these up soon to share with all of you.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to be an assistant for Stephanie Harmon of StepOnMePhotos. I have been an assistant for Stephanie before and was thrilled when she asked me to do so again. The wedding was quaint and the bride and groom were beaming with love. To see some of my photos from the wedding go to my facebook fan page and check them out. While you are there check out my other work and let me know that you stopped by by leaving a comment.

I leave you with a recent photo I took that is currently the background on my desktop and my google calendar (did you know that you can put a picture as a background on you google calendar??? I just discovered this last week and love it...check it out in the lab section of your google calendar settings).

“Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery -- it recharges by running.”   Bill Watterson

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