Chocolate Crack Cake

This cake has become a holiday tradition in our home for the last three years. It’s not that I don’t like Pumpkin, I LOVE it, but my hubby is not a big fan.

The best thing about this cake, for me at least, is that it is Gluten Free!

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When it comes out of the oven, it’s all puffy with beautiful peaks and valleys but, as it settles, it sinks in the center and cracks.

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Also, it’s loaded with chocolate and sugar so, you get a nice little burst of energy after you have a slice… or two.

When baking, I ALWAYS use Land o’ Lakes unsalted butter. I’ve tried other brands and just don’t get the same results. Also, when it come to unsweetened cocoa, Hershey brand is my choice. And for this recipe in particular, I use Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate. The other thing I like to do is to take my eggs out of the refrigerator a little early so they are not quite cold when I start mixing them in to the recipe.

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Mixing chocolate with butter and heavy cream:

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First, if you don’t already have one, get yourself a springform pan (9 inch).

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces (have extra on hand to butter the pan)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra to dust the pan)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate (chopped if you are not using chips)
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioners sugar (plus extra for dusting the cake)
1/4 TSP vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ springform pan and dust with extra cocoa powder.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and cocoa powder; whisk in the chocolate mixture.

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for one hour. Unhinge pan to remove sides.

5. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Dust the cake with confectioners sugar and serve with fresh whipped cream.

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Notes: You can bake the cake the day before and refrigerate (covered) after it has completely cooled. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature, dust with the confectioners sugar and prepare fresh whipped cream. Also, be sure to butter the pan thoroughly, including the sides. This will ensure easy removal. You can run a knife around the edge of the cake before you release it.

We couldn’t wait until tomorrow:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Gluten Free Dog Treats

AND a Happy 6th Birthday to my sweet Pug!

I’ve been saying for years that I’m going to bake my own dog treats. Well, I finally did it!¬† And they were SO easy to make.

GF Dog Treats

Ingredients: Gluten free all purpose flour (with Xanthan gum), pumpkin puree, peanut butter, egg and cinnamon.

The GF flour I used is Pillsbury Best Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour Blend. This is the first time I’ve used this flour and I must say, I was impressed. When mixed with the other ingredients, the dough was perfect and easy to roll out. I didn’t even need to flour my hands, as the dough was not sticky.

Baked (and mashed) sweet potato can be substituted for the pumpkin puree. Sweet potato is my Pug’s favorite but, I was in a hurry so it was much easier to open a can of pumpkin.

Everyone says to use natural peanut butter for dogs, which I’ve attempted but, my Pug tasted it, stuck her nose up in the air, put her paws on her hips and said “whaaaat?”. So, I just use regular ol’ creamy Jif.

1. 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of Gluten Free flour

2. 1 egg

3. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (your choice)

4. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

5. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all wet ingredients plus cinnamon until creamy. Add mixture to GF flour. Combine until dough forms. Roll out to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out treats using cookie cutter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Pug and a Treat

These were big treats for my little Pug and she loved them. Just look at the intensity in her eyes! When it comes to food, she has no self control. After standing on her hind legs and dancing, this pic was the best I could get.

Happy Birthday Phoenix!

Opening Presents