Missing Cake Caper


Thanksgiving weekend left d’oeuvres are usually pretty picked over by Sunday, but I knew there should be a hunk of ‘death by chocolate’ in the fridge.

Charlie’s mom crafts beautiful pastry, and never blinks when the “no wheat” requirement restricts her range. I consider anything without gluten not a real pastry because the paste comes from the glue in gluten. At least that is how I have it in my head.

When I pawed through the wrapped up goodies in our crammed frigo, no chocodeath turned up.
Stuck head in shop.
No Charlie.
Oh, wait, it’s Sunday.
Stuck head in Man Cave.
No man.
Stuck head in office.
No drone.

Ran out to Habitat, where a Culprit sat contentedly picking his teeth.
A smattering of Evidence, dark brown and suspiciously crumblike, clung near the zipper of his jacket.
“HEY! Was that our cake? Didn’t you agree you’d save me a teeny slice?!” I whined.

A passing jogger would imagine a spoiled twelve year old was speaking to a younger sibling.
“Uh…I couldn’t stop…it was too good…”(giggle).
I turned abruptly about and stalked toward the house, chiding myself for caring about a piece of cake, googled the recipe (oh, good, lots of eggs, I have 30 of them now…) and two hours later, presented him with a big one, and hoarded the little circular one for myself.

I should know better than to think wheatless stuff is mine.
Every kind of dairyless, wheatless, sugarless ‘confection’ he drags in from The UnGodly A-Wrath (Good Earth healthfood store) remains unmolested by me because this sort of stuff is also taste-less (in my book).

Here’s how it’s done:

Oven at 350F
Melt three bars of high-cacao (70% or more) choco and melt a stick and a quarter of butter
Dump in a cup and a half of sugar…whisk it around for a couple of minutes.
Throw in a decent pinch or two of salt.
Grind up ten-fifteen almonds, throw powder in with whisked stuff.
Whisk 5 or 6 eggs, add to slightly cooler melted stuff
Oh, I forgot, I put in some ricotta that needed using up…so mine is a tiny bit cheesy, probably makes nae diff.
Lay parchment down or use a springform pan well-oiled and lightly floured (this amount doesn’t bother his royal peevishness), pour in, set timer for 36 minutes, nah, 35 and a half…and put on a record, until the smell makes you come running ten minutes early…
Impatiently wait (or not) ….
pull er out…
it will be like a souffle all pouffy and proud, parade around house, then bring the sunken mess back to the kitchen, lay your message down with powdered sugar sprinkled through a stencil (“wheat free” is today’s message, but “Eat Dessert First” would be cool, too).

Don’t wait to dive in.
Best with tall cool glass of milk, but coffee would be OK in the morning. Or tea.
OOOH! Stop the press! Adulterants!!! Whisking away…made me think ” hmmmm this could use some whisky”.
Now that I KNOW HOW IT’ SPELT (at least in Whiskyland i.e. Scotland)
Other possibility (thanks to Noah Gellner, chef supremo de Manhattan): Chile, good roasted N.M. chile, maybe one over the other. I’ll stick my neck out and say “Poblano” (write me if that ‘s the wrong one).
Amount? Oh…a teaspoon should do.
As for the whisky, er…this guy’s the limit. No, wait…pastry cookery is precision-based, owing to its reliance on solid, predictable (and reproducible) technique and results… thus… screw with the solid/liquid ratio, and you Mess Up The Result…SO…ok, try using dried maple syrup (pricey sugar alternative Chas wants me to use instead of C (11)-H (22) -O(11) i.e. sucrose)….then you can indulge in the very wet option of some cooking whisky. No clue what kind that might be, one you don’ t mind losing in the dark batter, never to be enjoyed on the tongue since it all vaporizes in the oven…think it would do a great job of flavoring the soufle/cake, though. And it’s still ‘good for you’ since there’s no flour.
Mind, I think flour is FINE.
But not all G.I. tracts are in accord.
I think that even non-imbibers can enjoy the flavor of the booze, the ethanol has boilt off by the time cooking’s done.
Can you tell I’m getting paid by the word?
But enough about me…
Tell me about YOU.


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