Friday, June 26, 2009

Cakes and Sugar Oh MY!!

Today I got a feeling of absolute NEED for chocolate cake and icing. This is a bit of a problem because I have to make baked goods in order for me to be able to eat them: I needed a gluten-free cake in a hurry. Luckily I have in my kitchen, at all times, a bag of Pamela's Chocolate Cake Mix from my local supermarket.

This is the only way that I have found (so far in two years of searching, testing, tossing, and tweaking) that will work consistently at high altitudes without using bean flour. It happens to be one of the few mixes that I use anymore since I have found ways of baking gluten-free breads, crusts, sauces and most cakes... but I still have no scratch recipe for chocolate cake that can out-do the Pamela's mix. Don't get me wrong, I still doctor the mix a bit to allow for my tastes, but the mix itself is my main staple for actual cake--not dense torte or gummy glue, but actual fluffy cake that is not overly sugary (like a lot of GF recipes).

All told I basically follow the directions for the "pound cake" or "ultra-rich" version on the side of the package (I was almost out of sour cream, so it was the pound cake version today which is a little fluffier, but also a little drier...especially when I overcook it by a few minutes by getting distracted outside). I also add about two tablespoons of mocha powder (the little tin of drink mix has many uses!) to the mix and make sure to line the bottom of the pan with circles of parchment. I have had too many cakes go to crumbs because one small spot stuck in my pan and the parchment prevents that from being a problem.

The frosting is a newly-developed creation that is basically a 1/2 cup of butter, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2c. sour cream, and about 3 cups of powdered sugar (and a teaspoon of vanilla or other extract would be nice, but I forgot). I really like the texture of replacing my normal water or milk with the sour cream, but it means that refrigeration is a good idea unless it is going to be immediately eaten.

So without further ado, Here is my grand half second photo session of the cake before I inhaled every bite on the plate with a large glass of milk.

Note that it is not perfectly arranged as I am about to dive headlong into every last calorie on that plate!
Yes, it is not perfect and there are bits missing from the piece... they were properly disposed of I assure you. It was a last minute thought to take photos of my creation. The strawberries were also a last minute idea since I had a box of organic strawberries from our local CSA that were going to go bad soon. It really turned out wonderfully!

So the next time that you are hankering for a nice slice of Gluten-Free chocolate cake, and stopping by your local supermarket, pick up Pamela's mix, you won't regret it. And no, I do not work for, get paid by, or otherwise get compensation from Pamela's other than that they give me the opportunity to have wonderful chocolaty calories out of a mix.

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