I don’t like chocolate cake. I mean it’s O.K., but my mother taught me very well (perhaps too well), that if you are going to give something a name involving the word chocolate, it better darn well actually taste like chocolate. And this is my eternal problem with chocolate cake. It’s dark, it can be rich with the right ganache or mousse filling, but is the cake itself that chocolatey? Do you feel like a cake is merely a transformation of pure chocolate into fluffy cake form? Maybe I just haven’t tried enough chocolate cakes before, but I have yet to find a plain cake that actually tastes like a chocolate bar.
My husband, however, loves chocolate cake. I created for him a gluten free cake recipe that even he could make back then, when the man would stress out over making a simple casserole dinner for himself – and for the 5 minutes it took to cook in the microwave (we really have come a long way since then, haven’t we?), it was pretty darned awesome. I think he made that “cake” once a week, haha. You see, for a while during grad school (almost 2 yrs), we were stuck living 1000 miles apart from each other, and it totally sucked. Our wedding festivities and honeymoon were a welcome month-long reprieve during the middle of this time apart, after which we had to go back to the infrequent once every couple of month trips to see each other until we were both ready to defend. Talk about stress-inducing, to be brand new newlyweds and not even be able to spend time with each other during most of our newlywed phase. We’ve both decided to never ever be in that situation again.
Actually, being here in Switzerland is really our first time living together in our own place since we’ve been married – maybe that’s another contributing reason to why this whole experience has been so magically surreal for us over the past year. Or, maybe it’s the landscape. Every day I look out over the lake struck in awe at the fact that I live in such a fantastically beautiful place. And then the sun starts to set and the colors come alive, as if on fire…
I think over our time living together en Suisse, my husband has transformed his taste for chocolate a bit though, and has come over to my side – the dark, rich and intense side of chocolate. Maybe that’s because he pretty much eats anything I make 😉
You see, when it comes to chocolate desserts, I tend to be attracted to those things where the chocolate flavor is exploding in your mouth with each bite. Flourless torte, soufflé, tapioca pudding, risotto, or my parents’ chocolate pudding cake, which is almost like a fondant in the way the molten chocolate envelops the cake, letting it soak up the deliciously dark syrupy pudding. Oh man is that stuff awesome, and then the chocolate literally is oozing out from all sides (remind me to make that for y’all sometime). But anyways, if I’m going to make a dessert where chocolate is the main subject instead of just a little punctuation, then I like my desserts rich. Intense. So that there is no mistaking it is the chocolate who is making the statement. What can I say? My mother is a superb teacher
The days since I have eaten a brownie can be counted in years. I think it was my 2nd year in grad school that I had last made them, trying out a recipe on the back of a packaged gluten free mix, sadly disappointed to find that they came out more like cake than brownies. Were they chocolately? Well they were chocolate in color at least, but the flavor was sorely lacking. In fact, they tasted exactly like every chocolate cake I have ever been let down by. There was nothing “brownie” about them besides the name on the package, and I hate to say it, but it ruined my desire for making gluten free brownies for a long time.
And then last week, for some reason I decided I needed to give brownies another go and end my multiple year-long hiatus from this humble baked dessert. I would make them from scratch this time though, and I went to my favorite cookbook (i.e. the internet and my blogroll) and found this gluten free brownie recipe by Karina of the Gluten Free Goddess. It looked perfectly fudgey. Afterall, there was only 1/4 cup of flour in the recipe!
The first time, I made them *almost* exactly according to the directions. The brownies rocked. Exactly what I wanted for my chocolate fix. The 2nd time, I played a bit. The 3rd time, which will be later this week, I will have converted them to completely grain free, essentially flourless (I don’t really count a nut-meal as flour). I have no issues with grains and as long as the grains are gluten free, neither does my husband. But I just wanted to know if taking out that flour component and replacing it with something else could make them richer. Denser. Chocolate-ier (I know that’s not a real word, but “more chocolatey” didn’t flow as well and “chocolatier” was already taken by a different definition).
Teaser – I think my adaptions worked