Easy Gourmet Cooking Devotional
We have been living through historic days in Colorado Springs. Our mountains have been on fire, and though they say the fire is finally under control, smoke still rises, embers drift into yards and friends mourn for lost homes.
The Ridleys are safe by God’s grace and free to talk of 70th birthdays (my husband’s to be exact) and chocolate cake.
A Cake for Many Reasons
There are many reasons for this cake. I am going to share them with you because some of you would like this cake for the very same reasons I do. The first reason I designed this cake was to get my minimum daily requirement of chocolate! The second reason is that it is a small cake. I am a family of one, and most cakes are too big for my family. Baked in an 8” X 8” square pan or a single 9” round pan, this cake is great for one, two or three of you. Another reason for this cake is: frosting is unnecessary and that means fewer calories. I deliberately worked to keep it moist so that it wouldn’t need frosting. Sometimes I want an easy dessert for just me, not a huge production. This is that dessert. It also works as a snack cake because I can pick it up and eat it with my fingers!
If I should have company, all I have to do is put a few berries on the side and sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on top or a dollop of whipped cream. It can fit any occasion. There is one last reason for our Colorado readers – it’s already adjusted for high altitudes.
You will need:
1 ¼ cups of A.P. Flour ½ cup of Cocoa
1 cup of Sugar ½ cup of boiling Water
¼ tsp. of Salt 1/3 cup of Canola Oil
1 tsp. Baking Soda 1 tsp. of Vanilla
1 Tbs. Instant Coffee Granules ½ cup of milk
½ tsp. of Vinegar
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Coat an 8”X8” square pan or one 9” round pan with butter, shortening or spray, then dust it with flour.
3. Boil the water.
1. Combine all the dry ingredients, except the cocoa, in a mixer bowl and stir it once or twice.
2. In a separate bowl, put the ½ cup of cocoa then add the ½ cup of boiling water and stir with a whisk until it is dissolved. Through research and experimentation I found out that you can get a more intense chocolate flavor by dissolving the cocoa in water rather than adding it dry to the mixture. This is doubly good because I could cut back on the amount of cocoa and still get the same flavor as ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of cocoa. Why would I want to cut back on the cocoa? Because the more cocoa you use, the dryer your cake will be.
3. Add the remaining liquid ingredients to the cocoa mixture and stir it a bit. Why the vinegar? Baking soda works only in the presence of acid. If your milk is sour or you use buttermilk, the vinegar is unnecessary. Cocoa has a little acid in it but not quite enough to give the cake the correct texture. You could also use lemon juice or cream of tartar.
4. Mix on a low speed for a few seconds to combine all the ingredients
5. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
1. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
2. After 30 minutes, test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick is clean or a few crumbs stick to it, the cake is done. Under done is better than over done. It should have a good dome on it and a few cracks on top. That’s part of the design.
3. As soon as the cake is cool, it’s ready to eat!
Food for Thought (Cooking Devotional):
When you’re down and out as many are in our city today, chocolate is an uplifter. You can’t deny it, it makes the endorphins flow. So maybe a chocolate snack cake is exactly what we need for this hour.
When our new pastor was preparing to move to Colorado Springs a week and a half ago, he called our current pastor. “How are things going in Colorado Springs?”
“Well, okay, I guess. The mountains are on fire. “
“Yeah? That’s good to have everyone on fire for the Lord.”
“I guess you’re right. But still our mountains are on fire.”
Finally our new pastor realized the truth. He probably wondered what in the world he’d gotten himself into. It has been a frightening time.
A Leaping Fear
Fear in the air, smoke, a crazy fire
Creeping toward us. Sally’s house has burned.
Flames leaping above the mountains, in horror
She left, evacuating, frantic fear churned.
Some shout fiery curses to cars that are in their way.
One trembles like a candle flame before us. “Will you pray?”
Another postures: “It’s just another day.
I’ll laugh; I’ll leap and dance, keeping terror away.”
Redwood fire fighters with legs like trunks eat
At Wendy’s, hotels are filled. The feds have come.
Not knowing we’re safe, we prepare and wait,
Anxious, unsure. We’re busy, we fight, we succumb.
“Your people live here, oh Lord, will you answer our prayers?
The world is on fire. It’s the end times. You’ve promised to care.”
—RuthAnn Ridley, June 25, 2012
” Our times are in your hands” Psalm 31: 15.
Tonight after a much prayed for rain, a rainbow appeared in our sky, a complete arch, colorful as Joseph’s technicolored coat. God is with us, giving us a future and a hope.