Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Birthday Boy's Best Presents!

This greeted Jonathan on the morning of his birthday...
a luscious chocolate cake (re-make of a family recipe) and an almost-there-just-a-few-more-rows-honey sweater......
The sweater was finished three days later, as was the cake!

Jonathan's Super Chocolaty, No Crumb Left Behind, Gluten-Free, Very Good Birthday Cake
(yes, we were still eating off the Christmas plates.... they finally got put away for the year after finishing the sweater - I've got priorities, after all!)

The original version of this cake featured rich milk chocolate flavors, a moist buttermilk crumb, and has been the "Rose Family" birthday cake since Jonathan and Louise's childhood. This year, I made a Gluten free cake, and incorporated super dark chocolate for a "mature" guy's birthday cake!

Sift together - or dump in a large bowl and "fluff" with a fork! - the following:
1 c. fine brown rice flour
1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. each: tapioca flour, potato flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 c. sugar - we use organic unbleached sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Melt (use either double boiler, or melt in the microwave for about 1 minute)
6 Tbs. dark cocoa powder (Hersheys has a "Special Dark" cocoa!)
1 C. water
2 sticks of butter (oh, come on, it's a birthday cake!! use 2 sticks :-)

Mix the hot and dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer, then add:
1/2 c. buttermilk
with 2 eggs beaten into it, along with
1 tsp. vanilla
and mix until incorporated.

Bake at 350 degrees in a greased and floured* 9 x 13 pan, 30-40 minutes.
* chocolate cake hint: "flour" the pan with cocoa powder - this avoids any unsightly white specks on the bottom of the cake!*
6 Tbs. Dark Cocoa powder
6 Tbs. milk
1 stick of butter (yes, we are up to 3/4 pound of butter in the completed cake - sheeesh! it's a birthday cake!)
Melt the above ingredients either on stove top or in microwave as before.
Stir in:
1 pound box powdered sugar + 1 tsp. vanilla
until smooth.
Make the frosting and pour it over the hot cake when you've pulled the cake from the oven! As the cake and frosting cool, the frosting rather melds into the cake, and becomes like a roof of fudge.

Jonathan's Cobblestone Sweater was made from wool spun from the sheep our friends Karen and Daniel raise near Ronan Montana on a ranch that looks out over the Mission Mountains. I had to adjust the pattern significantly in order to use the bulky weight yarn (instead of the worsted weight the pattern calls for).
After starting a sleeve a couple of times (why "swatch" if you can just cast on and go?) I ended up adjusting the stitch counts down to approximately 85% of the original, and used size 10.5 needles. The short Row section for the yoke was the most difficult to fudge this way - I have kept my notes, and will post them on Ravelry so they link to the pattern for anyone else interested in using bulky yarn for this pattern.

I love how it looks like chain mail on my handsome guy :-)


Rain said...

The sweater looks great. And thanks for posting the gluten free recipe. My daughter-in-law discovered gluten was causing her problems and so I am very into collecting recipes I can use to make things she can eat.

Tim said...

Sounds yummeh. As does the persian rice.

Jon can get all his curly locks in a pony tail now?