Chocolate is an amazing thing. It brings people together, in ways that nothing else can.
Physically, I mean. It literally drags everybody to one spot - where the chocolate is.
I've witnessed this a few times over the last few weeks, during my placement in intensive care. There's a lot of sick patients, but they do a really good job of looking after them there, and patients' families and friends are very grateful. So, it's not uncommon for them to show their appreciation, often in the form of chocolates.
Because there's so many patients, so much going on, so much to do, and so few staff, everyone working on the ward is busy almost all the time. That makes it near-impossible to gather everyone up for the ward round, or to co-ordinate a plan that involves more than 2 people (sometimes even finding just one other person is hard!)
You'd have to run up and down the corridors a few times, ask a couple of people, make a lot of phone calls, send someone halfway around the hospital... and you might be semi-successful.
Chocolate, on the other hand. When there's chocolate at the nurses station on the ward, people will just come... from all different directions... from all different corners... not matter what they're doing... You don't even have to make an announcement. People just know. It's like a chocolate-sensing sixth sense. It's amazing.
This is a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe that I found on My Baking Addiction by Jamie. My friend is sensitive to gluten, and although she can tolerate the odd slice of cake, I thought it'd be nice to try out a recipe that means she won't have to worry about the consequences later on.
I've pretty much used the exact recipe (there are only so many ways to combine 4 ingredients together), just tweaking it ever so slightly. Then I added a lovely light orange cream to really lift this cake, as gluten-free flourless cake recipes do tend to come out denser.
I filled my jars about 3/4 full and they puffed up beautifully in the oven. I almost though they were going to topple over and spill! But they die right down when you take them out and cool.
One thing I noticed was that they tasted great practically straight out the oven (I let it cool enough to not burn!) because they were very moist and rich. However, the next day, when they had cooled completely, they were a bit on the dry and too crumbly side. I realised that the jars insulate the cake very well, and keeps on cooking the cake for quite a well. So my tip is to just underbake the cakes if you're not eating them right away!
The orange cream was inspired by the beautiful orange sunset colours on the packaging of the chocolate!
All I did was whip up some whipping cream, add a few tablespoons of icing sugar, and the freshly grated zest of an orange. That's enough to give it that light orange tinge - all natural! no added flavourings or colourings!
The orange and chocolate combination was perfect - fresh fruity citrus zing with rich and indulgent chocolate cake. My sister summarised the taste like this: "It taste like Club". And that's exactly what it tastes like.
Full recipe -->