Finding Gluten-Free Comfort in a Busy Season
I love the holidays. The air is crisp, decorations and special foods are everywhere, and most people are in a good mood. There’s extra pep in my step in December, as I dig out my menorah and check out the lights in my neighborhood houses. Fortunately, here in Switzerland we have not yet been taken over by the commercial Christmas factories, so some of the real spirit of the holiday remains.
Still, the holiday season can be stressful. So many parties – often with limited gluten-free food options. So many explanations of why I won’t be eating this or that special treat. It can all add up to a lot of pressure. That’s why I give myself some comfort during the season.
Comfort for me means two things: peace and quiet, and Chocolate Comfort Cake. Rich, dark and chocolatey, this recipe makes a wonderful cake in almost any shape. Stack two or three and frost them for a decadent treat, like the one on the back cover of my cookbook. Or pour into small silicon forms for irresistible gluten-free chocolate cupcakes.
Chocolate Comfort Cake
¾ cup rice flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour or tapioca starch
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C
Combine the dry ingredients thoroughly, then add the milk, oil, and vanilla a little at a time. Add the egg and beat until smooth. This is a loose, pourable batter that goes easily into a non-stick pan.
If you use a metal pan, I recommend lining the pan with baking paper, or greasing and dusting it lightly with cocoa or rice flour. If you use a silicone pan, put the pan on a cookie sheet for support before putting it in the oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool thoroughly before trying to take it out of the pan.
Now assemble, frost, and enjoy. Or eat it unfrosted. Or top with a fruit glaze (heat some berry jam for an easy topping). It goes well with ice cream, whipped cream, or berries. Whatever gives you comfort.
Take a bite and a deep breath. Take comfort from knowing you made this delicious gluten-free cake. And enjoy the season. Happy holidays!