Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gluten free German Chocolate Cake

This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz's german chocolate cake recipe.  It is so moist, so delicious!  The best chocolate cake I have ever had.  Next time I might decrease the amount of sugar by 1/4 C though.  We don't tend to go for really sweet stuff.  I didn't use David's recipe for coconut filling, mostly because I was out of cream.  So I used the recipe in Crazy about Cupcakes for coconut filling, and everyone loved it. 

German Chocolate Cake
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
6T water
8oz butter, unsalted
1C sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 C each of oat flour, tapioca flour, rice flour and buckwheat flour
1/4 C flax meal
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1C yogurt
1 t vanilla
4 egg whites and 1/4 C sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour (I used cocoa powder) two 9 inch round cake pans.
Melt the chocolate and water together.  Let cool.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light yellow and fluffy.  Add in chocolate and then the egg yolks.
Mix the flours, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Mix in the chocolate and the yogurt/vanilla in batches until smooth.
Beat the egg whites and sugar until double volume.  Fold into the batter.  Pour batter into cake pans and bake 45 minutes.

Coconut Filling:
one can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 C coconut
1 C chopped nuts (we used walnuts)

Combine the milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a saucepan.  Stir constantly over medium heat until thickened and golden brown (this took forever).
Toast the coconut and nuts in a 350 degree oven.  Mix in with cooled carmelized mixture.

Chocolate Icing:
8 oz chocolate bittersweet
2T corn syrup
1 1/4 oz butter
2/3 C cream

Combine the chocolate, corn syrup, butter in a bowl.  Heat the cream until boiling, then pour it over the chocolate mix.  Let it sit one minute, then stir until smooth.

To put together:
On top of one cake layer spread the coconut filling.  Place other cake over it.  Spread the rest of the coconut filling on the top.  Spread the icing around the sides.
You won't regret making this cake!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A first!

Wow, we had a breakthrough today!  H actually realized that I had missed an item when packing up her backpack for school.  This has never happened before.  I can hardly believe how much more mature she is!
That said, I think the only thing left to really work on is her auditory short term memory.  When doing the word recall list, she can still only get 5 words consistantly; sometimes 6.  That is WAY below age level, and we can't seem to move up.  I think we will just keep doing the same exercises for this last month of school, and then during the summer try something new.
We also had her birthday party recently, and I made a gluten-free german chocolate cake that came out delicious!  Better than any german chocolate cake I have had before.  I will try to post the recipe soon.
Hope you are enjoying this beautiful spring!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back again

I'm sorry I have been gone so long.  There were several reasons: we had received information about H that I wanted to see which way it would go (more below), my several part-time jobs collided and I was extremely stressed for a while, and my kids were driving me crazy (probably due to the preceding problem).
Anyway, what happened with H was that her teacher met with us to tell us that H was not doing 4th grade work and would have to repeat 4th grade unless she started doing better.  By better, she meant that H needed to write in complete sentences, write in pencil, not crayon or marker, and fill in the whole worksheet, not just the first 3 questions.  I couldn't argue with her.  And I decided that if she said H needed to stay behind a year, we would do it.
The problem was that I wasn't sure if H was not doing the work because of inability to focus or because of laziness.  Her therapist thought it might be both.  To counter the latter, we started doing writing exercises as part of the therapy; to help with the former we continued the oral memory work.  The therapist suggested we use Integrated listening systems, which we still might do.  However the price is a bit more than we can afford just yet.
Part of what started me thinking that it was laziness was a comment H made about not wanting to work as hard for things she found boring.  So for the next few weeks we continued to talk about having to put forth just as much effort in the boring, tedious stuff as in the interesting, fun stuff.  She acted like that was a concept she had never thought of before.  Go figure!  H was also very motivated by the thought of not staying with her friends in 5th grade.
All that was a month ago.
I just heard from her teacher a few days ago.  H has made significant improvements, to the point that "we don't have to worry about her" anymore.  Thank God!  She will make it to 5th grade.  I was very proud of her.
Of course she still has to continue doing good work in ALL areas, not just fun ones.  And we are still continuing the therapy exercises.  But there is now a light at the end of the tunnel!  I can't believe we have made it this far!