Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

A colleague of mine (also with an October birthday) approached me with the idea of a “super birthday” recently. In his family, everyone’s birthday is celebrated with one extravagant dinner (the person who gets to choose the establishment is picked by drawing names from a hat). I haven’t seen or gotten together with some of the staff at school for a few years, so I thought it was a great idea. The meal and the date have not been decided yet, but obviously we needed to start cake testing ASAP! Originally, I thought about making a cake that I had tested many many many times in my pre-selection for Canadian World Chocolate Masters, but instead decided I wanted to try something new. I ended up with what Megan is calling the “super chocolate cake for your super chocolate birthday”, inspired by a version of this that I saw on Instagram.

Gluten free chocolate sponge with crumble at the bottom and a layer of ganache on top.

This cake is pretty simple to make. First you start off by baking the crumble (gluten free) inside the ring, then layer on a gluten free chocolate sponge a la Heston, then finish with a layer of dark ganache on top (slight modification from the original recipe) to ensure it is sliceable. It’s simple, easy to make and perfect for chocolate lovers.

Mini Okonomiyaki (Okominiyaki)

Mini okonomiyaki with bacon and shrimp

I think we’ve mentioned this a few times before, but Megan and I like to plan our meals ahead of time to reduce meal planning decision fatigue (it’s a real thing!). To keep thinks interesting, we try to plan for a variety of different types of cuisine throughout the week: Taco Tuesday, Japanese Wednesday, Indian Thursday, … And while we’re definitely not opposed to eating the same thing every week, we also like to change things up once in a while for a little variety week to week. Our baby boy just turned one and has been reaching for our food more frequently, so a good way to reduce some of our meal prep is to get him to eat what we eat. At this point it’s not too difficult, it just means laying off on the salt and sugar, and making sure the consistency is manageable for him. Okonomiyaki has been a really great option for this! We have also discovered that with something like a pancake, it’s much easier for us to hide his vegetables.

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Cabbage Squares

This recipe is a lovechild between okonomiyaki and potato kugel (though it leans more toward the latter than the former).

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Japanese (Canadian) Chow Mein

This is a dish that I grew up with – at Grandma’s house and occasionally at home. It always felt like a real treat: (a) because it’s so yummy, (b) because we didn’t have it often, and (c) because you knew you might get some leftovers the next day in a chow mein sandwich!

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Supper Club (2022-06-16)

The last time that we did a supper club was last Fall, it’s been a while! Since I started daddy day care (edit: I’ve been told it’s “parenting” when the kid is your own), it has been increasingly difficult to devote a lot of time to food. Nicholas is really on the move now and keeps me busy, and since I’m on parental leave right now I don’t have teenagers to help me test recipes. Lately most of my time goes into steaming finger foods and making a variety of purees to ensure that the kiddo is getting everything he needs. In case your curious, the reviews have been good so far – in particular, Queenie, our dog, has definitely gained a few pounds from snacking on anything that hits the floor (except bananas, apparently).

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