Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake - Gluten Free

While standing in line at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a picture of a delicious looking cake on the front of Fine Cooking magazine.  I was so taken with it, that I bought the magazine and determined to make the cake.  Oh, I am so glad I did because it is wonderful!

The cake was beautiful as well as tasty.  For a better presentation, put it on a pretty cake stand (I know I have one, but I can't find it!), and take some time to make curly chocolate shavings.  I was in a hurry on Thanksgiving morning so my shavings came out more like straight flakes.

Anyway, here is the recipe, which I adapted for us gluten free eaters:

For the cake layers

Unsalted butter and tapioca flour (or some other light gluten free flour) for the pans
2 1/4 cups (10 1/8 oz.) Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum*
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (2 5/8 oz.) Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee

*UPDATE:  I use Namaste gluten free flour now.  If you use Namaste (or a GF flour mix that has the xanthan already in it), then omit the xanthan gum.

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour three 9x2 inch round cake pans,

Sift together the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and canola oil.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time and mix well.  Gradually mix the flour mixture and milk alternately in small amounts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  After the ingredients are blended well, slowly add the hot coffee with mixer on low speed, just until combined.  The batter will be quite thin.

Divide the batter equally among the three pans.  Bake, switching positions and rotating the pans halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it and the ceter feels firm to the touch, 20-25 minutes.  Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a rack.

I had made the cake ahead, so after they cooled, I wrapped them up in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer until I was ready to assemble the cake on Thanksgiving morning.  It froze and thawed beautifully.

Make the Coffee-Whiskey Whipped Cream

1 pkg. Starbucks Via instant coffee (or 1 Tbs. instant espresso granules)
1/4 cup Irish whiskey (Jameson brand is certified gluten free)
3 cups heavy cream
3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar.

Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment.  Stir the coffee granules into the whiskey until completely dissolved.  In the chilled bowl, whip all ingredients together until medium peaks form.

Assemble the Cake

I did this part while the layers were frozen, which made them easier to handle without breaking or crumbling.  Place first layer on your platter and spread about 1/3 of the cream on top.  Place second layer on top of cream and press down lightly so that the cream will ooze out the sides a little bit.  Repeat with third layer and pile the remaining cream on top.  There is plenty of cream, so I saved a cup or so to use as a coffee topping later (very yummy!).

Make the chocolate shavings

It's a good idea to do this a little ahead of time, then refrigerate them until you're ready to top the cake.

1 4 oz. block semisweet chocolate (about 1 inch thick), at room temperature
1 4 oz. block white chocolate (about 1 inch thick), at room temperature

Microwave each block of chocolate on medium power for 20-30 seconds to soften slightly, then draw a vegetable peeler along the bar's edge, letting the curls fall onto waxed paper.

Arrange the curls on top of the cake.

Take pictures of your beautiful creation, then enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dining Chair Redo

I've made a little progress on my dining chairs. 

One down, five to go.

I ended up adding a one inch foam cushion with a layer of batting over that.  It probably wouldn't have hurt to go with a two inch foam, but this will do.

Love the fabric.  It goes well with the dark furniture.

I'm not likely to get any more done before Thanksgiving, but at least this one doesn't have the bare slipcover showing and this makes it look like I've actually been accomplishing things around here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How Did This Happen?

When I was mowing last Saturday, this blade thing just broke off.


The dealer sold the piece to Tom at his cost and Tom replaced it himself.

Faulty metal?

Luckily, the blade didn't go flying off.  It just went a bit askew and the belt started smoking.

Progress...If You Can Call It That

Yes, it is one week before Thanksgiving and I decided to get back to stripping the fabric off of my dining room chairs.  What is wrong with me?

This is the bottom of the seat after I have removed two layers of fabric - the one I had paid a guy to put on and the layer underneath that he was paid to remove, but didn't.

His idea of adding new padding was to put strapping across the bottom and stuff some padding between the original strapping and the new strapping.


Down to the original seat, or whatever that underlay fabric is.  Under that is a thin layer of padding and the original strapping.

So, the question of the day is...shall I strip it all the way down and add new padding or recover the seat as is?  Or, I could add the padding on top of this old fabric.  I don't  know much about upholstery so I don't know the best way to go about this.  The easiest thing to do would be to add the padding on top, then put the new fabric on.  Does anyone know a down side to taking the easiest route?  My friend says there is enough padding already and I don't need to add any - just put the new fabric on.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Rose Arbor

I planted this rose bush last summer.  It has beautiful tiny red roses on it, but they can't really be seen because the bush tends to grow long branches flat on the ground.  So I decided it needed something to climb on.

It sort of looks like an old English phone booth, but it's not.  It's made of a set of old french doors that I got at the flea market.  Supposedly, it's from a house in Arp, Texas built in 1905.  So the old man told me, but ya' never know with those guys.

Anyway, I bought all the pieces and Jordan assembled it for me.  I broke out all the glass panes and we used the doors for the sides so the rose can, theoretically, climb up, through, and around them.  We used two by fours that we had laying around and Jordan attached the doors at the bottom to the wood so that the arbor would be stable.

I bought these decorative metal pieces (mass produced in Mexico and made to look old) to attach the doors at the tops.

We left the old hardware on, which looks kind of cool.  And I threaded the branches through the spaces where the glass used to be.

I love it and as the rose bush grows up and arches through it, it will be even better.