The Writing Gourmet
Last night I was a guest--the quake sensitive--on Coast to Coast (since then I've been doing News Segments), a popular radio program. The show was chock-full of pyschic types and it was our job to dish out 2010 Predictions. When the introduction music played Carole King's I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE--I was feeling kind of seasick, as another song's lyrics go. After all, I was tuning into potential earthquakes in both my Golden State and around the globe. If I had been thinking (and eating) chocolate, not shakers, I think it would have helped me deal with those chilling vivid images of future Earth cracks since it's a proven fact by researchers: Dark chocolate can help you to chill out...
In my new book THE HEALING POWERS OF CHOCOLATE, I do discuss how my good friend dark chocolate helped me sail through the 2008 earthquake swarm just 50 miles from my home. And yep, it was crunchy chocolate biscotti (made with extra virgin olive oil), baked by cookbook author Gemma Sciabica--not popcorn, a quake sensitives' fave--that helped me cope with the hundreds of tremors with an unknown cause. And the biscotti soothed my frazzled nerves as my seismically sensitive critters' anxiety soared (a vocal and pacing kitty; two clingy Velcro Brittanys) till a 5.0 hit home and woke me up close to midnight on April 25.
So, if you live on shaky ground, consider stocking up on dark chocolate (bars have a long shelf life); if you're sensing an oncoming quake, why not bake up this cake. (Gemma created this treat just for me and I'm sharing it with you.)
*Note: There is a recipe that calls for a store bought cake mix so the cake will fall apart easier but I chose for a more California-natural type of recipe for health's sake.
Cal's Earthquake Cake
2 cups white whole wheat flour [a bit more if you live in high altitude]
2/3 cup dark cocoa (Dutch)
1/2 teaspoon Danish pastry extract (Watkins)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Sciabica's or Marsala Olive Oil
1 cup raspberry-creme filled dark chocolate chips [or plain dark chocolate 60-70% cacao]
1 large banana
3/4 cup ricotta, low fat
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease well or use cooking spray in a 10-inch bundt tube pan. In mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together; make well incenter. Pour in buttermilk, olive oil, eggs, and flavorings. Stir and smooth. Add chocolate chips. Pour half the cake batter into prepared pan. Spoon the filling mixture evenly over the layer of batter. Carefully pur second half of batter over the filling. Bake 55 or 60 minutes until cake springs back when lightly touched in center (or when cake tester comes out clean from center). Cool cake on wire rack for about 20 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before glazing. Glaze as desired [chocolate may be nice], or, may be sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Clearly a glass of milk is needed.
1/4 cup toasted coconut
1/4 cup pecans (or nuts of your choice) chopped small or ground
Before batter is poured in, sprinkle about 1/2 cup sliced almonds on bottom of prepared pan. Serves 12.
Source: THE HEALING POWERS OF CHOCOLATE