Hello, hello again! After a year’s hiatus, we’re back with more news, recipes and pictures. Take a moment to admire a selection of the marvelous vegetables from the tireless folk from our organic farm. The purple radish in the centre is possibly my favourite vegetable in creation … they taste as good as they look!
We have just finished the annual 40 day silent retreat. I promised one of the stalwart participants the recipe for Chocolate Orange Cake. This is no hardship … as it is one of my favourite desserts. It is also a handy recipe to have in your repertoire as it contains no eggs or dairy. In my mind, I call it “Brendan’s Cake” after our friend Brendan McManus, SJ who took his Final Vows in the chapel at Loyola House. We served this cake at the ceilidh that followed.
Chocolate Orange Cake
Mix thoroughly …
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips (a little more would be ok too …)
1 1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange (zest of 2 oranges would be ok too …)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Mix wet ingredients into dry and stir until smooth but do not over mix. Oil a 9 inch by 13 inch pan and bake at 350 F until done – about 35 minutes. It is best to line the bottom with parchment paper … all that chocolate has a tendency to sink and stick whilst baking!
Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake and invert it onto a cooling rack. When it is cool, you can ice the cake, but it is so moist and rich that it really doesn’t need icing. If you are in the mood for an extra hit of chocolate (and you think your guests deserve it), topping with ganache is fairly decadent. Simply melt together 1 cup of good bittersweet baker’s chocolate and 6 oz whipping (35%) cream in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over simmering water), stirring constantly. When it is perfectly smooth, remove from heat and drizzle over the cake. Or you can let the ganache cool to a spreadable consistency and apply it with a spatula. Enjoy!
Last night was the third and last of 2018’s Taste of Diversity dinners. For this gala, we returned to Italy – many thanks to the wonderful volunteers who planned the menu and did the cooking and decorating for this splendid evening!
(And thanks to our wonderful Director of Operations, Lisa Calzonetti, for the photo .. I never remember to take pictures.)
Next year, we will be holding three Taste of Diversity dinners. On March 5, we will be celebrating Shrove Tuesday. November 13 will be “A Return to Italy”. May 22 – as yet – has no destination! So if you have a nationality to request and would like to get involved, please let us know. If you are interested in tickets for any (or all) of these dinners … act fast! They have been selling out weeks in advance for years. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and our wonderful staff will set you up.
Until next time, be safe, be warm, and take care of each other! ❤