One of my favorite things to do is entertain. I love to prepare a big feast and have a bunch of friends over to eat and drink and chat and be merry, maybe watch a movie or a football game, play some music or bust out the karaoke machine. The only issues I ever encounter when hosting these dinner parties (other than running out of food or booze) are dietary restrictions. A lot of folks these days are on special diets; but whether they're vegan or vegetarian, low carb, gluten-free, or diabetic, they deserve to eat as many tasty and delicious meals as anyone else! So when I hosted a ladies night last night, I took all that into consideration and came up with a pretty tasty and festive feast -
I whipped up a tasty south of the border fiesta, perfect for a sweltering summer evening. With my famous summer squash slaw, overloaded tacos fille
d with brea
d fish or spicy, pulle
d chicken, fiesta corn, chips & salsa, an
d enough guacamole to last a lifetime (or an evening with four hungry la
dies!) we were nearly stuffed and certainly satisfied.
|sneaking tastes before we even sit down|
|barefoot in the kitchen|
|can't get enough of that summer squash!|
But one very important thing was missing - dessert. As you've noticed from my previous posts, I rely pretty heavily on the old flour, butter, sugar combo. In other words, not friendly for the gluten-free crowd. But if I was going to create a confection worthy of my gal pals, I had to make a few substitutions. And is there a better fill-in for flour than ground almonds? I think not! Well, unless you have a nut allergy but fortunately, none of these gals suffer from that unfortunate fate. To match our Mexicali cena, I devised an awesomely rich, sweet, savory and spicy cake deserving of this very post.
|my gluten-free goddess|
flourless mexican chocolate cake with cherries and almonds
1 c halved pitted cherries
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter at room temp
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c finely ground almonds
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp cayenne or chipotle pepper
dash of course salt
1. Preheat oven to 350. Blend butter, sugar, cocoa powder and spices together until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. On a low speed, blend in ground almonds 1/2 c at a time.
2. In a small saucepan on a low heat, melt chocolate chips. Stir melted chocolate into the batter very well. Pour batter into a greased 8" pan. Stir in halved cherries.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with fresh cherries and salted caramel sauce.
|cherry challenge part dos?|
|mmm salted caramel|
Now, the specifics of my delish new dish may not be exact because I'm quite certain I was suffering from heat exhaustion (or too much white wine consumption) while I was baking, so just make sure the pre-baked result looks like a proper cake batter. But whatever I did, it was a total success and my ladies loved it. And I love my ladies! Thanks for an amazing night Paula, Isabelle and Victoria... you gals are beyond amazeballs and I love the heck out of each and every one of you! I anticipate many more ladies nights in the future.
|a sweaty and satisfied chef|