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KCL Friday Finds

Happy weekend, and welcome to Friday Finds! Today it's all about holiday hostess gifts. It about the time when you may have several seasonal parties and functions to attend, and you should never show up empty-handed. The best hostess gift should be something just for the hostess that he or she can use at a later time, either for entertaining or just for themselves. Just because you may have been assigned a side dish or drinks, you should still being along a special hostess gift.

A hostess gift doesn't need to cost a lot. They can range anywhere from $10-$25, and really should be on average $20. There are so many appropriate options in this price range - anything from a set of tea towels to a cookbook, or something gourmet, or even a little bath and body gift. If you need a hostess gift for a party or dinner this holiday season, you can't go wrong with one of the picks below.


This first one is my favorite, because it's a versatile multi-use item, and it's so chic. …

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe


I spent over a week testing several different recipes at several different cooking times and temperatures to come up with this recipe. I can't have dairy, and I have friends who can't have gluten, so I know how horrible some of those allergy-free recipes can be.
What's so great about this recipe is how versatile it is. The texture is very similar to a classic sponge cake; so you can use it to make cupcakes, muffins, layer cake, chocolate banana bread, whoopie pie. The possibilities are endless. And you can substitute the regular cocoa powder for dark chocolate cocoa powder if you want a richer batter. The batter will also hold up perfectly even with nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips added, so you can add whatever you want to it.

I tested it in muffin tins, an 8 inch cake-round and a loaf pan just to make sure it would cook though, hold up and come out of the different pans perfectly. It did in every case!


Ingredients:
  • 1&1/2 cup flour (I like to use rice flour, but if you are also allergic to that, use a regular all-purpose gluten-free flour)
  • 1 C sugar **See list at the bottom of post for 100% vegan sugars
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder (use dark chocolate cocoa powder for dark choc/devil's food)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP white distilled vinegar
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 5 TBSP apple sauce
  • 1TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 C chocolate chips or nuts (optional) *Use ghirardelli semi-sweet chips (they are dairy-free) or use vegan carob chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients.

2. Coat pan with olive oil or shortening and dust with cocoa powder.

3. Bake approximately 30 minutes for cake. Approximately 20-30 min for cupcakes.
*Note: fill slightly higher than you normally would. They do not expand in the oven quite as much as regular batter.


List of 100% Vegan Sugars:
  • vegan
  • unrefined cane sugar
  • evaporated cane juice
  • beet sugar
  • raw sugar

Link about why some sugars aren't considered vegan:
http://www.vegansoapbox.com/vegan-sugar/


Shop Vegan Dessert Cookbooks

0979128617My Sweet Vegan: passionate about dessert, $22.95
1569759200Have Your Cake and Vegan Too: 50 Dazzling and Delicious Cake Creations, $11.96

1906868352Sweet Vegan: A Collection of All Vegan, some Gluten-Free, and a Few Raw Desserts, $12.82


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