Cheap chocolate

30 Aug

During my childhood, I developed a sophisticated chocolate-cake theory: The less healthful, the better.

So I inevitably always preferred the manufactured Sam’s Club or Dominick’s or Jewel chocolate sheet cake at holiday gatherings or church socials to the made-from-quality-scratch-ingredients (and sometimes even made-from-whole-wheat-flour) cakes I’d bake at home.

What a surprise, then, to discover that “bad-for-you” goodness of a cheap chocolate cake in the few, simple, and, most important, healthful ingredients of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix!

After adding the required water, butter, and eggs to the mix’s sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa, tapioca starch, leavening, salt, and guar gum, I worried over the thin batter’s blandness. (Yes, licking the spatula and mixing bowl is an essential part of baking in my kitchen!)

But the next morning, when I whipped up my usual buttercream chocolate frosting and then took the first forkful of cake, I marveled at its substantial flavor and gooey texture. In fact, almost every morning for last week’s breakfasts, I pushed each piece’s slab of frosting aside and enjoyed the cake on its own at room temperature.

I was so excited to have found such a close match to those cheap cakes of long ago that I sacrificed a small wedge for my boyfriend to experience. “You can really tell it’s gluten free,” he immediately determined. “It has that weird aftertaste.”

Apparently, I’ve officially forgotten the flavor of normal food; either my taste buds or my memories have shifted. So now, all I have left are relative reviews: this gluten-free bread or cereal or cake vs. that gluten-free bread or cereal or cake. And, childhood memories aside, this is the most unhealthful one I’ve ever tasted!

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