My son and daughter-in-law are coming to visit in two weeks, and I’m doing a lot of thinking about what we’ll do while they’re here. Places we could go to for sight-seeing, things we could eat, all those things you do when company’s coming. I even went out and bought a nine-inch springform pan yesterday, because I’d copied a recipe from DearReader.com for a flourless, sugarless cake that needed to be baked in a springform pan. Nobody who has ever known me would call me a baker, so I don’t know why I got this wild hair to bake something, but I stay away from flour and sugar, and the cake sounded good. I spent about $15 on a springform pan. Maybe I’ve once had a springform pan and forgot, but the thing doesn’t look familiar to me. It was a lot deeper than I expected, for one thing. And heavier. But I felt very domestic when I bought it.
Next I went looking for xylitol and cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate with 60% cocoa for the recipe. I have a box of little packets of xylitol at home, but this cake recipe calls for about a third of a cup, so I thought it would be easier to scoop the stuff out than tear enough of those little teaspoon sized packets to make a third of a cup. I couldn’t find xylitol on my supermarket shelves, and when another woman heard me asking a store employee about it, she stopped to tell me that I’d have to go to the local natural foods store for it. She said it cost at least twenty dollars for a box or bag of the stuff. No matter, I’ve already invested $15 in the springform pan, and I’m committed now.
My supermarket did have bittersweet chocolate with 60% cocoa and they had cocoa powder. Actually, they only had EXTRA bittersweet chocolate, so I spent a few minutes wondering if it matters if it’s extra or ordinary, and ended up getting two big bars of the stuff because I need 7 ounces in all, and they’re each 4 ounces. They’re about $2.99 apiece. I don’t remember what the cocoa powder cost, but I can always use cocoa powder. Like I could mix a couple of tablespoons of it with one of my little xylitol packets and make hot chocolate. If I liked hot chocolate, which I don’t, but I could make it for somebody else if anybody should ever ask.
I came home with my springform pan and my bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder, sort of pooped now and not too eager to make another trip out in 82 degree heat to get a box of xylitol. I didn’t take the wrapper off the springform pan. I figured the plastic wrapper would keep dust off it until I get around to using it. Which is probably a subliminal acknowledgment that I’ll most likely never go get that damn $20 bag of xylitol because my enthusiasm for baking that cake is growing dimmer by the minute. I looked at the recipe again, though, and it really sounds good. You serve the cake with a raspberry sauce also made with xylitol, and chocolate and raspberry are my two favorite flavor combinations in the world. So I decided maybe my daughter-in-law and I could make the cake together, sort of a woman project. But she doesn’t bake much either, unless she absolutely has to. Both of us would far rather go buy a cake and eat it while we read a book.
I’m saving the recipe — which I now realize with a bit of horror serves 10! — and there’s an outside chance I’ll make it and freeze it before my son and daughter-in-law come. But I haven’t taken the wrapper off that springform pan, and I still have the sales receipt, so I could just take it back and eat the chocolate. While I read a book.