TARTINE CHOCOLATE CAKE - Cooking and Recipes

It's possible to trade profitably on the Forex, the nearly $2 trillion worldwide currency exchange market. But the odds are against you, even more so if you don't prepare and plan your trades. According to a 2014 Bloomberg report, several analyses of retail Forex trading, including one by the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry's regulatory body, concluded that more than two out of three Forex traders lose money. This suggests that self-education and caution are recommended. Here are some approaches that may improve your odds of taking a profit. Prepare Before You Begin Trading Because the Forex market is highly leveraged -- as much as 50 to 1 -- it can have the same appeal as buying a lottery ticket: some small chance of making a killing. This, however, isn't trading; it's gambling, with the odds long against you. A better way of entering the Forex market is to carefully prepare. Beginning with a practice account is helpful and risk-free. While you're trading in your practice account, read the most frequently recommended Forex trading books, among them Currency Forecasting: A Guide to Fundamental and Technical Models of Exchange Rate Determination, by Michael R. Rosenberg is short, not too sweet and highly admired introduction to the Forex market. Forex Strategies: Best Forex Strategies for High Profits and Reduced Risk, by Matthew Maybury is an excellent introduction to Forex trading. The Little Book of Currency Trading: How to Make Big Profits in the World of Forex, by Kathy Lien is another concise introduction that has stood the test of time. All three are available on Amazon. Rosenberg's book, unfortunately, is pricey, but it's widely available in public libraries. "Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude," by Mark Douglas is another good book that's available on Amazon, and, again, somewhat pricey, although the Kindle edition is not. Use the information gained from your reading to plan your trades before plunging in. The more you change your plan, the more you end up in trouble and the less likely that elusive forex profit will end up in your pocket. Diversify and Limit Your Risks Two strategies that belong in every trader's arsenal are: Diversification: Traders who execute many small traders, particularly in different markets where the correlation between markets is low, have a better chance of making a profit. Putting all your money in one big trade is always a bad idea. Familiarize yourself with ways guaranteeing a profit on an already profitable order, such as a trailing stop, and of limiting losses using stop and limit orders. These strategies and more are covered in the recommended books. Novice traders often make the mistake of concentrating on how to win; it's even more important to understand how to limit your losses. Be Patient Forex traders, particularly beginners, are prone to getting nervous if a trade does not go their way immediately, or if the trade goes into a little profit they get itchy to pull the plug and walk away with a small profit that could have been a significant profit with little downside risk using appropriate risk reduction strategies. In "On Any Given Sunday," Al Pacino reminds us that "football is a game of inches." That's a winning attitude in the Forex market as well. Remember that you are going to win some trades and lose others. Take satisfaction in the accumulation of a few more wins than losses. Over time, that could make you rich!


I'm in Cape Town at the moment struggling with jet-lag. I should be fast asleep but I'm not so I thought I'd post this recipe. There are many June babies at work so to celebrate we had a joint work birthday tea just before I flew to Cape Town. I've had this Tartine chocolate almond cake recipe bookmarked for a while so I decided to bake it.
The cake uses almond flour so its gluten free. It also eschews extra fat in the cake batter, relying on the fat from the almond meal and from a topping and filling of whipped cream.
Instead of making a double layer cake I decided to half the recipe to make a loaf cake. It meant using less jam and cream and for that reason I found the cake wasn't quite sweet enough. Maybe halving the cake and sandwiching the 2 layers with a layer of jam would be a good idea or otherwise increasing the caster sugar a little to ½ cup.
Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.
Tartine Chocolate-Almond Cake - makes one loaf tin

  • 2 cups almond flour (sift it if there are lumps)
  • 35 g cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 grams caster sugar
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup blackberry jam (sieved)
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 cup of cream, whipped and lightly sweetened and flavoured with vanilla 
  • Chocolate curls (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease and line a small loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda and mix well, making sure that any lumps of almond flour are broken up.
  3. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt on high speed until very thick and pale in colour, about 3 minutes. When you lift up the whisk, a ribbon of beaten eggs should trail back into the bowl.
  4. Whisk the vinegar, milk into the egg mixture. Pour the milk-egg mixture into the almond meal mixture and whisk until combined. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Evenly space dots of the jam over the top of the cake. If the jam is too thick to drop off the spoon, slightly thin by stirring in the water. Bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Set the pan on a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Unmould the cake and peel away the baking paper. Allow to cool completely. When cool, place on a serving plate and top with the whipped cream and chocolate curls, if using. Serve at room temperature.
If you look very closely you can see the little pockets of jam at the base of the cake. I used blackberry jam but you can use any jam you like. Make sure you use a seedless jam though or sieve the jam first to avoid any unwanted seeds.
That will be the last food post for a while until I'm back in Sydney. Expect a post from South Africa when the conference commitment is done.
See you all again soon.
Bye for now,


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