Its National Cake Day! Healing Powers Series (Recipe)

ByCal Orey

In a few weeks, I'm booked for a trip to Anchorage, Alaska. Attempt three. Of course, earthquakes are on my mind. Yes, I did forecast the European shallow shaker that hit yesterday. And I am booked on a high floor in Alaska. But you know...we have quakes in California, too. More than likely, I predict I will go snow or quakes. Just ordered a new digital camera. Dog is booked at kennel. And book is almost done. Meanwhile, take a peek at memories of earthquakes... and a cake recipe Gemma Sciabica created just for me!

SoCal + El Nino Rainfull + Rain-induced
erosion loosens faults
No shaking in October at Cascadia Subduction Zone
when I was there on the 29th hotel floor room
When I was in British Columbia early this month, I saw the filmSan Andreaswhile in my room on the 29th floor overlooking the water, part of the Cascadian Subduction Zone. As a native Californian from the SF Bay Area it would be a mortal sin if I didn't watch it. Yes, I did have chocolate. Worse, at home I viewed the quake movie two more times (three times less the price).
Currently, we're having anearthquake swarm in the East Bay, San Ramonto be exact and on the Calaveras Fault near the deadly Hayward and San Andreas Faults. Think snakes. While it could fizzle, as swarms often do, it could shake more. After all, yesterday was October 17, the day the Earth rocked back in 1989 (predicted by geologist Jim Berkland and noted in my book The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes); and on October 30, 2007 I, the intuitive, did forecast the 5.6 that hit in Alum Rock and was reported felt throughout NorCal.
200+ earthquake swarm in SF East Bay
Calaveras Fault

As one who survived the Loma Prieta shaker, a strong foreshock two months prior, two rolling Livermore quakes in a week, and a 6.2 in Morgan Hill, as well as predict a 4.8 shallow but very strong Reno-Tahoe quake in 2008, earthquakes are nothing new to me. And back in April before it hit,Gemma Sciabica, olive oil guru and cookbook author, whipped up an Earthquake Cake for me (and she sent me chocolate biscotti) so I could deal with our hundreds of quakes here in the Reno-Tahoe region. Caveat: Dark chocolate can help soothe rattled nerves and high anxiety when Mother Nature makes moves. Chocolate (in many forms) is the 21st century nature's finest remedy for coping with earthquakes. (It used to be popcorn.)
So, I'd like to share Gemma's recipe--straight from my timeless bookThe Healing Powers of Chocolate(Kensington, 2010)--formerly purchased by the Good Cook Book Club, One Spirit Book Club, Crafters, Mystery Guild, featured by Newsmax, and translated in three languages.
* * *
Cal's Earthquake Cake
2 cups whole wheat flour (or use cake flour and all-purpose flour)
2/3 cup dark cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cupSciabica's or Marsala Olive Oil
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Danish pastry extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raspberry-cream filled chocolate squares (chop)
1 large banana, mashed

Cheese Filling

1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease well or use cooking spray in a 10-inch bundt tube pan. In mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together, make well in center. Pour in buttermilk, olive oil, eggs, and flavorings. Stir until smooth. Add chocolate pieces. Pour half the cake batter into prepared pan. Spoon the filling mixture evenly over the layer of batter. Carefully pour second half of batter over the filling. Bake 55 or 60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool cake on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before glazing. Glaze as desired, or, may be sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Serves 12.

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