Chocolate and Friends, could life be any better?

Two of the greatest things that God gave us are friends and chocolate!! About a year or so ago I would spend so many moments pouting about not having friends. I made a complete life change about three years ago and changed my circle of friends from many acquaintances and a few close friends to one trusted close best friend! I only had a small circle since I had moved from Texas a few years ago, leaving all my friends behind. I still had friends that I talked to when in shared environments, but still felt so alone and unloved at times. Life was so crazy, I was changing, and many friends had made life changes as well. Even though I had a really great friend, she still had a life and responsibilities, and well to be honest, I am kind of needy, ok maybe a lot needy at times. So I felt alone and friendless. My husband, at the time only my boyfriend, heard my cries often, as did the Lord. My husband would encourage me to reach out to others, but I have never really been that kind of person, I always let others reach out to me. I am getting better at this, but still feel apprehensive most of the time. Over the past year, my life in this area has changed so much. I have developed a deeper friendship with my one best friend, as well as developed so many new friendships. God heard my silent cries and answered my prayers. Recently I was talking with a few friends, joking about not having friends. We actually counted my friends and defined what a friends was. We came up with friends that I inherited from my husband and his friends that we hung out as couples, and friends I actually had an active friendship with. It was eye-opening because I had more friends than I realized. I had been blessed without really realizing it. God is so awesome!

This past week I really reflected on my friendships. I have been thanking God for the few friends that I am developing fairly newer friendships with and looking forward to all the wonderful memories that I will make with my friends. There have been so many times that I have had the opportunity to make such wonderful memories with my friends. One of those times has been this week. I was able to spend time with one of my friends, Stacia, helping prepare for and attending her birthday party, as well as another friends birthday party. I also got a few more moments with my a few of my new friends, Vanessa and Brooke, at different times this week. And I cannot wait till tomorrow, when I get some quality time with my best friend!

One thing that makes friendship better: CHOCOLATE!! I have made my Flourless Chocolate Cake on two occasions, once was a dinner with my best friend, Kristin, and this past week for my friend, Stacia. It is kind of like my friends, so incredibly sweet and wonderful!! So here is my recipe that I use for my Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Chocolate Ganache, enjoy (hopefully with your best friends!!) Thank you Lord for such wonderful friends… and for chocolate!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (Baker’s squares, or morsels, can use bittersweet as well)
1 cup butter
6 eggs

Directions:
1. Grease 10 inch round (spring foam preferred) pan (you can also grease, then use parchment paper, greased, on side and bottom or just bottom). Wrap outside with foil well. Preheat over to 300*.
2. In small sauce pan over medium heat combine water, salt, and sugar. Stir till completely dissolved and set aside.
3. Either in top half of double boiler or in microwave (my preference) melt the chocolate. Pour chocolate into a large mixing bowl.
4. Cut the butter into pieces and beat butter into the chocolate, 1 piece at a time. Beat in hot sugar-water. Slowly beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place the cake pan into a larger pan and fill the larger pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
6. Bake cake in water broth at 300* for about 45 minutes. Center will look wet, chill cake overnight in pan. To unmold, if not in spring foam, dip bottom in hot water for 10 seconds and place on a plate upside down.

Raspberry Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients:
1/4 cup raspberry jam
6 ounces whipping cream, heavy cream, or non-dairy creamer
1/4 cup butter
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Directions:
1. In a small sauce pan, heat raspberry jam, whisking until almost comes to a boil
2. In another small sauce pan over medium heat combine cream and butter to a simmer and remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk till smooth. (you may need to set it back on the heat for a second, you just want to be careful not to burn the chocolate.) Add jam and whisk well.
3. Spread on cooled (does not have to be after the overnight, just cooled enough) cake while still in the pan. Shake gently to distribute evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight until sets.
4. Run a knife around the sides to help loosen.

The Flourless Chocolate Cake does not need the Ganache because it is already very sweet! I like to serve it with a ton of fresh berries, or even pretzels!