Tag Archives: Divergent

Recipes – Dauntless Chocolate Cake

“At the end of the hallway she turns and says, ‘Have a piece of cake for me all right? The chocolate. It’s delicious.’”

Anyone who pays close attention to food mentioned in books will definitely have made a note of the Chocolate Cake that is the “official” food of those belonging to the Dauntless faction in Veronica Roth’s Divergent. There are a number of recipes out there on the web, but I was curious about the recipe from the “Unofficial Divergent Cookbook,” by Megan Parker.

There’s a link to the book here, but I decided to buy the cookbook for 99 cents on my Kindle. I was somewhat disappointed to find that the recipe was fairly simple. It looks like a perfectly respectable chocolate cake, but nothing really makes it special; there is nothing Daunting about it.

So I decided it needed a little something. The first thing that came to mind was that the cake needed a bit of a kick, something unexpected, something spicy. I did a quick search for chocolate cake inspired by Mexican drinking chocolate and came across a number of recipes that were spiced with cinnamon or cayenne pepper. I also liked the idea of having a very rich, or moist Devil’s food cake, and did some experimenting with different levels of butter, and cocoa.

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“’Let’s go to the cafeteria,’ Will says, ‘and eat cake.’”

Lacking an occasion to serve a cake I made a small batch of cupcakes as a portable, easy to store treat. Hopefully I captured the essence of the Dauntless and especially Triss’ spirit with these cupcakes and that you all enjoy them as well.

This recipe only makes six cupcakes but you can easily double, or triple the recipe.

½ all purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process Cocoa Powder
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons boiling water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less depending on taste)
3 tablespoons milk (or water if lactose)

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients (flou, cocia powder, baking soda, sugar, and spices) together in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the egg, oil, water, vanilla, and milk
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and divide batter between six cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

For the icing I bought a can of chocolate icing and added ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. A recipe for the same kind of icing made from scratch can be found here.

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Veronica Roth – Divergent Trilogy (2011-2013)

Divergent

(This Review Contains Spoilers)

I was a bit late to jump on to the Divergent bandwagon, but did so dutifully. I read all three books in quick succession but did not overly enjoy the series as a whole. The series is often compared to the Hunger Games, which is fair when it comes to genre and style, but the two worlds are dramatically different from one another.

The first novel Divergent was actually quite good. You meet Tris Prior, a teenage girl living in a world where you must choose a “faction” to belong to. The factions are split along personality traits, the Eurudite value intellect; the Amnity value peace, Candor, honesty; Abnegation, selflessness; and Dauntless, Courage. Tris, an abnegation girl finds herself drawn to Dauntless and leaves her family to join them. There she discovers that her Divergence, the fact that she could belong to multiple factions, and just how dangerous this is.

The Second and Third novels, Insurgent and Allegiant, were not as stellar. The plot gets murky in a scenario similar to “the Village” where it is discovered that there is an outside world that has been watching and observing Tris’ society as a social experiment. There are genetically damaged and genetically pure beings and a war between the two seems imminent. Overall the series ends a bit depressingly not only because Tris dies, but simply because she went from being such a strong character to becoming a passive witness to the events happening around her.

This is something that the Hunger Games trilogy also struggled with, as in the third book, Katniss similarly loses some of her spunk and energy. In the Hunger Games however, this is more a realistic portrayal of Revolution. Katniss can no longer control it, and she instead becomes passive in the events happening around her rather than a catalyst for them.

I can see the appeal of this trilogy for those who love young adult fiction, but personally it didn’t really do it for me.