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!

KAHLUA COFFEE CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE



This Kahlua Coffee Chocolate Layer Cake is made with a moist chocolate Kahlua cake covered in Kahlua coffee frosting! It’s seriously so good – you won’t want to share!



KAHLUA COFFEE CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE

So this past weekend the hubs and I went and looked at some houses. We’ve been considering moving within the area for a while now, but haven’t found the right thing. We’d been looking around on our own and since we haven’t had any luck, we decided to try working with a real estate agent that the hubs knows.

Well we were out looking at some homes Sunday afternoon and it started getting a little late. We knew it could go later, so we brought everything for my evening progesterone shot (for our IVF treatment) with us just in case.

As luck would have it, 6 PM came rolling around and we got the privilege of not only doing our shot while out and about for the first time, but in a new house that was still under construction. We were looking at the house with our real estate agent and the sales person when we excused ourselves to shut ourselves into a room filled with nails, dust, wood and cardboard and try to give me a safe and sanitary shot in the rear/hip. A bit comical actually!

Something I would like to do everyday, however, is eat this cake. Oh my goodness, the flavors! I can’t even handle how good it all is together. You take a bite and your eyes basically roll back into your head because you just can’t deal any other way.

The chocolate cake is richly chocolatey and enhanced by coffee in the batter and 1/2 a cup of Kahlua. Plus, it’s pretty easy to put together. You don’t even need to bust out your mixer if you don’t want to. Just one bowl and a whisk will do the job!

The frosting is a variation of my buttercream with some Kahlua and espresso. Again, the flavor is perfection! And it’s also nice and straight forward to make. You’ve got your butter and shortening (you can always use butter to replace the shortening if you prefer – read why I use it) and powdered sugar first. They form the base of the frosting and to that you add the Kahlua and espresso. You’ll want to heat up the Kahlua a bit and then dissolve the espresso in it and use that to flavor the frosting and thin it out to the right consistency.

Once you’ve got your cakes and frosting, whip the cake together and dig in as fast as you can! This cake is full of moisture, so soft and flavorful – it’s truly delicious! If you have any love for coffee, Kahlua and chocolate, it’s a must try!

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
Category: Dessert
Method: Oven
Cuisine: American

INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE KAHLUA CAKE
2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
2 cups (414g) sugar
3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (120ml) Kahlua
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180ml) coffee

KAHLUA COFFEE FROSTING
7 tbsp (75ml) Kahlua
3 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups (336g) salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (236g) shortening
10 1/4 cups (1208g) powdered sugar
Chocolate jimmie sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine.
3. Add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, Kahlua and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Add the coffee to the cake batter and mix well. Batter will be very thin.
5. Divide the batter evenly between cake pans and bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
7. To make the frosting, heat the Kahlua until it just begins to boil, then add the espresso. Stir until dissolved.
8. In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter and shortening until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
10. Add about half of the Kahlua mixture and mix until smooth.
11. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
12. Add additional Kahlua mixture until the frosting is the right consistency.
13. To build the cake, cut the domes off the top of each cake so they are flat.
14. Put the first cake layer on a serving plate and top with 1 cup of frosting. Spread into an even layer.
15. Add the second layer of cake, another cup of frosting and then top the cake with the final layer of cake.
16. Frost the outside of the cake. Use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if desired. Use an icing tool like this one to add a pattern on the sides of the cake.
17. Press some sprinkles into the bottom of the sides of the cake.
18. Pipe some swirls around the top edge of the cake (I use this icing tip) and add a few additional sprinkles, then serve.
19. Store the cake in an air tight container. Cake is best for 2-3 days.

NOTES

If you’d like a non-alcoholic version of this cake, I’d suggest referring to this chocolate cake. It’s the one that was altered to make this cake and there are several changes that had to be made for the Kahlua cake. You can use regular cocoa and coffee instead of water, like is used in this cake. For the frosting, replace the Kahlua with water and add an additional tablespoon or two of espresso powder, depending on how strong of a coffee flavor you want.

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