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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chocolate Cake for One

This is another recipe that’s a LOT of time (not work, really) for one little serving size, but I tell you…it’s well worth the effort. AND you won’t accidentally eat more cake than you should. Cakes just sit there, begging to be eaten, don’t they? This way, it’s all gone in a flash of silverware and teeth!

3 TBLSP all-purpose flour
1 TBLSP unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ banana, mashed
1 ½ TBLSP pure maple syrup {or other liquid sweetener}
¾ TBLSP melted coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Small handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)
1 TBLSP chopped crystalized ginger (optional)
Small handful of raisins (optional)
Small handful of walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease or line two ramekins. You can use a muffin tin, but the cakes will have a less-than-square shape. Perhaps it’s time to make an hour-glass or barrel-shaped cake? Or, you could pretend you work for the Ace of Cakes and do some carving. It’s up to you.

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  2. Add the mooshed banana, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla, stirring until combined.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips, ginger, raisins, and nuts (if any).
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 15-25 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. (It should come out clean.)
  5. Cool completely before removing from the ramekin.

Makes two tiny cakes. They don’t rise much.

This cake is dreamy enough that you won’t really need frosting, but if you’re going to put birthday candles in it…. Make the frosting while the cakes are cooling down. The frosting needs to rest for a bit too, and the timing should be about right.

Vanilla Frosting for One

4 TBLSP non-hydrogenated shortening, such as Earth Balance
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
A dash of vanilla extract
A dash of almond milk (if necessary)

  1. In a small bowl, cream together all the ingredients until it’s smooth. It should be thinner than toothpaste but thicker than molasses.
  2. Let it sit for a while on the counter, so that it starts to firm up a bit. If it’s a warm day, stick it in the fridge for half an hour or so. The faux butter in there should start to seize up nicely in the fridge.
You could flavor the frosting with cocoa powder or use food coloring, if those things are what you imagine for a chocolate cake. I like the simplicity of the vanilla against the fancy dancy cake, though. If you do add (a TBLSP) of cocoa powder, you might need a little slosh of the milk or more faux butter to make it thicken up enough to spread on your cake.

Now for the fun part.
Make the frosting that pleases you, let it rest while the cakes cool completely, and then…
  1. Frost the top of one cake (after you take it out of the ramekin, silly).I like to put the cakes on an overturned ramekin on a plate so that I can better frost the little guy AND the plate collects any sloppy frosting.
  2. Once you’ve got the top of one cake frosted (and layered with fruit, if you like), stack the other cake on top of it and frost the sides and top.
  3. Decorate with sprinkles, chocolate chips, raisins, crushed nuts, cherries or other fruit. Have fun with it!
You might want to let this rest for a while. It’s easier to eat if the frosting has solidified a bit.

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