Friday, January 20, 2012

Cocoa Cake (sweetened with honey)


My refined sugar-less month continues. I realize that my sugar-free January is not entirely sugar-free. Laura from Glutton For Life, who has a gorgeous and beautifully written site that you should subscribe to if you haven't already, has thrown down the gauntlet and proposed I take on a real challenge of entirely no sugar (in the comments of my last post). No fruit!? To me that is almost impossible to even think about. Inconceivable! says my inner Vizzini (Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride). So, I said maybe next year. For now, I am learning plenty by making sure to eat sweets sweetened only with fruit, honey or maple syrup. I know agave has fallen out of favor, but I might succumb to Cashewtopia's Vanilla Bean gelato. It's really amazing.

I might be a big sugar-baby, but the emotional undercurrent of this detox has taken it's toll. I've had irrational moments in which I wanted to tear into cupcakes and chocolate bars. One of these moments prompted this cake. I think one of my biggest weaknesses is a chocolate cake. I don't need much, but I so desire it. In my impatience searching for a no-refined-sugar-added recipe online, I gave up when cakes with a 1/2 cup of honey also added a cup of sugar! That is an incredible amount of sugar, in my opinion. So, I riffed on some easy cakes in my repertoire and came up with this. It completely satisfied. And, ever the addict, although this cake is pleasantly not-sweet, I did drizzle some maple syrup on it and it fully squelched that cupcake piled with frosting lust I had been experiencing. It's also made in a snap. You can always add some sugar if you want, or more honey.

Cocoa Cake

1 cup of AP flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly. My baking soda and powder often clump, and so does the cocoa, so I run my fingers through to disperse any clumps. I guess I could use a sifter, but I'm sort of a hands on kind of gal.

1/3 cup of oil (vegetable oil, though I bet coconut oil would be delicious)
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup buttermilk (yogurt would be fine here)
1 egg
1 tablespoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a square 8x8 pan. Mix wet ingredients to fully incorporate. Add to the dry ingredients quickly. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

What it looks like in the Hudson Valley this morning.

18 comments:

  1. Girl, I am loving these recipes! I will give this a whirl with gluten-free flour and coconut oil and let you know how it turns out. It's my birthday on Sunday and this just might be satisfying enough. As far as going totally without sugar, I did it once for 3 1/2 weeks when I was supporting my husband in his quest to rid himself of parasites. The diet prevented all sugar and grains (!) and dairy products except raw milk. We could have berries once a day, though, and yacón--do you know about that sweetener? Anyway, it was challenging, although I do remember a delicious strawberry ice milk conceived in desperation. I can't tell you how slim and glowing I was on that regimen. On the downside, it did NOT cure George. There is definitely an emotional component to altering your intake; you can read about the fast I undertook last March, here: http://gluttonforlife.com/2011/03/08/melting-down/ (Sorry for the long-winded comment...) xo

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  2. First of all, love LOVE The Princess Bride reference! I can nearly recite the dialogue from that film. Secondly, I totally admire your attempts to cut sugar out of your diet. Even though I know my body would feel so much better, I seriously don't think I could do it without going mad: even the though of it makes me anxious. I'm hopelessly and completely addicted. (And I'm still on the agave bandwagon!)

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  3. Laura - Firstly, happy birthday! You are a good woman, although I already knew that and obviously, George knows, too. Wow. Steve just gave up his spoonful of sugar in his coffee in solidarity (though no offense to him!). "Slim and glowing" sounds mighty good to me. Thank you for sharing that great post. And long-winded? Never. Let me know how it works out-

    Tug's Girl - I love that movie. And thank you, it has been interesting and very often I think: why am I doing this?? ; )

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  4. I made this last night with the coconut oil and used two percent milk, instead of yogurt. I guessed 1/4 teaspoon on the salt. Is that right? It came out AWESOME!!

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  5. Green-Army-Wife, Yay! Thanks so much for letting me know how it came out! And yes, you were right on the salt--I've just updated it.

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  6. I ate my whole applesauce cake over the course of a week, but it had 1/2 c. honey and was denser than I'd have liked. I've been dreaming of your 'jam pulp' cakes lately, and am so happy to see this one. I feel committed to greatly reducing my sugar intake for good, and I really look forward to checking out Gutton for Life too!

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  7. R - Please do check out GfL, I think Laura's work is right up your alley. I think I might have made a version of your coconana bread the other day, btw!

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  8. Hey there, I was just checking in with all my favorite can-jammers to see what you've been up to lately. Good to see you are still cooking (great foods)!

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  9. Julia, I am so with you on the no sugar thing. It is rough. But your cake looks damned good to me!

    -Erin

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  10. Elle - Hi! Thanks so much for not only stopping by, but saying hi, too! Love that kimchi you just made. Reminds me I should make some!

    Erin- You know, now that I'm off of it, I don't really want sugar. It seems somewhat pointless, unless it's something really special. I'm pretty excited about that. Didn't expect it at all!

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  11. I made this with coconut oil It was very moist, but not sweet at all. I knew it wouldn't be with only 1/4 cup of honey, so I put about 1/3 cup. It still wasn't very sweet. So, I drizzled a little honey on top when we ate it, and that hit the spot. Still not overly sweet, but sweet enough to feel decadent. Wonderful recipe and I will make it again! Any naturally sweetened chocolate frosting recipes???

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    1. Michelle, it makes my day to read your comment. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that! I think I must have done the exact same thing as you--took a bite, not sweet enough, added maple syrup on top. I will now embark upon discovering a naturally sweetened frosting. Excellent idea!

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  12. we have been virtually sugar free for several months now,using exclusively(www.floridatupelohoney.com)as sweetener,actually like it quite well except is difficult to locate chocolate recipes,this one is the best i have tried,thank you so much, i have made it once using sour cream rather than yogurt as that is what was open in the fridge,am going to try again,probably with yogurt this time,first time used 1/4 cup oil as like to use as little oil as possible and used a little chocolate almond milk, unsweetened of course, which is also delicious, for moisture, was great,definitely keeping this one.thanks

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    1. That's great! Thanks so much for letting me know. Sour cream sounds like a good, creamy idea.

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  13. oh yeah any almond recipes ? almond milk,ground almonds ? thanks

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    1. Just Marzipan: http://whatjuliaate.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-cheer-coffee-liqueur-and.html

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  14. Ta da! Found it! Can't wait to try it. I have such a sweet tooth, which is generally balanced out, I think, by all our farmy goodness, but still. And I see a certain 3-year old taking after his mama. So I am always after sweet treats that are a bit more wholesome.

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    1. Hi Lisa! You found it. Yeah, I have such a sweet tooth. When you make this it might disappoint in that it's so NOT sweet. Pour a bunch of syrup over it, and it will be okay!

      My son was 3 when I started noticing he was refusing stuff that wasn't sweet. Oh that tricky sweet tooth! (He's 4.5 now.) Sometimes I make things that are super healthy and he won't eat them. And I sort of don't blame him. That happened with a batch of peanut butter cookies the other day. Sort of funny actually. Yet another instance where I'm turning into my mom!

      Tell me how it works out if you do try it!

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