It’s redux time and this month’s theme is:
Stir up some of your earliest culinary recollections. Did you stand at your grandmother’s elbow to learn to cook? Or did you learn by stumbling through a cookbook by yourself? Share a healthy recipe and the accompanying story about one of your first cooking memories.
I wasn’t that kid that stood at my mom’s side to watch her cook, that just wasn’t me. I’m not sure what I was doing, but I wasn’t in the kitchen. I’m one of 7 kids, so my mom probably just shoo-ed us all away. I have obviously repressed all of those memories of being shoo-ed.
The one thing I always watched her do was decorate cakes. My mom was an amazing cake decorator. She could do all of the fancy things that you see on cakes today. She made a giant cake for my kindergarten graduation and I will never forget it. She was pretty much the queen in the eyes of all kindergarteners that day. She made our birthday cakes and each one was special. She made cakes for church, for parties, for all special occasions. She loved doing it.
I dabbled in cake decorating for a few of my kids’ birthdays, but I don’t have that gift my mom had. I do know how to make an mean buttercream frosting, but that wouldn’t exactly be a healthy recommendation, would it? The mean buttercream comes out only on special occasions.
I wanted to make a cake for this month’s redux to help bring up those memories of my mom, who has been gone for 8 years now. I can’t imagine the cakes she would still be making if she were alive.
These days, I rarely make a cake just because I want to, and I’m still very aware that I don’t need to be munching on chocolate cake during the day. However, when I make something like this (you know, a chocolate cake on a Thursday afternoon), I know that it has some good stuff in there (hence, the skinnier part) and it’s much better for me than a box cake mix or a traditional recipe. So, why not?
I used these plates because they were my grandma’s plates, my mom’s mom. My mom kept them and never got to designate who they would go to. I’m happy I have them and I cherish them.
If you have a strong desire for a chocolate cake during a weekday afternoon, aim for one that is not going to lay to waste all those hours at the gym. At least be happy you ate some whole grains, protein, calcium and, if you make the frosting, an avocado serving.
You don’t have to make the frosting, this cake would be simply amazing with some powdered sugar sprinkled over the top – the world is your creative oyster.
And this cake got me to drink a glass of milk – that never happens – but it was perfect. Enjoy!
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup non fat greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- non stick cooking spray
- 2 small avocados or 1 large
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Chopped Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a medium mixing bowl, add flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and mix well
- Make a well in the middle and add remaining cake ingredients, through egg
- Stir until combined
- Coat a 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray and pour batter into dish and evenly spread out
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking at 35 minutes, by inserting a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean
- Remove from oven and allow to cool
- To make frosting, add all frosting ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend together
- Spread on cooled cake
- If using toppings: add coconut and pecans to a small skillet over low heat and toast until coconut starts to turn light brown
- Top cake with coconut and pecans