chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

When we have a family dinner or get-together, we all like to contribute something to the menu.  My grandmother often volunteers to make or bring a dessert (she’s got quite a sweet tooth!).  At one family dinner, she showed up with these Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini Brownies from the bakery section of our local grocery store.  They were delicious!  So of course, I looked at the ingredient list (which was about a mile long and contained things that I couldn’t pronounce, let alone identify) and decided that I wanted to find a way to make a homemade version on my own!

 

After some online research and a few test batches, I’m excited to share a version that is just as delicious as the ones that we tried at our family dinner but uses whole wheat flour and maple syrup (you could also substitute honey) in place of refined flours and sugars and does not contain any added flavors or preservatives.  Win!

 

The idea behind a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake is that you take the flavors from a Mexican hot chocolate (which is traditionally made with cinnamon and some sort of hot pepper to kick it up a notch) and bake it into a very moist chocolate cake.  My version also contains coffee so I guess it’s sort of a Mexican Mocha Cake. 

 

During my online research, I happened upon the idea of baking cake batter in pint-sized Mason jars so that you can serve them as individual servings.  I thought it was such a fun idea, especially when serving kids!  One night, when we had an extra kid sleeping over at our house, we made a batch of these cakes and all enjoyed them on the sofa while having a movie night.  Fun! 

 

[You could also make this recipe in a traditional cake pan but, to be honest, I didn’t try that out during my recipe testing so you’ll have to let me know what time and temperature you use if anyone tries it at home.  I would recommend keeping a lower temperature than most cake baking so that it stays moist.]

 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake in a Jar
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  2. ½ cup cocoa powder
  3. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 ½ cups maple syrup
  10. 1 cup buttermilk
  11. 1 cup coffee, at room temperature
  12. ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  13. 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, coffee, coconut oil, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a third at a time, whisking to incorporate in between each addition.
  5. Arrange ten 8-ounce or pint-sized Mason jars on a baking sheet and carefully pour ½ cup of the batter into each jar. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool slightly so that you can safely handle the jars. Hand out the jars and some spoons and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Makes 10 individual cakes.
  2. (*TIP: put 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup line and let sit for 5 minutes to make your own buttermilk from scratch!)
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/
Chili Chocolate Bark

Chili Chocolate Bark

I know this is a little late for Easter candy but homemade chocolate desserts really never go out of season, do they?  Not in our house!  I definitely have a sweet tooth and try to have at least one homemade dessert available in our house at all times.  I love the idea of chocolate bark because it can be broken into bite size pieces and you can add lots of yummy – and even healthy – extra ingredients and the result can be a little different each time.  I also like that you can store it in the fridge or freezer which helps to keep it from disappearing as fast as it might if we kept it out on the kitchen counter.  So I’ve tried lots of variations on this recipe but I think this is my favorite basic version to which you can add any sort of dried fruit and nuts or seeds that you have on hand.  [My second favorite is probably chocolate bark without the spices (chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne) and with raisins and sunflower seeds added at the end.  The possibilities are endless!]  Any way that you make it, this recipe is super fast and easy.  Everyone in our family is digging it so I hope you will, too!

 

Chili Chocolate Bark
Print
Ingredients
  1. (all ORGANIC, if possible)
  2. 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  3. 1 ½ Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  5. 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  6. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Optional
  1. 1 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, goji berries, raisins, apricots)
  2. 1 cup toasted and chopped nuts or seeds (walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a double boiler (I used a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water) and heat and stir until melted and smooth. If desired, stir in nuts or dried fruit at this point. (I added chopped dried cherries and toasted pumpkin seeds.)
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into a 9x13” baking pan lined with wax paper. Spread evenly with spatula. (At this point, I also sprinkled some Himalayan pink sea salt on top as well as a few extra toasted pumpkin seeds.)
  3. Place in freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in fridge/freezer in airtight container. Enjoy! 🙂
Notes
  1. [A note about the spiciness of the recipe: I used only 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper because the kids and I prefer a mild version of spiciness – just enough to know it’s there – but you can add up to twice as much if you prefer your spice level closer to hot or extra hot. Or you can leave it out altogether if you don’t like the spiciness…of course, it would no longer be “chili chocolate” but it would still be yummy!]
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/