homemade

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
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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!)
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homemade buckwheat granola

Buckwheat Granola

 

Since I recently learned about the astounding nutritional benefits of buckwheat and many of you expressed an interest in trying it out in your kitchen, I thought I would follow up with another post for a recipe that I created by combining the granola recipe on the back of the bag of buckwheat groats with my tried and true homemade granola recipe

 

This recipe uses buckwheat groats, as opposed to buckwheat flour, which we discussed in my previous post and which was used in the recipe for buckwheat cornbread.  Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant.  You can also find “kasha”, which are roasted buckwheat groats.  Once again, buckwheat groats are a great option for anyone who is following a gluten-free diet and can be used in lots of whole grain recipes in place of other grains that contain gluten, such as barley, couscous, or farro.

 

roasted buckwheat groats

 

This recipe for buckwheat granola will give you a crunchier granola with a different texture from the regular granola but I kind of enjoyed it as a switch from the same old stuff that we’ve been eating for years.  So I will definitely be making it again as a way to mix up our granola options. 

 

As usual, you could easily substitute honey or another sweetener for the maple syrup and you could substitute your oil of choice for the coconut oil (and skip the shredded coconut) if you don’t like the taste of coconut. 

 

Happy Baking!  🙂

 

Buckwheat Granola
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup maple syrup
  2. ¼ cup coconut oil
  3. 3 cups rolled oats
  4. 1 cup buckwheat groats
  5. ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  6. ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  7. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. ½ teaspoon sea salt
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the coconut oil and maple syrup over medium heat until combined.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the oats, buckwheat groats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Once oil and maple syrup have cooled slightly, stir in the vanilla.  Pour over the dry mixture and stir gently to mix well.  Spread granola onto two large baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and then stir in coconut.
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