Brace yourselves, because I am going to give away a big secret about myself.
Ready? Ok, here goes…
I can be impatient. Shocking, right?
Because of this impatience, my baking creations usually come from spur-of-the-moment inspirations that I throw together. This is also why I most often come up with easy cookie recipes that require no frosting, no cooling and, sometimes, no baking.
But, sometimes, strange things happen.
Take for example yesterday when I actually skimmed through a dictionary-sized cookbook to find a cake recipe.
At first, my skimming was more to amuse myself and less to actually find a recipe. But then I saw a cake that combined orange and chocolate, which is one of my favorite flavor combinations.
“How could I turn this down,” I thought when I realized I had all the ingredients. Then I kept reading the recipe and realized it entailed a few more steps than some of my standard cookies. I had a dilemma: Test my patience my making the cake or miss out on something sure-to-be delicious because it had a few steps?
I went with the first option and thank goodness I did! Not only did my patience last through the surprisingly easy recipe, but I also got to taste test the ah-mah-zing cake.
Adapted from “Passionate Vegetarian.”
- 2 T unsweetened applesauce
- 2 T canola oil
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1 large egg + 2 egg whites
- 3/4 t vanilla extract
- Finely grated rind of one orange
- 2/3 C all-purpose flour
- 1/3 C + 2 T whole-wheat flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 3/4 C almond milk (or any milk)
- 3/4 t vinegar
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 C dark chocolate chips + 2 T more
- 1/2 C all-fruit sweet orange marmalade (I used Polaner’s)
- 1/4 C finely chopped pecans
- Heat a small skillet to medium-high. Add the pecans and toast for a few minutes until they began to darken and become more fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine the milk and vinegar. Reserve 1 T mixture and set both mixtures aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the applesauce, oil and sugar. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the egg, egg whites, vanilla and orange rind. Add the egg mixture to the sugar mixture, while continuing to mix. Keep mixing for one or two additional minutes.
- In another medium-sized bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and baking soda.
- Beat about one-third of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Then, beat in about one-third of the big milk mixture. Repeat this alternation until all the flour and all but the reserved 1 T of milk is used.
- Now, make the chocolate cake batter by mixing 1/2 C of the batter with the reserved 1 T milk. When smooth, stir in the cocoa and 1/4 C chocolate chips.
- Grease a cake pan. Pour in half of the vanilla cake batter. Drop the chocolate batter, by spoonfuls atop the vanilla. Marble this all together with a knife. Drop spoonfuls of the marmalade over the cake, being careful not to let the jam touch the sides of the pan. Spoon the remaining vanilla batter over the jam layer, spreading it to the pan edges. Top it all with the toasted pecans.
- Bake the cake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden and the edges have pulled away from the cake pan. Remove from the oven and allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully flip the cake onto a cooling rack, pecan side down. Allow it to cool like this for 10 more minutes. Carefully flip again so that the pecans are on top. Allow it to finish cooling.
- Place the remaining 2 T chocolate chips in a small microwaveable bowl. Heat for 15 seconds. Stir, heat for another 15 seconds and repeat (if necessary) until the chocolate is smooth. Using a fork, splatter the melted chocolate over the top of the cake.
Just to be safe, though, bring along a slice. That way, if you still aren’t patient at least you can eat cake. I’m just looking out for you!
Questions: Would you consider yourself to be a patient person? Random, but do you like rollercoasters?
One final note: Happy 87 birthday to my wonderful, amazing, inspirational grandma!