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Birthday Cake and Brownies

Recently, I celebrated my 53rd birthday.  It was the last day of my annual herb walk class and my sons and I made ice cream, chocolate brownies and chocolate cake for everyone who was participating.  I promised the students at the class that I'd get them the recipes.  

The ice cream recipe is already on the website.  Here are the recipes for the brownies and chocolate cake.

 

Enjoy.

 

Delightfully Decadent Fudge Chocolate Brownies

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (preferably organic)
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (coarsely chopped).  I used Dagoba 100% chocolate, which is organically grown.
  • 1 cup raw sugar or Sucanat
  • 2 eggs (preferably free range, organic)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour (I used coconut flour which resulted in a really nice texture, however you could also use spelt, whole wheat pastry flour, rice flour, oat flour, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional ingredients:
    • Walnuts
    • Chocolate Chips

 

Directions:

Start by melting the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat.  Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and blended together.  Set this mixture aside to cool.

After the mixture has cooled for a few minutes add the sugar to the chocolate mixture in the saucepan.  Raw sugar takes a while to dissolve, so be sure to stir it thoroughly until it blends in well.

Add one egg and stir until the egg is blended into the mixture.  Then add the second egg and stir again until the egg is thoroughly blended in the mixture.  Finally, add the vanilla and mix it in, too.

In a separate bowel mix the flour and baking soda together, then mix the flour and the chocolate mixture together and stir until just combined.  Spread the batter onto a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking pan that has been greased.  (I used cooking spray that has flour in it and it worked really well.) 

 

Optional: I lightly chopped some walnut halves (leaving them in fairly large chunks) and spread a layer over the brownies, and then added some Dagoba chocolate chips on the top.  I'm going to try making them again using a mixture of Sunspire semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.  The idea is to create a melted layer of chocolate chips with nuts mixed in instead of using frosting.  That's what makes these delightfully decadent.

 

Bake for 30 minutes for an 8” pan and 25 minutes for 9” pan.  Cool completely before cutting.

 

Divine Chocolate Cake

 

I adapted this recipe from a recipe for Devil's Carob Cake.  I've made a couple of changes.  First,  I don't know why they call a moist chocolate cake “Devil's food,” because to me, nothing is more divine than chocolate.  It must just be a prejudice against the color.  So, I've renamed it Divine Chocolate cake.  

Second, although the carob version is good, I prefer chocolate.  My reasoning is strictly a matter of personal taste, but I am also fond of pointing out that carob originated in the middle east, and was regarded as “pig food” to the Hebrews, while chocolate was the “food of the Gods” to the Inca.  I personally prefer the food of the gods! 

 

Recent research showing chocolate is the highest known antioxidant food is vindicating my preference.  I've always felt it was the refined sugar and processed fats that made chocolate “bad” for you.  Apparently, I was right, but truthfully, I was just going by my own taste buds.

Anyway, whether you make this cake with carob or chocolate, it is really moist and is so good it doesn't even need frosting.  That makes it pretty angelic in my book.

 

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons butter (preferably organic)
  • 3/4 cup honey (use a light clover or alfalfa honey)
  • 1 egg (preferably organic, free-range)
  • 1-1/2 cups flour (I like a mixture of half whole spelt and half white spelt, which is what I used on my birthday, but you can also use whole wheat pastry flour, rice flour, oat flour, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.  (I used Dagoba's unsweetened hot chocolate mix, which has flecks of shaved chocolate in it for a richer flavor, but any good cocoa powder will do.)  Believe it or not you can actually use carob in this recipe and the cake still comes out really good, but I prefer chocolate.  
  • 1-cup milk substitute product (I'm lactose intolerant, so I use rice or soy milk in this recipe, but you could also use organic milk, too.  Just make sure it isn't ultra-pasteurized.)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

 

Directions

Cream the butter and honey, then beat in the egg.  Mix the flour, baking soda and chocolate together and add to the mixture.  Then add the milk or milk substitute and vanilla.  Pour into a greased 9” cake pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.