With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I couldn’t help but make something chocolately. I’ve been toying with this dish for the last few weeks. I found the original recipe in Better Homes and Gardens. It was first published in the 1940′s, during The Great Depression. When the cake bakes, it separates into two layers, a cake layer which rests on a pudding layer. No wonder this dish was such a hit. They’ve been sharing ever since.
I’ve got an interesting collection of vintage cookbooks, from names you wouldn’t recognize today to Bon Appetit special publications. Whenever I see a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, I snag it. There’s something so American about their recipes. I marvel at how cooking has changed so much, and still not at all.
Needless to say, I had to transform this recipe into a gluten-free, refined sugar-free delight.
Since it was originally a Depression Era recipe, it didn’t call for any eggs. It was light on sugar and milk. I further reduced the sugar, added some stevia, and swapped out the dairy for So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk.
Joe and I both thought that the cake needed more pudding, so I played around with the water ratio until it made just the right amount. The cake is tender. The pudding layer is scrumptious and eliminates any need for icing.
Instead of topping this cake with ice cream, which would be divine, I opted for fresh raspberries and a few carob chips. The tangy berries were a satisfying compliment to the sweet chocolate cake.
What do you collect in your kitchen? How does it influence your cooking?
A moist chocolate cake that separates into two layers when it bakes - the cake layer and a pudding layer. Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan. Adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
- 1 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup dairy-free milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used my Homemade Sugar-Free, Alcohol-Free Vanilla Extract)
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1/8 teaspoon liquid vanilla stevia
- fresh berries
- carob chips
- vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.
- Mix the dairy-free milk, coconut oil, and vanilla together. Stir into the dry ingredients. Batter will be thick.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water into a heat-proof bowl or a 2-cup measure. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, and the stevia. Gently pour the water mixture on top of the batter.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick in the center of the cake layer and it comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm with berries, carob chips, and/or ice cream.
- Store at room temperature covered in plastic wrap.