“How nice things taste out of doors!” sighed Diana comfortably. “That chocolate cake of yours, Anne . . . well, words fail me, but I must get the recipe. Fred would adore it. HE can eat anything
and stay thin. I’m always saying I’m NOT going to eat any more cake . . . because I’m getting fatter every year…….Diana slyly cut herself another “sliver” of the chocolate cake……..She picked up the plate which held the remainder of the chocolate cake. . . looked at it longingly . . . shook her head and packed it in the basket with an expression of great nobility and self-denial on her face.”
Chocolate, sweetness, a tiny tang from the sourdough, and a moist texture comes together in this delightful sourdough cake. Simple to make, it rises wonderfully in the oven through the natural yeast in the sourdough and the help of baking soda. I love not only it’s delicious flavor, but how easy it is to make! And like Diana from Anne of Green Gables, you will be reaching for a second piece.
I somehow missed out on the Anne of Green Gables series growing up. I know that I would have loved them if I had found them then. By the time I reached High School, I was reading more of the heavy weight novels of Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Leo Tolstoy along with biographies and non fiction work. I was truthfully a little bit of a book snob and wondered why people read “lightweight” books.
However, I was cured of my snobbishness when morning sickness and the heart defect of my first child added a lot of stress into my life. I didn’t want to curl up with a dark book, I wanted to read a happy one. And so, I found the Anne of Green Gables series and discovered that they were not just children’s books after all. While there are certainly a few funny characteristics of her writing style (some of her characters, like Dickens, can be pretty unusual), as Anne grows up she faces both the happiness and sorrows of life in a true to life form. The sorrow that Anne feels at the loss of her child and other life situations rang true to me (this isn’t surprising because the author also lost a child). She later faces a war with her boys on the battlefield. Even though L.M. Montgomery brought Anne through a realistic life, the overall atmosphere is not darkness, but hope and life.
These are the type of books you want to read when your own life is stressful and you just need a quiet hour of reading. They are suitable for children but I have found that I can enjoy them as well. They are well written and joyful, definitely a book series I look forward to sharing with my own daughters. I now have the tradition of reading through the series when I am bed ridden with morning sickness.
As far as where my own chocolate recipe came from, before I got married my Grandmother gave me a King Author’s Flour cookbook full of baked goods. One of the recipes that caught my eye was sourdough chocolate cake. I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind, and with my husband’s birthday this month, I thought it was time to try it. I couldn’t find that cookbook, but thankfully found the recipe online here. It really only took a few changes, such as having a longer soaking period (to reduce anti-nutrients), and upping the quality of some of the ingredients to make it a cake that I feel very comfortable serving! This cake is definitely going to see our table many times!
I used this frosting to frost the cake. To make it softer, I simply added a few tablespoons of water to the mixture.
- 1 cup of recently fed sourdough starter
1 cup of raw milk, coconut milk tonic, or water (I actually used water, which won’t make as rich of a cake, but it still turned out great!)
2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups of whole cane sugar (such as rapadura), maple sugar, or palm/ coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup of cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
2 large eggs
1) 3-18 hours before you are ready to finish the cake, make the sourdough mixture. Mix the sourdough starter, the raw milk, coconut milk tonic or water and the flour in a large bowl. Let sit at room temperature for desired length of time.
2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 by 13 pan.
3) In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cocoa. and optional espresso powder. The mixture will be grainy. Beat in one egg at at time. Then gently combine this mixture with the sourdough mixture, beating until smooth. It will be gloppy at first, but will smooth out into a delightful batter.
4) Pour and scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes up clean when poked in the middle of the cake. Let cool before frosting.