Dairy-free Chocolate “Cake”.

Today is Easter Sunday. I’m sure everyone is thinking the same thing, “Man this is weird.” We’re in quarantine, on lock down, or have a stay-at-home order in most places. Initially, I was going to write about what it’s like to experience this sort of global pandemic while living with anxiety, but I decided that instead, I’d put on 90’s gospel (Fred Hammond mostly) and bake a cake. So, here we are.

I haven’t always struggled with lactose, but since I was about 25, my stomach has been saying, “No ma’am.” to anything that has it. After a few years, I decided to stop fighting it. If I’m dying for ice cream, I take Lactaid. If a friend makes a dairy-inclusive dish, I take Lactaid. If I want to make my fiance roll his eyes at my stubbornness, I take Lactaid. As of late, I just don’t want to have to take it so I’ve been researching and implementing healthy alternatives in the kitchen.

I found a few recipes, but none really screamed out at me so I just tried it on my own. This was my first time. I felt bold. Now, if you want to skip all of this step-by step business, Shakiyla-like writer’s voice, and amateur photography, click here for the recipe.

I called it, “cake” with quotes, because the primary ingredient is banana. Most people would call this Chocolate Banana Bread, but after trying it in the round pan, I’m convinced it would serve just as beautifully as a cake.

Here are the ingredients. Aren’t they just precious sitting on the counter like a lil’ family?

Now, here are a few important things to consider with each of these items:

  • the bananas are RIPE. They almost look spoiled. That means they are ready and willing to make some sweet dessert-like-magic
  • I didn’t use flour. I used Wheat Meal. Wheat flour is hard to find here (Jos)
  • That small floral bowl contains the applesauce. It’s probably east to go to Wal-Mart and grab you some but AIN’T NO WAL-MART HERE. I took two medium apples, 1tsp cinnamon, and 3tbs of water, blended it up, and BOOM-applesauce.
  • I used brown sugar instead of white sugar and much less than most recipes.

Now, let’s get to gettin’, shall we? As with most baking recipes, start off by mixing your wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. I found one recipe that mixed the sugar with the wet ingredients and I think it really helped to keep that sweet kick subtle and flavorful. Go for it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups applesauce
  • 2.5 cups mashed bananas
  • a tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar, or sweetener of choice
  • 2 cups wheat meal, wheat flour, oat flour, or any flour substitute that you use for baking
  • a tsp baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • 1/2 cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s, anything is fine)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips if you feelin’ extra sweet today

Go ahead and preheat that oven to 350 degrees.

Your wet ingredients include: bananas (mashed), vanilla, eggs, and applesauce. I used about 7 bananas. I didn’t mashed them as much as most people recommend, but I secretly wanted them to be a bit chunkier in the batter. I like the flavor, and I think once they’re completely settled, it isn’t as “potent.”

Once you’ve gotten the bananas all mashed up to your liking, mix the rest of the wet ingredients in and stir until they are clearly combined.

Now, I’m one of those people who needs to see ends results. If that’s not you, ignore this shot. Truly, if you are a beginner with baking, it helps to see final textures and color for an idea of what methods create what outcome. (Hi, I’m a beginner)

Now, mix the dry ingredients in with your wet ones and again, stir until your soul says stop.

It’s not the most beautiful batter in the world, but baby, once it’s baked and in its Sunday Best, everybody gon want a piece.

I just want to take a minute and recommend that everybody in the world go out and purchase stainless steel measuring cups and spoons. Chile. I’m never going back. Erica got them and truly it’s going to be so hard to say goodbye *Boys 2 Men voice*

Now, I used a 1/2 cup measuring spoon to scoop my batter into the pan. It helped me to feel less prone to spilling but if you don’t have a Master’s degree in clumsy, go ahead and pour it in like a normal person. Bread pans work great. It was absolutely beautiful, but like I said, I really like it as a small cake or stacked cake batter. So, I tried both.

Put them in the oven for about 40 minutes. Poke with a tooth pick until it come out clean, and I recommend taking it out of the pan and putting it on a cooling rack if that’s an option. If you’re feeling real quarantiney, keep it in the pan, let it cook, and grab a fork. No judgemement.

Here’s our final product. She’s super light and fluffy. I made a small batch of banana “nice” cream to have on the side because what’s cake without ice cream? A mistake.

I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at healthy cakery.

Thank you for reading. I pray all is well in this time of confusion. Be encouraged, Jesus rose, and because He didn’t reamain in that grave, there is cause for joyful celebration.

I love you.

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