Guess what? I'm alive!
It's been nearly a year since I was actually here and thinking about food and recipes, versus just whining about life and the suffering of a Whole30 (no, really). Lots has happened since then and I'm in a whole new place, mentally, physically and emotionally. I'm finding my passion for food returning.
In honor of this moments feeling, I wanted to bring back this blog and get back to SHARING my passion and my food. I also wanted it to be special. I am NOT a baker; I'm not good at it and I usually don't like it. I've also realized today that I am no good at cake decorating, but we'll talk about that later. But, celebrations call for cake, right? So, I made a damned cake. And it's tasty, even if it's not nearly as pretty as it was in my head. Best part? It's all real food.
Now hold on, first, I feel a rant coming on. I WILL call this treat real food, but I will NOT call it "healthy". I really hate the word "healthy" in terms of treats and desserts. I see it happens a lot, particularly from Paleo bloggers or people who "clean-up" favorite treats. While I love those people and their creations, I say desserts are more than just the sum of their parts. Sure, they could be made with the exact same ingredients that you might eat separately on a day to day basis (in my case: eggs, plantain and nut butter, which makes a great breakfast!), but when you put them all together in a specific way, it creates a whole new flavor and texture that your brain will respond to differently. This is more of an emotional health than physical. It creates an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food if you just live on two ingredient banana pancakes. Am I babbling? Probably. But did I make a point? I hope so. I only say this to clarify that I will never refer to a dessert/treat as "healthy" and you should not consider them a substitute for an actual meal (except for those days where you decide to have cake for dinner... or breakfast... that totally happens). You won’t see many desserts from me, I want to focus on whole, healing foods. But, everyone deserves a treat now and then.
Rant. Done. I think. Anyway, those of you from my absolute favorite app TwoGrand (seriously, check it out if you haven't), might recognize this cake as being very similar to the plantain mug cake that's become a recent craze (also seriously, I feel famous, no lie). You are correct, I doubled the recipe and added more sweet (who don't like sweet?!) cus this is a dessert, gosh darn it!
I used a 8” cast iron skillet to bake my cake since I don’t have a full size cake pan. It was the best choice I ever made, except that I really needed twice as much cake for a pan that size, it’s too thin for layering. Either way, cooking in cast iron is a dream.
Festive Chocolate Plantain Cake with Pumpkin "Cream Cheese" Frosting
1 ripe plantain (yellow or black)
2 tbsp nut/seed/peanut butter (dealer’s choice)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp honey/maple syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350.
Blend/thoroughly mix all ingredients, except baking soda. Adjust sweet and salt to taste (it’s better if it’s a touch sweeter than you want, some of it bakes out).
Mix in baking soda.
Grease 8” cake pan/skillet with butter or coconut oil (8” should make a thick enough cake you can cut it in half and add a middle cake layer, 10” makes a thin cake) and pour in batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Pumpkin “Cream Cheese” Frosting
1 cup raw cashews (soaked 4+ hours)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp coconut butter (coconut oil could work in place)
3 tbsp maple syrup/honey
salt to taste
Soak your cashews a minimum of 4 hours, up to overnight. Refrigerate if soaking beyond 4 hours. Drain ands rinse.
Add cashew, pumpkin puree, water and lemon juice to a food processor or high speed blender, blend until smooth. Add salt to taste, it should be tasting like pumpkin cream cheese now.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until fully incorporated.
Tada! You have frosting!
When cake is cool enough, remove from the pan. If you made a thick cake, cut it into two pieces to allow a layer of frosting in the center.
Frost the darned thing. Use lots of frosting. Duh.
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup/honey
2/3 cup cocoa powder
Mix all ingredients together well.
Add to a piping bag with a really small tip, or a sandwich bag, cut the tip off.
Decorate away! Do better than I did… no, really.
That's a little better, right? More importantly, it's tasty.