Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mini Chocolate (good for you) Cakes (for breakfast!)

Wow - what a name!  Really, I should call these "chocolate pancakes" bc that's what they are.  They are meant to start off your day in a deceitfully healthy way, but they taste so much like cake that I just couldn't help myself when naming them.  My boys find these little cakes absolutely delicious!! I, on the other hand, don't really care for chocolate cake with maple syrup, especially first thing in the morning, so I find them fairly easy to avoid.  

Now, were I truly my father's daughter, I would be all over these!  My dad is a man who can handle his chocolate! I have seen him eat a Haagen Dazs double dark chocolate, chocolate chip bar for breakfast!  And though he denies it to this day, I have at least 5 other witnesses!  So this recipe is for him in hopes that he can get his chocolate fix off something healthy!!  

As for me, I'll stick with my light and crispy waffles. Hey..... speaking of waffles, I would like to say something about my recipe I posted in March that will help you with your pancakes today!  Read below!

Waffle side track
If you haven't tried the waffle recipe I posted March 15, I encourage you to do so! I have had quite a few people tell me they love them!! (If you "follow" the blog, you can leave your comments below or you can leave your comments on FB where I announce the latest blog! I love to hear from you!!).  They told me their waffles turned out light and crisp with the perfect texture but I had a couple people tell me they were a little too heavy.  I suggested to those with the heavy results to try again but this time to do so by sticking a spoon in the flour and fluffing it up a little so it's loose and airy as opposed to compact and stacked.  Then, measure it into the measuring cup.  Do so by using the spoon to fill the cup NOT by scooping the cup into the flour.  Once the cup is filled to overflowing, take a narrow straight edge and scrape off the remaining flour.  

Baking is considered a science with it's exact measurements, but I also believe there is an art to it as well.  Having made these waffles many times before, I know what I want my batter to look like; I know how I want it to spread over the skillet. So, I add the required ingredients in the amounts written, and then I let the batter tell me what to do. I will usually add a bit more liquid (sometimes flour) to get the right consistency.  The waffles should be more runny than they are thick.  If the batter just sits where you dropped it and it doesn't move at all to fill in some cracks, then the batter is to thick.  If it runs freely to fill in all the cracks, it's too runny.  Play with it a little and find the consistency you like and make note of what it looks like - pretty soon, the science of your waffles will become your art!

Back to the pancakes

Be sure to measure the flour the same way - loosening the flour with a spoon and then using the spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup, making sure to level the flour off with a straight edge.  Also, in both recipes (the waffles as well as the pancakes), I recommend that you use a whole wheat pastry flour which is less heavy than a dense and coarse wheat flour - for those of you who mill your own, I use a soft white wheat milled to a fine flour. 

For my youngest son, I make a second batter to accommodate his dairy and wheat allergies - I simply trade out the wheat for a not-wheat all-purpose flour such as Bob's Red Mill and use almond milk instead of cow's milk.

In this recipe I have also added chocolate protein powder.  I can't tolerate a meal without staying power! If all my breakfast contains is simple and complex carbs, that meal isn't gonna take me very far!  This may be an "optional" ingredient but it's required in my house.  With three boys who already eat their weight in food and then some, everything they eat has to count and has to last!

Let's get to it!
In a large bowl, add:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 scoops chocolate protein powder (optional)

Mix to combine.

In a small bowl, add:
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk or almond milk
2 TBS canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix to combine.  Add the wet to the dry and stir until combined.  The batter should look like brownie mix.  Not super smooth and not super lumpy. I like my batter to pour on to the griddle without running everywhere, as opposed to plopping and not spreading much.  Whatever you prefer, add more liquid or flour, a little bit at a time - it won't take much - to get the consistency you want.  

The griddle should be preheated at 300 degrees.  Much higher than that and the cakes will burn without cooking through.  Keep your eye on them.  When they have a few bubbles and are dry around the edges, flip them over.

Feel free to have some add-ins and some add-ons:  for add-ins - chocolate chips, raspberries, strawberries, or orange zest and a splash of orange juice; for add-ons - whipped cream, a berry puree, peanut butter, maple or cherry or some type of berry syrup.  Like I said earlier, these don't totally turn my crank but were I to add something like fresh raspberries in the batter and a dollop of whipped cream on top, or maybe dark chocolate chips within and a raspberry puree without, THEN I might be on to something!

The quick and easy fave in our house....

Peanut butter and syrup!



  1. Whoa!!! Love this recipe, Laura! My kids will die over these, and once again, love the ingredients! Do you ever use extra virgin coconut oil? It is actually so good for you, and it tastes great! I use it in place of canola oil in a lot of my baked goods, pancakes, and waffles. It has a slight cocnut flavor so it goes perfectly in anything chocolate! Thanks for the recipe! I think they would be a perfect dessert too, with a little whipped cream on top, yum!! :)

  2. I think you are totally on to something, Rachel!! Coconut oil would be great in these!! I haven't found a high quality coconut oil that I feel I can "afford". Maybe you can help me out...where do you get yours? Is it a good price?

    I'm all about having these for dessert!! That sounds sooo much better to me than for breakfast! They really do taste like a little chocolate cup cake! So, enjoy!! Let me know how it goes with the coconut oil!
    Thanks for writing!! Laura

  3. Love the photos and the pancakes are a new favorite around here!!

  4. Yay!!! Soo glad you are enjoying them! Thanks for letting me know!!