Here's a fuss-free chocolate cake to make directly in the pan and straight to the oven. Instead of using cocoa powder, I used tablea, local dark chocolate discs, that I ground into a pulpy mash to mix with the rest of the ingredients. I just find tablea having a deeper roasted flavour than cocoa in a can.
You can dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar, or if you don't have this in the pantry, get a chocolate bar and break it into small pieces. The heat emanating from the cake will naturally melt the pieces and turn it into icing. Top the cake with some berries, fresh or frozen, or you can also use cream to layer on the cake, and add nuts or leftover snacks like broken pretzels, M&M candies, etc. You can get as crazy and creative as you want with the cake toppings.
Baking time: 30 minutes
1 1/4 cups or 160 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coco sugar or brown sugar
1/3 cup or 2 tableas, mashed*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or fine pink salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 chocolate bar (for "icing")
1 cup raspberries, blueberries, crushed pretzels or candy (for topping)
*Here's a trick to mash the tablea if you don't have a mortar and pestle: put the tablets in a small microwaveable bowl, and blast the microwave oven for 1 minute. When you take it out, you should be able to crumble the tablea with the back of a spoon.
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Add flour, sugar, ground tablea, baking soda and salt to a square glass or aluminium baking pan. Whisk the mixture together with a spoon until uniform in colour. You can use your finger to break apart any lumps.
Combine the dry ingredients first, directly into the baking pan.
2. Add 1 cup of water to the mixture, followed by oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Stir slowly with a fork, then whisk in small circles around the pan to blend all the ingredients together. Scrape, stir and mash mixture with a fork and spoon until it becomes a creamy and smooth batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips and continue to spread batter into an even layer.
3. Wipe any splatter on the edges of the baking dish, then carefully transfer it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from oven. While cooling, break chocolate bar into small squares and scatter on top of cake. Once melted, gently coat the top layer of cake. Sprinkle with berries, pretzels or candy. Or, you an also thick cream to layer the cake, then sprinkle with almond flakes. Cut the cake into squares once cooled.