I am in love and it isn't with just my husband (though I do love him). My new love is dark, sturdy and good for everything. Cleaning up after him is a breeze. Sigh. Isn't cast iron grand? What, you don't have a love affair with your cast iron skillet? What's wrong with you, are you just that cold hearted?!
Last evening after a delicious dinner of fish and chips (cooked in my skillet) I was participating in one of my favorite pass times; reading recipes. There is some irony in this considering that for the life of me I am unable to follow a recipe without altering it to make it "better", but I digress. I came across this wonderful looking cake that was not only chocolate but it was also...wait for it...cooked in a CAST IRON SKILLET! I was beyond excited, yes folks, that is all that really takes to get me going theses day.
I wanted to try out this creation then and there, but couldn't. It was over 95 degrees yesterday and our house was already hot. Our air conditioning is being finicky. It wasn't really baking weather. So I ripped out the recipe for a better day, practicing the virtue that is patients that I poses so very little of.
This morning when I awoke it was overcast. It was cool. We had all the window in the house open to enjoy the breeze. I had to heat up the oven anyway to bake a loaf of much needed bread, so I decided it was perfect skillet chocolate cake weather. Who cares that most people don't eat cake at 9 in the morning?
I whipped up the cake in about 10 minutes and it only took that long because I had my ever-present kitchen assistant, Addilyn. Why that child refuses to go downstairs and watch a half hour of television is beyond me, but she was in the kitchen with me none the less.
The cake made the whole house smell of birthdays and happiness. Eliana was upstairs in no time flat, despite her favorite Muppet's on t.v. We let the cake cool enough that we wouldn't burn anything important, dolloped frosting on top and had our cake and ate it too. The girls were impressed and I tried to just tell myself that I am the coolest mom ever for serving cake for a morning snack.
I have made some alterations to the original recipe, no shocker there, but the original might be very good, too. I don't know, I haven't ever followed that recipe. I had to alter it to make it gluten free, I had some buttermilk that needed to be used, and the original didn't have enough chocolate in it. I also decreased the sugar and replaced some of the oil with applesauce to make the whole thing a bit healthier. The result is a moist chocolaty cake, reminiscent of a Texas sheet cake. If you prefer cloud fluffy super sweet cake, this isn't for you. If you are not in possession of a cast iron skillet, shame on you! But you can use an 8 X 8 pan, well greased.
Gather what you will need for this recipe: a fork, a small bowl, measuring cups and a 10 inch (mine is 12) cast iron skillet. If your skillet is bigger, like mine, decrease cooking time by about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. This will take you about 10 minutes to throw together if your moving slow or have a 2 year old under foot. Here are your ingredients:
1 1/2 c. flour (if your gf use 1 c. brn rice flour, 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill flour mix, and 1 tsp. xanthan gum)
1/4 c. coco powder
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. oil
1/4 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk (or use sour milk made from normal milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice)
This comes together so easily. Toss all the dry ingredients into your skillet and stir until well combined with your fork. Let 2 year old stir. Sweep up all the flour 2 year old spills and convince her it is more fun to wash the dishes than make the cake. Make 2 wells in your dry ingredients and put oil in one, applesauce in one and vanilla in the last. Pour milk over the top. Stir it up until well mixed and toss into the hot oven. Fend off children looking for cake for about 25 minutes as it cooks. Pull cake out of oven and send obnoxious children outside until it cools. Make frosting by combining
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. coco powder
3 T soft butter
2 T. strong brewed coffee left from breakfast
Stir up the frosting with the licked/washed off fork you used to stir the cake. When no longer warm to the touch, frost it. Lick the frosting bowl and fork before the children come back inside and ask to do it. Wipe frosting off of forehead and call children inside to partake of the best. morning. snack. ever!