When I asked for cocoa the first time I was in the Dominican Republic back in March, I got a blank stare. Store clerks just shook their heads. What the heck, I thought, I know they have it. Chocolate, vanilla, and rum were abundant here. “Ahhhhh! CaCAO,” someone finally said. It looked like cocoa powder to me and it was cheaper than Hershey’s, so, pretty stoked, I bought two pounds. I started using it to make hot cocoa as soon as I got back to the states and, well, it was definitely not the same.
It didn’t fully dissolve without an immersion blender, it tasted a hell of a lot stronger, little nibs settled in the bottom of my mug, and it woke me up. And kept me awake. I have previously self-diagnosed myself with narcolepsy so this was kind of a miracle, like caffeine but no jitters. I’d heard chocolate could do that to you but I’ve only ever gotten food coma from overeating it before…
Anyway, back to the cacao – this is some really cool stuff. Not that I have anything against cocoa powder (still love it), but cacao is far less processed. I swear mine still has a little bit of the oils, which is why it clumps but also why it tastes so much richer. If you’ve tried cacao powder, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!
“Omg, so good Lulu,” said my friend Gyve. I snuck him a few squares on his carb cheat day (he’s on a no carb diet – how does he live??) and he ate them all, offering 8 other people the tiniest morsel to split and share. “How can they even taste such tiny pieces?” I asked. “It’s all mine,” he said, clutching my tupperware. I get it. I’m an only child too.
I didn’t tell anyone this cake was gluten free. Gyve is not gluten free, seeing as he ate a whole pizza before this cake. Nobody could tell.
Getting back into the groove of baking and blogging every week feels really good.
This is a simple cake. You can swap out some of the buckwheat flour for potato starch to make it even fluffier, add nuts, bake them as muffins, cupcakes, layer cakes, whatever you want! I like it as is, square, and, like pizza, it tastes better when eaten with your hands. I sometimes soften ice cream and spread it on top like frosting.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Generously grease a 9 by 9 inch square pan with butter or coconut oil, or line the pan with parchment paper, then grease.
- Mix melted butter (or olive oil), mashed banana, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, then beat in the eggs.
- Whisk flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Beat the dry mix into the wet mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan, let it sit for 5 minutes, then bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.