They say a picture paints a thousand words, but when nothing you do can possibly make it any easier to take a perfect picture of a wonderfully moist, yet non-camera-friendly dark-hued chocolate loaf cake, I guess you will have to type out the thousand words yourself. Now I know these aren’t exactly picture perfect, and it’s possibly against some food blogger ethics to post entries with unabashedly unappealing photos, but trust me when I say my search has come to an end with this, and it is my moral obligation to share a darn good cake, albeit virtually. With a tight crumb, a deep chocolate flavour enhanced with bursts of sweetness from the chocolate chips, and a rich and moist texture which becomes pronounced overnight, it would be almost impossible to guess that the secret ingredient here is avocado. That’s right; no butter, no eggs, no yoghurt, no buttermilk, but just simply mushy riped avocado.
The original recipe is very much like a wacky cake / crazy cake / depression cake (aside: if you don’t already know what I’m referring to, do your time-constrained baker self a favour and google this quick chocolate cake fix), which makes it a perfect vegan cake, but since I’m not a fan of vinegar in bakes, I decided to play around with the proportions instead, increasing the fat ratio. And if you’re still feeling kinda iffy about the whole avocado thing, let me assure you that you can’t taste it even a little. And just to convince you further, even the mister who doesn’t eat avocado / oats / ‘any of those funny healthy things you eat’, couldn’t resist enjoying a couple of slices (and even sighed when they were gone!). Now if that’s not a good cake, I don’t know what is.
Lil A, on her 1st birthday photoshoot, with the obligatory cake smash shot.
I remember specifically that one morning while I was preparing lil A’s lunch, and the mister mentioned, “Why aren’t there any ‘On today’s lunch table for A’ photos on your Instagram?”, referring tongue-in-cheek to my regular meal posts. Premonition or not, as it turns out, several months later, I would have to take back my hasty reply of “I don’t think anyone would wanna know what a baby eats!”. In fact, not only have A’s meals caught the attention of some of my dear readers who had requested me to share the recipes, they have also introduced me to a new community of mothers who are ever so generous with their meal ideas for their little ones. From local friends who are just a phone text message away, to kind strangers on the other side of the globe with an e-mailed note, I hope to share some of the baby / toddler-friendly recipes these ladies have gifted me with, along with several of my own personal kitchen favourites, on Toddler Tuesdays, beginning with this go-to (banana) pancake recipe.
In my early teenage years, one of the first few things I cooked in Home Economics class was a tofu burger, or a vegetarian burger as it was called back then when vegan / paleo / lacto-ovo / pescetarian diets were unheard of, and there were only two dietary specifications in class; meat-eating or non-meat eating. As someone who not only was clumsily nervous in the kitchen, but also detested greens and any incarnation of eat-it-cos-it’s-good-for-yous, I remembered scowling as I worked my skinny fingers through a squishy piece of tofu, some semblance of diced onions, and seasonings I callously threw in amidst fidgeting with my cooking partner’s apron strings. Interestingly enough, I remember being surprised that the end product actually looked like a (meaty) burger, smelled like a (meaty) burger, though I wasn’t convinced it would taste like one, hence proceeded to pack it home for my mom.
Almost two decades on, with a greater courage around the kitchen, and an appreciation for the aforementioned eat-it-cos-it’s-good-for-yous, it struck me one day to give an homage to my first cooking experience, and have that bite of burger that my indignant younger self had denied me of.