It was The Kitchen Addict’s first anniversary last month, yippee ! Time flies, I can’t believe it’s been a year already, and 37 posts. I’m so proud of this achievement. I hope I will be able to post regularly, with the job and also caking (contraction of “baking cake”). I remember I was very hesitant to start blogging because let’s face it, as much as you claim that “it’s only about doing what you love doing”, you are putting yourself out there and you are exposed to criticism (the good, the bad, the ugly). In my opinion you are taking a risk. But it makes you grow a lot. you learn to take the criticism in a constructive way, you ignore the haters and more importantly, you get some great feedback and support and you make some unexpected encounters, you bond with people of your “kind”, the passionate ones. This is how I met Diane.
We met through my blog as she was looking for a baker with a passion for experimenting with new ingredients. When she asked me to bake cakes using her coconut products, I said “sure, can do !”. The next second I was running around like a headless chicken wondering why oh why I just can’t sit still and stop challenging myself. Why ? Because I always like a good challenge, duh ! However I had absolutely no clue of what I got myself into, so I started to do a bit of research, because I knew it would be given that I can’t just use a 1:1 ratio in my recipes, it would have been way too good to be true, especially when substituting coconut flour for regular flour, but that will be the subject of another post.
Today is about coconut oil.
Coconut oil is probably by far the most “known” coconut product alongside coconut water so there is already a lot of studies and articles written about it, some of them contradicting one another but I guess this is one of the downfalls of the internet and studies that claim to be “scientifically proven”. I’m not here to prove that coconut oil is better than any other kind of fat (I love butter FYI, especially the salted kind), I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I believe in everything in moderation and reading the sign that your body is sending you.
That being said, I think it is a fact that it is an alternative for those who have allergies to dairy and cannot bake with butter. And coconut oil (the virgin kind) smells great in chocolate cake, there is no need for debate, this is a fact 😛
A good rule of thumb is to use a 1:1 ratio, although if you wish to be more accurate in your recipes, some adjustments must be made depending on what you want to substitute coconut oil for :
- Coconut oil for butter : butter is made of 80% of fat and 20% of water so to be accurate, you should use the same ratio in coconut oil and water i.e. replace 1 cup of butter with 8/10 cup of butter and 2/10 cup of water.
- Coconut oil for shortening : if the shortening in the recipe is in solid form, use a 4:3 ratio i.e. replace 1 cup of shortening with 3/4 cup of solid coconut oil.
- Coconut oil for vegetable oil : easy peasy, use a 1:1 ratio.
These rules might not be 100% accurate but they have worked for me. The first cakes that I’ve made for Diane were my chocolate cake and my raspberry coconut cake and they worked out very nicely.
Since we are talking about cake (of course, always…), I’ll share my recipe of chocolate cake in a mug. It takes less than 10 minutes to make, from the moment you grab your tablespoon to mix the ingredients together to the moment you burn your tongue because you couldn’t wait to taste it. And the good news is that you only need a microwave oven (game changer for a few people I know who do not have an oven). The recipe is quite versatile, you can add chopped nuts or seeds, caramel, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips. I have added chocolate chips and dessicated coconut and it was divine (and I burned my tongue).
Recipe below. Save this one in your emergency kit, for rainy days or low-mood days or for no reason actually. You don’t have to have a reason to eat chocolate cake. You’re welcome.
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips, melted
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 Tbsp dessicated coconut (optional)
- A small splash of vanilla extract
- A pinch of sea salt
- Add the flour, sugar and cocoa powder into the mug. Mix in the egg until well incorporated.
- Mix in the melted chocolate then the milk, vanilla and oil.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, dessicated coconut and sea salt
- Microwave at full power for about 1 minute 30 seconds - not longer - for a molten effect.
- Decorate with icing sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream