Thursday, December 2, 2010

Not a Foodie

Webster’s Eleventh defines foodie as: a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.  I’m not a foodie. I’m way too picky and disinterested in most fads, whether you consume them or wear them.

When anyone calls me a foodie, I smile and accept what that person intends as a compliment.  I don’t refer the person to the dictionary or launch into a diatribe of how wrong he or she is. I don’t tell the usually well-intended person that foodies eat all kinds of stuff I would never even consider, and that there is a whole world of cuisine that I probably will not ever attempt to cook (sweetbreads, haggis, tripe, insert your favorite cooked animal organ here). Many foodies wear as a badge of honor the wait times they’ve withstood to get into the newest restaurants. If someone tells me I have to wait longer than 15 minutes to eat, I will bail.

Though I rail against the foodie convention, I think I may have inadvertently hopped on the bandwagon with my love for breakfast cakes. What makes a breakfast cake different from a regular cake? Frosting is really the only difference I can come up with.  (Full disclosure: I’ve eaten cake with frosting for breakfast.) Probably a little less sugar, too. When I know there’s cake, breakfast or otherwise, I wake up happier and more eager to start the day. I think most people wouldn’t be so quick to start arguments or even wars if they knew a breakfast cake was waiting for them in the kitchen.

Coconut–Dark Chocolate Breakfast Cake
Makes 9 servings

My justification for chocolate in a breakfast cake: Dark chocolate is less sweet so it’s okay. I like to chop chocolate for this rather than use chocolate chips because the shavings from the chocolate add a lot of flavor that you just don’t get with chocolate chips. But, if you want to use chocolate chips, have at it, brothers and sisters.

Canola oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
¾ cup light coconut milk
⅓ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut plus 1½ tablespoons
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 8x8 baking pan with canola oil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. Stir in ⅓ cup coconut and chocolate.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1½ tablespoons coconut over the batter and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
4. Cool in pan and serve warm or at room temperature. Store, covered, in the pan for a couple of days.

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