There’s something appealing about a snack cake, isn’t there? The fact that it’s relegated to the every day, rather than elevated on a plate for a Special Occasion – and it reminds me of those snackin’ cake mixes my mom rarely bought when I was a kid. (Thanks to her, I learned to make the One Egg Cake from The Joy of Cooking instead.) Also: I find a 9×13-inch pan liberating.
A conversation about barley flour on Twitter today reminded me of this cake. (Yes, I talk about lesser-known flours – I commiserate with others who can relate to my cupboard full of ziplocks and containers and half-full bags of assorted flours and grains and beans and lentils.) We all tend to default to all-purpose wheat flour, but of the alternatives, barley flour is one of the more usable in my kitchen. It’s locally grown (barley is a significant Alberta crop), easy to find alongside the other flours on most grocery store shelves, high in soluble and insoluble fibre -throughout the entire grain, not just the bran- and although it doesn’t sound it, has a softer texture than whole wheat flour. Its humectant properties keeps baked goods moist, drawing moisture from the air. Which is a good thing when you’re after a slab of chocolate cake or chewy chocolate chip cookies that stay soft.
I didn’t manage any step-by-step photos, but the batter looks like cake batter. Just like chocolate cake batter. Stir it! Scrape it! Make it! Bake it!
I haven’t made much that could fall into the dinner category this week; after Thanksgiving there were leftovers, and then I went to Toronto for three days, got back Friday night and was in Banff/Canmore Saturday. We had spaghetti & meatballs when I got home, and I made a lentil soup with lots of garlic and a meaty ham bone I doggie bagged from my sister’s last weekend. It was supposed to be split pea, but I had no split peas. How could I have no split peas amongst all those baggies?
But there is barley flour. (Which, yes, can be used cup for cup in place of all-purpose flour.)