Ok, so I write YA. But I get so frustrated with tons of YA! Why is it predictable? Kids are just as perceptive as adults, maybe more so. That’s the thing that got me so excited about The Boneshaker by Kate Milford. Even when you see what’s coming, the writing, and the manner that things occur is just- delightful.
So first, it happens in Missouri, which is kind of close to my little ex-pat heart. Also, it happens in 1913, and I loves me some historical fiction. And suddenly, there was steampunk! And medicine show carnivals! And possibly sentient machines! Also- bicycles. You guys. You can look up the book-jacket synopsis, but really, what else do you need to know?
I was so charmed by the plucky MC, Natalie, and the offbeat town of Arcane. The supporting characters were even more compelling. And then… Cake. And it was chocolate. And it was topped with hazelnuts. Cake is my weakness. Well, one of them. And chocolate-hazelnut is another (dear Nutella I love you forever but we had to break up because you are no good for me love KT).
So. I give you a cake Natalie would adore- dense, chocolatey, intrinsically moist, and topped with a thin layer of ganache. Note: I realize I am calling for a lot of coconut products here. It’s cause I love them- coconut oil is super healthy and coconut sugar tastes just like powdered caramel. Plus, low GI! That practically means its good for you, right? (be quiet, realists.) You can absolutely sub in olive oil and brown sugar. So without further ado:
1/2 c AP flour
1/2 c almond meal
1/2 c cocoa
2 Tb baking powder (I know. Just do it.)
1 tsp salt
1/2 c plain full-fat yogurt
1 c coconut sugar
1/2 c coconut oil (melted)
1 bar chocolate (your favorite strength, I used 72%
2 Tb cream
1/3 c chopped hazelnuts
Stir the first nine ingredients together as your oven preheats to 350. Spray a 9″ cake pan (or springform) with cooking spray while you wait. Pour the batter in and bake for 30-40 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
Let the cake cool! All the way! And then, heat your cream in a small saucepan. (you can do this in the microwave if you are nervous about burning it.) Turn off the heat once it begins bubbling, and stir in the chocolate. Once it’s smooth, spread it over the cake. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the cake. Be sure to do some bicycling post-cake.