What intrigued me about this recipe was that it was mixed and baked in the tin. I have made a cake like that since I was a teen, called Wacky Cake. It was a recipe given to me by my best friend Linda’s mother. I have been baking that one for nigh on 50 years now.
This, too was a chocolate cake, very similar to Wacky Cake, but at the same time quite different. This one was in the cookies and bars section of the book, amongst the brownies and other squares.
It also used an egg, which the Wacky Cake did not. In the Wacky cake recipe you made three hollows in the dry ingredients mixed in the pan. Into one went oil. Into the other went vinegar, into the last went water. This recipe has no vinegar either.
It also used melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. I was intrigued. You lay a layer of walnut halves and chocolate chips on top of it prior to baking. Again, intrigued.
Not intrigued enough however to actually mix the cake in the pan. I wanted to be able to cut it into squares and so I mixed it in a bowl and the poured it into a baking tin I had buttered and lined with baking paper so I could lift it out.
I didn’t want to take any chances on it sticking to the pan. I also wanted to be able to cut it into perfect squares. Yes, I can be a bit pedantic when it comes to things like that.
The end result is a lovely and moist chocolate bar/cake. Not too sweet, but with just the right amount of chocolate flavour.
It is more like a cake than a bar. I don’t think you could call it a brownie, unless you are wanting a very cake-like brownie.
This is the kind of cake/bar my grandmother would have baked. I would love to know the history of it and how it came to have the name of Flash in a Pan.
I suspect it has something to do with it being mixed all together in the pan. Not to mention the ease at which it goes together and the short time it takes to bake. Indeed it is baked in a flash!
There are a few things in life which make me incredibly happy. One of those things is trying out a new recipe. Another is chocolate cake. I also love walnuts and chocolate chips.
Combine all of those things and I am very happy. In fact I am truly ecstatic if you want to get right down to it!
I don’t know about you, but just reading that made my heart happy. Those are my values. Home. Family. Traditions and good food.
The message is repeated again in French just beneath. Did you know that New Brunswick is the ONLY truly officially bilingual province in Canada? Its true. Both Engish and French are its official languages. As are all of the street/traffic/highway signs, etc.
You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe it is the law. I also think most children are able to be educated in both languages. My grandsons are being educated in both French and English. Its a good thing.
Half of this cookbook is in English and half of it is in French. Different recipes in each half. A great impetus to learn the language. Thankfully my highschool French is good enough that I can easily sort it out.
I was really pleased with how this “Flash in a Pan” turned out! It is nice and moist and quite chocolaty considering it only has two ounces of melted chocolate in it. Make sure you use a good dark chocolate.
I love the walnuts on the top. I did not bother to toast them this time as I knew they would be baking in the oven on top of the batter and would get nice and toasty anyways. I didn’t want to risk them burning.
- 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil
- 2 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate
- 1 large free range egg
- 1 1/4 cups (175g) plain flour
- 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (180ml) water
- 12 to 16 walnuts halved
- 1/2 package of chocolate chips (I used 1 cup/180g)
- Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. You will need a 9-inch square cake tin.
- Mix the first 9 ingredients in the cake tin. Beat with a fork until light and creamy, for about 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the tin with a spatula and then spread the batter out evenly in the tin.
- Arrange walnut halves evenly over top and scatter with the chocolate chips. Do not mix them in.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Cut into squares to serve.
Did you make this recipe?
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Debunking the myths of English Cookery, one recipe at a time.
The English Kitchen
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