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Knuckle Donny's Dark Chocolate-Pecan Cake
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Dry Ingredients
Flour 2 cups
Brown sugar 1 cup (packed)
Dark cocoa 2 tbsp (Hershey's Special Dark)
Cocoa (regular) 2 tbsp
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Liquid Ingredients
Milk 2 cups (see note 1 in instructions)
Vegetable oil 1/4 cup
Eggs 2
Nut extract 4 tsp (Almond or Hazelnut extract)
Vanilla 1 tsp
Other Ingredients
Chopped nuts 1 cup (see note 2 in the instructions)

Stir/mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix Liquid ingredients in a smaller bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Coat 9' X 13" (Size not critical, anything close should be fine) with vegetable oil, butter or cooking spray. Stir nuts into dry ingredients. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, mix quickly but thoroughly with a large spatula, pour into baking pan and instantly place in preheated oven. Baking time is 25 to 30 minutes.

Note 1: The amount of milk used in this recipe is very much dependent on the type of flour used. For example, when I make this recipe gluten free, using brown rice and garbanzo bean flours, I reduce the milk by a quarter of a cup. Spelt flour is very absorbant and always seems to soak up all the liquid ingredients and want more so I start with two cups of milk but if the batter seems too thick when I mix it I quickly add another quarter cup of milk.

Note 2: I like to use chopped, raw pecans but any sort of raw or roasted nuts (salted or unsalted), sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would be fine. You can also substitute dry breakfast cereal, rolled oats or any sort of cooked whole grain.

Variations/Substitutes:

Replace baking powder with two teaspoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of Citric acid crystals for cornstarch-free.

Replace wheat flour with equal parts Rice and Garbanzo bean flour for gluten-free.

Replace sugar with one cup of Xylitol or 24 packets of Stevia for sugar-free.

Replace cow's milk with fruit juice, goat, soy or other milk.

Replace vegetable oil with melted vegetable shortening, butter or lard.

Use your favorite egg substitute. If you need help with egg substitutes check with www.egglesscooking.com (in this recipe, eggs are mainly used as a binder).

Add up to a cup of chopped, dried fruit.

Granola cake (variation): Add an extra half cup of milk (or more as needed), increase vegetable oil to 1/3 cup, eggs to 3 and add 2 cups of rolled Oats or Barley (as additional ingredients, not substitutes) to the dry ingredients.

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