Family Friendly Fridays: A Review of Small Batch Baking For Chocolate Lovers

Debby Maugans is my new best friend.  No I’ve never met her, but let me just say this.  Any woman that can put together a cookbook like the one she did, most certainly should qualify for best friend status.

I recently received her newest cookbook for review entailing a treasure of recipes for small batch baking.  But we’re not talking just any old recipes.  We’re talking all chocolate, all the time recipes.  With everything from strawberry chocolate tarts to chocolate chip cookie souffles to white chocolate lemon creme brulee to this beauty pictured above, the diva milk chocolate layer cake, she fills my chocolate sweet tooth like no other cookbook ever has.  And get this, it’s all done in manageable proportions.  The recipe for that cake you see above makes two of those little chocolate gifts; one for me and one for my husband.  One indulgence and that’s it.  No extra cake waiting around to taunt your waistline day after day.  Just one glorious craving fulfilled in a personal sized portion.

The part that I find so ingenious about the whole process is how she does it.  You actually bake the cake up in an empty 15 ounce can.  Once it’s cooked up, you slide it out, cut it in half and frost it up.  So easy, so chocolately, so lick the plate gone.  So who wants a slice of  cake?

Start out by greasing and flouring up your two 15 ounce cans.  If you have parchment paper, line the bottom of your can to help the cake come out nice and easy.

Now, measure out some high quality chocolate, (As Debby says in the book, go on and splurge!  One bar’s worth is all you need, so feel free to experiment with different styles and flavors)…

…add some butter to it and cover it with boiling water.  Let it sit for a minute to allow the chocolate and butter to melt.

Whisk it until smooth and add in a few more goodies; sour cream an egg yolk and a hint of vanilla.

Add your dry ingredients to a bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over the top.  Yes, yes, I did it backwards.  Don’t worry, it still worked out really, really well.

Whisk it up until just combined and pour the batter into your prepared cans.  Tell me this isn’t an ingenious idea.

Place them in your preheated oven and cook em up.  Just check this out.  How cute is that cake?  Don’t let it fool you.  It may look small, but it packs a massive flavor punch.

While your cakes are cooling, grab up your frosting ingredients and get mixing.  You’ll melt up a little more chocolate (more chocolate; I told you this recipe was good.) and then beat in the remaining ingredients.

Now, cut that cute little cake in half.  You can also shave off the top a bit if you don’t want your cake to be rounded.  I look at it as free samples for the chef.

Frost the top of the bottom layer and drop the top piece back on.  Frost the rest of the cake and enjoy a little slice of chocolate heaven.

Now it’s your turn!  Debby has graciously offered Mommie Cooks’ readers a chance to win a copy of her book.  For your opportunity to win, let me know in the comments what your all time favorite chocolate dessert is.  I wanna talk chocolate!

For additional entries you can:

Contest closes on May 12th.  The winner will be announced here on the 13th.  Open to US residents only.  My apologies to my international friends.

Update!  The winner of Debby’s Cookbook is comment number 13; MaryAnn!  I’ll be getting in touch to get your information. :)

Good luck!

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Diva Milk Chocolate Layer Cake

Total Time: 1 hour

Recipe shared from Debby Maugan's new cookbook: Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers


For the Cake:

11/2 Ounces Fine Quality Milk Chocolate, Chopped
1/2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, plus butter for greasing your cake cans
1/4 Cup Boiling Water
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup + 3Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt

For the Buttercream Frosting:

11/2 Ounces Fine Quality Chocolate
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Softened
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
11/2 Cups Confectioners' Sugar
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Half & Half
Pinch of Salt


Grease up your two cans with butter and dust with flour. If you have it, add a circle of parchment paper to the bottoms of both the cans.

Add the chocolate and butter to a medium sized bowl. Pour your boiling water over the top and allow the mixture to sit for one minute.

Whisk the mixture smooth.

Add in the sour cream, yolk, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl add together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until the ingredients are just combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared cans.

Place the cans on a baking sheet and cook in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes and then remove them from the can using a knife around the edge of the cake to release it.

To make the frosting, add the chocolate to a medium sized bowl and warm it up in the microwave for one minute.

Pull it out and stir it up until melted. Cook for additional 10 second intervals if needed. Let cool completely.

Beat together the butter and the chocolate until smooth.

Beat in the vanilla.

Sift in the confectioner's sugar and the cocoa powder. Add in the half and half.

Beat once more until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Cut the cakes in half and frost.

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55 Responses to “Family Friendly Fridays: A Review of Small Batch Baking For Chocolate Lovers”

  1. 1

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — May 6, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    Julie, they look awesome! Debby is my new best friend too, can we share? :) Have a great weekend!

  2. 2

    teezo — May 6, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    I love all things chocolate…but chocolate bread pudding is the best! I love the idea of a smaller portions desert cookbook.

  3. 3

    Sarah - Recipe Love — May 6, 2011 @ 8:43 am


  4. 4

    Margo — May 6, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    My favorite chocolate dessert would have to be a tie between chocolate chocolate chip icecream, brownies doctored up with extra chocolate chips and possibly this cake in a can recipe! I love that you can make a small amount and get your chocolate fix but not completely blow your diet by consuming the whole pan!

  5. 5

    LisaDay — May 6, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    Oh yum. Happy Mother’s Day.


  6. 6

    Cara — May 6, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Shoney’s Hot Fudge Cake!

  7. 7

    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — May 6, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    Love this idea!! I LOVE chocolate mousse, but also love a good fudgy brownie. Or anything covered in dark chocolate!! :)

    I’ve shared my Grilled Steak Lettuce Wraps with Mexican Crema Sauce this week. So easy and tasty…the sauce completely makes it!! Thanks for hosting and have a GREAT weekend!!

  8. 8

    Grilled Steak Lettuce Wrap with Mexican Crema Sauce | Creative Kitchen — May 6, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    […] Thursday, Finer Things Friday, It’s a Hodgepodge Friday, Friday Potluck, Friday Favorites , Family Friendly Fridays & Food Trip […]

  9. 9

    Melissa R — May 6, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    SERIOUSLY…. what are you doing to me ; )

  10. 10

    annabelle — May 6, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    To pick one favorite chocolate dessert is so hard, me being a chocoholic. It goes from a simple chocolate ice cream to brownies, cake to a decadent chocolate souffle. OMG

  11. 11

    Katerina — May 6, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    I wouldn’t say no to such beautiful little chocolate treats, but then again I never say no to chocolate at any time!

  12. 12

    Magdi — May 6, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    My most favorite chocolate dessert is a flourless chocolate cake my mom bakes. It’s amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. 13

    MaryAnn — May 6, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    I love anything involving dark chocolate – the darker the better! Dark chocolate pudding, dark chocolate bars, dark chocolate cake – bring it on!
    Lovely giveaway; thanks!

  14. 14

    Jenna — May 6, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    This recipe is simply brilliant! And that looks like quite the cookbook–I may have to request it at my library.

  15. 15

    anne — May 6, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    I am a chocolate mousse girl all the way! Great review, anne

  16. 16

    anne — May 6, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    i like you on facebook :) anne

  17. 17

    Lisa~~ — May 6, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    Homemade brownies are my go to chocolate dessert.

  18. 18

    Lisa~~ — May 6, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    I subscribe to your feed.

  19. 19

    Lisa~~ — May 6, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    I follow you on FB

  20. 20

    Beth — May 6, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    Being a Canadian reader I can’t win, but I had to comment anyhow. That recipe book looks amazing!

  21. 21

    Jenn D. — May 6, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    Dark chocolate brownies with salted caramel sauce on top! DELICIOUS!

  22. 22

    Jenn D. — May 6, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    I am also a subscriber of your RSS feed.

  23. 23

    5 Star Foodie — May 6, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    Awesome that these are small portions – such cute little cakes!

  24. 24

    Linda @ Lemon Drop — May 6, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    This looks incredible. Your photo is lovely and the cake itself is divine. I am definitely in the mood for chocolate now ! thx for sharing :)

  25. 25

    Darcy — May 6, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

    I love chocolate tarts, I am making Tyler Florence’s recipe right now. Oh, and it smells sooooo good!

  26. 26

    Jacqueline — May 6, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    A good chewy chocolately brownie. You really can’t beat it!

  27. 27

    Lauren — May 6, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    The good old classic brownie never fails!

  28. 28

    Cookin' Canuck — May 6, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    This is so fun! What a great presentation of this cake (which looks incredibly good).

  29. 29

    Samantha Barb — May 6, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    ANYTHING chocolate is amazing to me! Preferably with cake, icing, mousse haha, So delicious!

  30. 30

    Samantha Barb — May 6, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    I also follow Debbie on twitter.

  31. 31

    Samantha Barb — May 6, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    I also liked Mommie Cooks on facebook.

  32. 32

    Amy @ A Little Nosh — May 7, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    I love just a straight-up chocolate cake with sprinkles on top. Classic and delicious.

  33. 33

    Amy @ A Little Nosh — May 7, 2011 @ 3:59 am

    I like you on FB!

  34. 34

    Misty — May 7, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    I’m so sorry – I accidentally re-linked my guacamole recipe this week while I was linking your post on my blog. Please remove it!


  35. 35

    Faith — May 7, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    Such great choclate cake Julie, I love it! I love anything with choclate but this would have a special place in my heart! Great job and great giveaway!

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  36. 36

    Crystal — May 7, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    I love absolutely anything with chocolate on the ingredient (or recipe) list. I love the idea of the small batch chocolate cakes especially when I have that chocolate craving (usually in the evening after a long day) but don’t want to whip up an entire batch of brownies or cookies.
    I have to say that chocolate cake is my favorite chocolate dessert. I’m going to try the small batch cakes today.

  37. 37

    Rita — May 7, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    i reslly have to find this book; you talked about it before and now U’m just sick to get it.

  38. 38

    Mari's Cakes — May 7, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    Looks like a great book, I try to get one when I visit the states. Have a great Mother’s day, Julie!

  39. 39

    Anna Johnston — May 8, 2011 @ 1:36 am

    I love these little small batch baking ideas that are hitting the blogs these days & well., what can I say – anything with chocolate & I’m your girl.

  40. 40

    Miel et Lait — May 8, 2011 @ 2:39 am

    I bet small batch baking could really help me — I like to bake, but if I’m the only one eating, I eat more than I intended. Grrr — not pretty on the figure! I’ll have to check out Debbie’s book. If all the recipes are as great as the one you posted, it’s a winner!

  41. 41

    Christi P. — May 9, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    I am a lover of all things chocolate…and I think that my all time favorite is brownies with Pecans and a homeade chocolate frosting! Soooo gooood! Thank you for the chance to win the book!

  42. 42

    Christi P. — May 9, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    I receive your emails and love them!!

  43. 43

    Christi P. — May 9, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    I liked MC on FB!

  44. 44

    Christi P. — May 9, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    I am now a follower of Debby on Twitter!!

  45. 45

    Damaris @KitchenCorners — May 9, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    ohhhhhhhhhh I love little mini cakes. This looks so pretty and the cook books looks so fun. Thanks for the chance.

  46. 46

    Maranda — May 9, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    This is awesome!! And just the perfect size! I want to talk about the white chocolate lemon creme brulee!

    Honestly, I love chocolate chip cookies and the white chocolate coconut macadamia congo bars that I make. Those are amazing too!

  47. 47

    Maranda — May 9, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    I already subscribe to Mommie Cooks!

  48. 48

    Maranda — May 9, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

    I also already “like” Mommie Cooks on FB.

  49. 49

    Maranda — May 9, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    And I now follow Debby on twitter!

  50. 50

    Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds — May 9, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    My Tim is on a diet of sorts. He’d appreciate occasional treats that don’t stick around taunting him!

  51. 51

    Velva — May 9, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Very cool idea! Awesome. Thanks for sharing your cookbook review with us.


  52. 52

    Amanda — May 11, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    That is SO fun, bookmarked!

  53. 53

    Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen — May 25, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  54. 54

    Destiny — June 12, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    Made this recipe tonight, and I have one word for you…YUMM-O. I baked them in 3 ramekins and cut in half each then frosted. They were SO delish, but next time we will cut each cake in half to share as we are now in a food coma after eating an entire cake each. But let’s be honest, it was worth it! Thanks for sharing!!

  55. 55

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