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Cake for any occasion

Don't-Forget-to-Leave-Room-for-Chocolate Cake!
Chocolate cake from the Healthy Starts Here! book, includes, strained prunes baby food.

Mairlyn Smith says this is her go-to cake for birthdays and any special occasion when it has to be chocolate. In her book, she also gives you the option to serve it with her recipe for blueberry-honey sauce and a dusting of icing sugar.

Makes: 1, 13-x 9-inch cake; cuts into 30 squares

One serving = one 2-inch square

For the cake

* non-stick baking spray

1 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup natural (not alkalized) cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup fortified organic chocolate soy beverage

1 (4 1/2 oz.) jar strained prunes baby food

1/4 cup canola oil

1 omega-3 or regular egg

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

For icing (optional)

6 Tbsp fortified organic chocolate soy beverage

1 oz unsweetened dark chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa mass (read the label)

2 Tbsp unsalted nonhydrogenated margarine

2 1/2 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup natural cocoa powder

For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the base and sides of a 13-x 9-inch metal baking pan with baking spray, or line the base and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk together the whole wheat and all-purpose flours, sugar, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the soy beverage, baby food, oil, egg, vanilla and lemon juice.

Using electric beaters on low speed (or a wire whisk), beat the ingredients together for 1 minute, scraping the bowl often. Increase the speed of the electric beaters to medium and beat (or whisk like your life depends on it) for 2 minutes.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top level. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

For the icing (if using), place the soy beverage, chocolate and margarine in a small microwaveable bowl. Heat on medium-low for 45 seconds. Stir well.

Repeat until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. (Or melt the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.)

Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until the icing is smooth. If it's too thick to spread, add a little more chocolate soy beverage until it's a spreadable consistency.

Place the cooled cake on a flat platter. Spread the icing evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Serve right away or, once the icing has set, cover the cake and store at room temperature overnight, remembering that tomorrow it will taste even better. Cut into 2-inch (5 cm) squares to serve.