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No Bake Chocolate Poke Cake (Using Pancake Mix)

no-bake-chocolate-poke-cake-using-pancake-mix_1This No Bake Chocolate Poke Cake is another spin-off recipe just like the No Bake Oatmeal Caramel Bars recipe I shared yesterday. The idea for it came to me while I was working on my No Bake Red Velvet Cake Using Pancake Mix recipe. I thought if I was able to transform the pancake mix into red velvet cake, I can definitely transform it into chocolate cake as well. Well, I did and thankfully I was successful at the very first try (yey!). In two days, I made three batches of this upon the demand of my family =D. They obviously loved it!no-bake-chocolate-poke-cake-using-pancake-mix_2At this point, let me just answer the question that is probably floating in your head as soon as you saw the title: What is a poke cake? I have asked this myself since this kind of cake preparation or presentation is not common here in the Philippines. Basically, it is a cake that you poke holes on and pour syrup into like in the picture you see below.no-bake-chocolate-poke-cake-using-pancake-mix_4As you can imagine, the syrup will drench the cake through the holes and add moisture and flavor. You can use any syrup flavor of your choice like caramel, chocolate ganache, condensed milk, fruit purees and what not; with whatever cake flavor you deem it best to pair. As for the type of cake to use, shortened or butter cakes and pound cakes are the best type to do this with since they are dense and would benefit from the introduction of holes. If you’re looking to add liquid moisture and flavor to sponge or foam cakes, you don’t actually need to poke holes in them because they have larger natural air spaces that liquids can easily get into. Tres Leches Cake, a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk (thus the name), is the perfect example of that. no-bake-chocolate-poke-cake-using-pancake-mix_3I recently went to a birthday and brought a slightly different version of this. I tried to make the chocolate cake from scratch instead of using pancake mix and baked it in the oven instead of in the steamer. This gave me the opportunity to compare and I have to say that to the common palate, the difference is unnoticeable. On the other hand, a closer critiquing reveals that the scratch version was denser in texture while the pancake mix version is on the soft and tender side. In the end, it is up to your preference, resources and time. This No Bake Chocolate Poke Cake Using Pancake Mix recipe is for those of you out there looking for quick, easy and affordable ways to prepare a delicious cake for your family at the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking for just a little bit more challenge (but still easy), you can use Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake recipe or any other trusty chocolate cake recipe (shortened or butter cake type) you have been using. no-bake-chocolate-poke-cake-using-pancake-mix_6

No Bake Chocolate Poke Cake (Using Pancake Mix)
A quick, easy and affordable chcolate cake prepared using a unique method (poking) of adding moisture and intensifying flavor
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Bakeware
  1. 8x8x3 inch square pan (a taller pan is ideal so that the rising cake won't touch the aluminum foil cover but I only have 8x8x2 inch square pan so I used what I had)
  2. Aluminum Foil for covering
For the Cake
  1. 1 cup (250 ml) Fresh Milk or Evaporated Filled Milk or Powder Milk and Water
  2. 1 large Egg + 1 Yolk
  3. 1/2 (125 ml) cup Cooking Coconut Oil or any other Vegetable Oil
  4. 1/2 cup (60 g) Alkalized Cocoa Powder
  5. 250 g Pancake Mix
For the Chocolate Syrup
  1. 2 cups (340 g) Compound Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  2. 1/4 cup (63 g) Cooking Coconut Oil or any other Vegetable Oil
  3. 1/2 cup (125 ml) Fresh Milk or Evaporated Filled Milk or Powder Milk and Water
Prepare the Pan
  1. Brush pan with a little oil
  2. Dust with some flour
For the Cake
  1. Preheat a steamer
  2. Put all cake ingredients in a blender and mix at lowest speed for about a minute
  3. Pour onto the prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil
  4. Punch the foil with holes using a fork
  5. 'Bake' in a steamer pan (without water) over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake
  6. Cool for about 10 minutes
  7. Poke holes using a chopstick in a zigzag manner at least about an inch away from each other
For the Chocolate Syrup
  1. Put all chocolate syrup ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds
To Assemble
  1. Pour half of the chocolate syrup into the cake
  2. Using a spatula, spread the syrup over the top again and again to facilitate absorption
  3. Let it stand for 15 minutes or so and then pour half of the remaining syrup and repeat the process
  4. Finally, you can either pour the rest of the syrup on top of the cake or save it to be used for garnishing individual serving
Notes
  1. Instead of using oil and flour to prepare the pan, you can just use non-stick parchment paper to line it instead
  2. Instead of a steamer, you can use a large pot large enough to accommodate the baking pan you're using and use another pan to elevate it so it is not directly in contact with the heat at the bottom - this set-up becomes your make-shift 'oven' (watch my No Bake Yema Cake video recipe for visuals)
  3. Baking time will change depending on the actual amount of heat you're using so please monitor the 'baking' of your cake accordingly
  4. Do not poke holes too near each other so that the cake won't get too fragile and crumble messily
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