Success is sweet. I feel like I kinda beat the system. My scratch-baked 5-inch Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie fits in a mailable flat rate box. What started me on this project was the Harry and David cake ordered for my sis’s sinus surgery “get well” gift. GULP!
That online order gift cost $25 — a tiny chocolate cake to San Diego. Holy moley. Flowers were even more. You know I’m frugal, that just didn’t sit well. And although I love my sis, she’d appreciate my $$$ reality check. Her Chocolate Decadence Cake via Harry and David was 6 inches and weighed one pound. Mine is 5 inches (to fit the flat rate box) and 13 ounces, close enough.
First, I needed the box from the post office. Then I shopped for the right sized baking pan (here it is, cheap!). THEN I searched for a 5-inch cake recipe – nonexistent! Pretty much everything out there makes full-batch recipes for 8-inch rounds and then says “save the rest of the batter” or make cupcakes. Sorry, but I want the RIGHT quantity of batter. I set out to create this recipe from scratch.
Baby, I think this is it. Dense. Moist (thanks Kahlua). Chocolatey (you bite into chocolate chips in there). And fits the box.
What’s my deal with the box? Frugality and efficiency. The Post Office smallest/cheapest flat-rate box is about the size of a paperback book. $5.85 to mail anything that will fit inside to anywhere in the U.S. I shipped off a practice cake to Sandy in New York City on a Tuesday, she received it Thursday.
Note: a friend bakes an 8 x 8 inch pan of brownies, cuts to fit two layers into this box. Obviously the same postage. Great easy option. But I wanted a ROUND little cake – a special surprise in the box.
To summarize, the box is free, postage $5.85, pan (purchased once) is $5 or $6, the ingredients run under $1. EFFORT makes up the difference, which I think matters a lot. Baked with love:
Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie – makes one 5-inch cake
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and COOLED
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line bottom of a 5-inch cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. Line sides with a strip of parchment. Spray all lightly with non-stick spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (I use a small whisk).
Into the cooled melted butter, stir Kahlua, vanilla and the egg until blended.
Stir liquid mixture into dry mixture. Add chocolate chips. Using a spatula, scrape batter into baking dish and smooth down.
Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove PAN from oven and let it cool completely on a baking rack.
To remove from pan, hold your hand over the brownie and turn it over so it gently slips out. You might need to loosen the sides with a knife between the paper and pan. Sprinkle powdered sugar, if you desire.
TO SHIP: Wrap tightly in saran. At this point, you can freeze it overnight to mail tomorrow. Wrap a decorative ribbon around the cake, if desired.
Place into a USPS Small Flat Rate Box (measures 5.375 x 8.625 x 1.625). Tuck bubble wrap or tissue to hold the brownie in place. Close, tape, add $5.85 postage and mail. It will arrive at your destination within 2 to 3 days.