Stand up all those who love chocolate cake. Well, I imagine that takes care of almost everyone. So how about a way to secretly get the kids to eat their veggies, be gluten free (if you choose) and have a healthy for the heart slice of heaven all in one outrageously delicious chocolate cake? Here is the chocolate cake recipe you have been waiting for.
What a delight to see my little grandchildren enjoying the cake, knowing that this favourite of favourites is actually good for them! The inclusion of courgettes provides the moisture and lightens the texture of the cake, and this cake is not lacking in punch as the cacao and spices make sure of that.
Wow your dinner guests by serving the spiced chocolate cake with poached pears. Pour a little of the syrup over the slices of cake and top with a dollop of non dairy yoghurt. Yum, yum, yum.
I tend to make the cake in a loaf tin for ease of serving. However it can also be baked in a round loose bottomed cake tin. As I am always leaning towards a low fat lifestyle, the cake is luscious just as it is but for a special treat or taking it to a birthday party you could top it with coconut cream and raspberries.
I frequently double the recipe and make six small cakes in small loaf tins lined with parchment paper. Perfect for freezing, they are ideal sliced for a quick teatime cake or easily portable treats for picnics.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 cake
Preheat oven: 350°F, 180°C
Loaf tin: 24cm/9.5in x 14cm/5.5in x 6.5cm/2.5in non-stick loaf tin. If you don’t trust the non-stick tin, line it with lightly greased grease proof (parchment) paper. I use the tiniest amount of coconut oil.
1½ cups finely grated courgette (zuchini)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
⅓ cup agave nectar
⅓ cup date syrup
⅓ cup almond butter
½ teaspoon cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons vanilla essence
¾ cup non-dairy milk, or nut milk
2 cups whole grain spelt flour, or gluten free oat flour
2 tablespoons cacao
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 good pinches of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
Pinch black pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
What to do
1. Place all the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
2. Tip in the chocolate and walnuts and mix once again.
3. Place a sieve over the bowl. Put all the remaining dry ingredients into the sieve and shake into the wet mixture.
4. Gently fold everything together. Try not to over mix as this ensures that the mixture is airy and light.
5. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 – 45 minutes, rotating once. To test if the cake is cooked through, insert the tip of a sharp knife or skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean the cake is done. Another clue is that the cake has come away from the sides of the tin.
6. Rest the cake for a few minutes before lifting out of the tin and cooling completely on a cake rack.
Whole Food Plant Based Tip: The flax seeds and walnuts in this recipe provide a small dose of the essential omega 3 fatty acids. Instead of using oil, for those of us wishing to take care of our cardiovascular system, the very small amount of fat is provided in the form of almond butter which is a wholefood and works beautifully in this recipe.