Tuesday, 12 October 2010

french chocolate cake


This is my first recipe; the first cake I made healthier. French chocolate cakes are my absolute favourite but for my taste the common recipes include way too much sugar, butter, and even chocolate. It has been some time since I changed my baking habits, e.g. I replace butter with coconut oil, and I use much less, and I always decrease the fat and sugar content in recipes. I think it was early in 2008 that I decided to experiment with a healthier version of a French chocolate cake. After many experiments, my friend (Cafe)Sigrun helped me to complete the recipe. She was the one who suggested the cashew butter and I'm so grateful because it's perfect for this cake. I have got quite many praises for the cake, which encourages me to continue on this path (I have created another French chocolate cake recipe that doesn't contain nuts and I'll share it later).

FRENCH CHOCOLATE CAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 pitted dates
  • 50 g cashew nuts (100 ml)
  • 4 tablespoons cashew nuts + 4 tbsp coconut oil (to make cashew butter) OR 2 tablespoons organic cashew butter + 4 tablespoons coconut oil OR 6 tablespoons coconut oil (if the oil is solid, place the jar in a bowl of hot water before use)***
  • 140-175 g fine raw cane sugar, organic
  • 1 egg, free-range or organic
  • 1 egg white
  • 65 g spelt flour (½ cup)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, organic/fair-trade
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, gluten free (½ tsp if using regular)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or organic vanilla sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • a few chopped walnuts (optional)
  • luxury edition: 20-25 g organic dark chocolate

*** You can also use 4 tbsp coconut oil and 2 tbsp organic peanut butter.

METHOD

  1. Soak the dates and 50 g cashew nuts in water for 30 minutes
  2. If you want to make the cake with home-made cashew butter, place the 4 tbsp cashew nuts in a food processor and mix for one minute or longer, until they become very finely ground and slightly oily in texture. Add the 4 tbsp coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, and mix for 30 seconds or so. Set aside. If you use store bought organic cashew butter with coconut oil or 6 tbsp coconut oil only, you simply skip this step
  3. Chop the walnuts and chocolate (if used) in the food processor. Set aside
  4. Drain the dates and cashew nuts, place in the food processor and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue blending for 5-10 seconds or until the mixture is smooth. (You can also mix the walnut and chocolate with the dates and cashew nuts.)
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the raw cane sugar, egg, egg white, vanilla essence, and the cashew nut paste you just made (or 6 tbsp coconut oil), using a whisk or a fork
  6. In another bowl, sift together the spelt flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Use a rubber spatula to mix it slowly with the wet ingredients
  7. Add the walnuts, chocolate (if used), and the mixed dates and cashew nuts to the batter, fold 2-3 times
  8. Line a small spring form cake tin, no larger than 23 cm (9 inch), with baking parchment and pour the batter into it
  9. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 12-15 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas 4. It’s very important not to bake the cake longer or it will become dry
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. The cake will be very moist, almost runny in the middle. Serve with whipped cream and even some berries

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