From Maria-Carin Gala’s Organic Kitchen: “Who came up with the idea that vegetables can hide in cakes? What a marvellous idea!”
What a marvellous idea! Who came up with the idea that vegetables can hide in cakes? When I first read and tasted this, I was hooked for good. The combination in this particular recipe, that I created out of lust for something sweet, chocolatey and cake-ish, makes my tastebuds sing!
Enjoy the healthy side-effects of the beetroot, avocado, coconut oil, cacao and raspberries all married into this one cake. You don’t have to make the icing, but it does lend a more celebrative flair to your cake. The antioxidants from the cacao in the icing also makes one extra happy which is always a good thing. I have lost count how many times I’ve made this cake, trying different variations and I believe through years of tasting that this version will satisfy your cravings for a decadent and health conscious chocolate cake.
Makes 1 medium round cake tin enough to feed about 12 generously
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour, or maize flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 & 1/2 cups rapadura, or other unrefined sugar, muscovado, coconut sugar
1 tsp bicarb
2 tbsp flaxmeal, soaked in 1/2 cup water or rice milk for 20 minutes
1 cup rice milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice, or in emergency use 1 tsp apple cider vinegar instead, no worries, let sit 20 minutes
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 medium beetroot (150g), finely grated
2 cups or 200g raspberries fresh, or frozen but definitely thawed – important that they are NOT frozen otherwise the cake won’t bake properly. Trust me, I’ve tried it – it’s not worth it.
Preheat your oven to 180 C. Line a medium cake tin with baking paper.
Prepare your ingredients. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients well, in another bowl mix the wet ingredients well. Take a deep breath, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Then add the beetroot mix and the berries, and mix very gently.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for about an hour. You don’t want to overbake this cake, so check after 45 minutes by inserting a knife in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. Your house should also smell like chocolate heaven when ready.
Let the cake cool for 15-30 minutes then remove from the cake tin. Allow the cake to cool before covering with the avocado chocolate icing, otherwise it may fall apart and the icing will melt.
If you want a quick icing, try this easy one instead: when the cake comes out of the oven and is still hot spread maple syrup with a brush over the top and sprinkle with cacao. Et voilà. Enjoy!
You can use mixed berries instead of raspberries.
You can leave the raspberries out of the batter altogether and add them on top.
You can use a whole range of different oils instead of coconut; for example grapeseed, olive, or macadamia.
Replacing cacao with carob would be a tasty affair, too!
Chocolate Avocado Icing
Who hasn’t heard about this now world-famous vegan icing? It’s a seriously healthy alternative to your regular chocolate icing or chocolate mousse.
You will need a blender, a hand held mixer, or a small food processor.
Freeze some if you’ve made too much and have it ready to go in a lazy cooking moment for a pleasantly surprising dessert.
You could also dip strawberries in this decadent cream, or serve it as a mousse in glasses with raspberries and vanilla cashew cream.
Warning: Cacao contains caffeine and, unless you are a caffeine lover, it will keep you awake if eaten late at night, really. Either way, mhhhh,h heaven on earth…..
Makes enough for spreading on 1 medium cake
2 large very ripe avocado
1/2 cup maple syrup, plus extra to taste if needed
1/2 cup rice milk
1/2 cup cacao powder, sifted, extra to taste if needed
1 generous dash of vanilla extract
A little sprinkle of salt to bring out the sweetness
Optional: 2 tbsp coconut oil
Blend everything to a smooth and creamy consistency and taste test. Add extra cacao and syrup if necessary.
Taste test again. Did I mention to taste test?
Place in the fridge to firm.
I haven’t provided exact grams for the avocado as the volume of avocados vary, but obviously this chocolate icing needs to taste sweet and chocolatey.
So, make sure you’ve added enough cacao and maple syrup. When you’ve found the perfect balance you’ll know. It’s got to be sweet and make you happy when you taste it, it’s icing after all.
Once cooled and firm you can spread it on anything, like smooth vegan magic.
You can also use coconut syrup, instead of maple syrup, as a matter of fact I’ve used every possible sweetener for this and they are all great. Stevia, however, is a bit challenging.
You can of course use all kinds of vegan ‘milk’.
If you have kids and can’t do cacao, go for carob instead. Don’t limit yourself, be creative!