Cake- it’s one of life’s simple pleasures. Until you mess with it so it doesn’t even resemble cake.
Use rice malt syrup, add beetroot, mashed up beans, make it raw, sugar free, sub applesauce for butter. These are just some of many variations on the traditional cake. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with trying to make a cake healthier, but I think it’s about time we chill out about cake a little.
It saddens me that there seems to be so much anxiety around a simple thing. Eating a “normal” slice of cake does not make you less of a person that your friend who used “clean” ingredients.
We don’t just eat for nutrition, we eat for pleasure. And I think that’s a really important concept to remember. In my house, we don’t need a reason or occasion to make cake, if we feel like we want some cake, we make it. Why? Well, because it’s darn delicious, that’s why. We eat mindfully and intuitively and don’t deny ourselves of the pleasurable foods that we desire.
By adding vegetables and beans to our cakes we are sending some unhealthy messages to ourselves and our families. We are sending the message that beans and vegetables are only tolerable if they are packaged in a sweet treat, that we can’t lean to like and appreciate vegetables for what they are. We are in essence giving ourselves permission to eat a kilojoule dense food on a more regular basis just because it is “clean.” No matter your stance on rice malt syrup and coconut oil, you can’t deny that these are kilojoule dense ingredients.
I’m a firm believer in leaving salad ingredients for main course and mindfully eating a sensible portion of a cake or dessert that you really enjoy rather than one you just tell yourself you like because its “healthy.”
So without further ado, here is my signature chocolate cake recipe.
Chocolate Ganache Cake
Are you into chocolate? Then have I got a recipe for you! This is a chocoholics dream, chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate icing. Be aware of portions-although I promise a small piece will be more than satisfying.
- 125g butter
- 1 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 c milk
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 1 ¾ plain flour
- 1 tsp bi carb soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 c cocoa
- ½ cup hot water
- 110g dark chocolate
- ½ cup cream
I don’t have a set recipe for icing. I place icing sugar, cocoa, butter (all varying quantities) and a dash of milk in a mixer and mix until combined. Use your preferred icing recipe.
Start by making the ganache. Heat cream in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Do NOT boil. When warm add chocolate and stir until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool in the fridge. This make take several hours. You want the ganache firm but spreadable.
Then make the cake. Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Mix the cocoa with the hot water to make a smooth paste and add to the mixture.
Sift flour, bicarb soda and baking powder into a bowl. Place milk in a separate bowl and add vinegar to the milk to sour it.
Add the flour and milk alternatively, mixing well until all incorporated.
Bake in two shallow pans (or one large pan-adjust cooking time) at 180C for 30 minutes.
When the cakes are cool, spread one with ganache, this will be the bottom layer. (if you baked your cake in one pan, cut it in half and apply ganache to one side.) Place the remaining cake on top. Then spread with icing. I like to ice the sides as well as the top, but you don’t have to.
Now you have a beautiful cake to share with your friends and family!