My eldest requested a chocolate birthday cake, as she does every year. I was flicking through my old recipe book (a hand written cooking journal I kept in my pre-blogging days) for inspiration and came across the cake I made for her first birthday. I tweaked it a little to accommodate her allergies, but the end result was a fabulously moist and delicious fudgey cake.
The secret ingredient – courgette – does something rather magical but you can’t detect the flavour. Unlike beetroot which I love but others can be a bit funny about. I made a beetroot choccie cake for my hubby’s Grandma’s 80th birthday, and his annoying Aunt exclaimed at the top of her voice ‘err has this got beetroot in’? Although everyone had been enjoying it until that point half the guests sadly didn’t eat any more afterwards. I now find it’s best to keep such ingredients close to my chest.
This recipe will feed about twenty people if you only want to give them a small piece each. Alternatively you could double up and make it two layers which I’ve done before and works really well. My original was made with wholemeal flour and egg so if you aren’t after a free from cake, then replace the flaxseed with 2 eggs, and the pecans with plain flour.
This cake is gluten, dairy, refined sugar and egg free
200g courgettes (top, tailed and peeled)
200g ground pecans
2 tbsp flaxseed
25g cocoa powder
120ml coconut oil
120ml milk (I’ve used goats, soya and rice in the past and they’ve all worked)
100g melted dark chocolate
Tbsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp of crushed pods)
Tsp bicarb of soda
(icing) 100g melted dark chocolate
50g butter of choice
– preheat your oven to 170C (180C if it’s not fan assisted) and grease a loose bottomed cake tin or silicone mould
– if you have a decent blender or food processor whiz together your courgettes, flaxseed, oil, milk, honey, vanilla and bicarb. Pour the mixture over the pecans and combine well
– if you are making by hand grate your courgettes finely and mix together in a large bowl with the pecans
– mix together all the other cake ingredients, then fold in the nuts and courgettes until you have a batter
– pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 mins. Leave to cool completely before icing it
– to make the icing melt all three ingredients together in a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water
– once it’s all melted remove from the heat and beat together until thick and luscious looking
– pour the icing over the cooled cake and top as you wish
*I’ve used finely chopped fresh mango to make a 5