So, as I mentioned in my ‘Winter Apple Spice Muffins‘ post I was asked to make a cake for the Fitter London Christmas Party last weekend. As it was a special occasion it definitely called for something a little more indulgent and complex than my array of loaf cakes I’ve made to date, and this certainly was. I decided not to tell people what was in the cake until they’d tried it. Not because I didn’t think they’d like it, but I know how freaked out some people can be about eating vegetables in cakes. Especially savoury ones like avocado….
The recipe was loosely based on changing the quantities from my Chocolate coconut banana loaf cake and the topping made from avocado and coconut oil with cocoa is a well known raw food combo. The topping was so yummy I could have eaten the entire thing from the blender so it’s any wonder it made it onto the cake at all. It hardens nicely once it’s been in the fridge for a bit, so it makes a great cake topping.
Anyway once I’d finished icing this cake I had one of those ‘I can’t believe I’ve made this moments (especially as I nearly dropped it on the floor in the process…). Bloody brilliant, my best ever cake and it honestly the cake wasn’t difficult to do – everyone should give it a try! I only wished I’d had some festive Christmas cake decorations to pop on the top. Maybe next year cos I’m so making this again, and again….
Ingredients (makes 1 round cake, with 2 layers)
- 1 & 1/2 cups of ground almonds
- 1/2 cup of coconut powder (see this post for more info on this product)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of 100% unsweetened organic cocoa powder (see below for more info)
- 2 tsps of gluten free baking powder
- 4 medium, ripe bananas
- 4 medium free-range eggs, separated
- 1 tsp orange essence
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Line 2 round cake tins with baking parchment. It helps if you use a little melted coconut oil underneath the parchment to keep it in place.
- In a large bowl sieve the almonds, coconut powder, cocoa powder and baking powder together (sieving helps with the texture of the sponge).
- With a hand blender, in a jug blend the bananas, with the egg yolks, melted coconut oil and orange essence.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff.
- Stir the wet mix into the flours until fully combined, then slowly and gently stir in the whisked egg whites. Separating the eggs isn’t necessary, but as ground almonds can be dense I find this makes a lighter cake.
- Spoon half of the mixture into each cake tin and bake in the oven for approx 18 mins. Mine could have done with ever such a little less, so do check after 15 mins.
- Remove from the oven, peel off the baking parchment and cool on a wire rack until ready to ice.
Ganache Icing (aka a much healthier version of Betty Crocker icing)
- 1 very ripe large avocado
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup sweet freedom or raw honey
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- Blend all above ingredients in a jug (the one that comes with the hand blender) with a hand blender, scraping down the sides to ensure well mixed (you don’t want to see any green avocado on your cake). You can adjust the level of sweetness to your own personal tastes. Personally I don’t like to add to much and felt that 1/4 cup was about right.
- Spread a little of the mixture all over the top of one cake, place the second cake layer on top and then spread the rest of the mixture all over the top and around sides with a palate knife.
- Place in the fridge to set, the frosting should harden a little due to the coconut oil.
- Best kept in the fridge or the topping tends to go a bit gooey.
I have to say – then this was done I felt such an overwhelming sense of acheivement. There is something quite relaxing and a feeling of contentedness when baking cakes goes right!
I did then of course go on to enjoy liking out the bowl – mmmm. (this mixture also makes a good dessert on it’s own – rather like a Gu pot.)
Many thanks to fellow Fitter Londoner Philippa Brady for the excellent photos (so much better than my Blackberry snaps), and if you want to know more about that other gorgeous cake in this picture I suggest you check out the lovely Vickii Onabolu’s cooking blog I bake therefore I am . Her cakes and bakes are not only very pretty but they taste amazing too.
Note on the cocoa powder
Regular readers of the blog will know that I usually use Raw Cacao powder, primarily for it’s taste, but also due to the hight level of antioxidants in the powder – which practically makes chocolate a health food. However I couldn’t find any in my whole foods last week, and didn’t have time to get it on the internet, so instead I thought I’d try this Organic 100% cocoa powder. The cocoa beans are roasted before being ground into a powder so it doesn’t quite hit the raw cacao button, but a good compromise nevertheless (especially as it’s half the price). Great for use in baking, but I’ll keep to my raw cacao powder for making my chocolate truffles.
Equal Exchange £3.99 for 250g