Tip: Be prepared as the cashews for the frosting must be soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours!
As most of you might have noticed I don’t post a lot of cakes and sweet treats other than healthy energy snacks. It is hard to make a healthy cake (other than banana bread perhaps) and I think that most of us find ourselves in a food environment where sugar is everywhere, which is why it’s relatively rare that I bake at home. We celebrated a few birthdays in my family recently though, so I took this opportunity to come up with an utterly indulgent chocolate cake that isn’t exactly healthy, but it’s certainly nowhere near as sugary as a store bought one and of course it’s free of additives and preservatives. Turns out sometimes you can have your cake AND eat it!
What you need:
For the sponges:
200g white flour
4-5tbsp cacao powder (unsweetened)
100g brown sugar
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
220ml unsweetened plant milk (I use soy milk)
80ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
1.5tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
For the frosting:
100g cashews – soaked overnight
2-3tbsp cacao (again unsweetened)
60g brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
½ tsp vanilla essence
For the jam topping:
You can make your own chia jam for extra berry and less sugar content (plus chia seeds are high in calcium, iron and magnesium), it’s super easy and takes 5mins. Equally it’s totally fine if you prefer to go with a store-bought jam of your choice, I like raspberry, but it also tastes great with dark cherry jam, which gives the whole cake a bit of a black forest gateau vibe.
100g raspberries (fresh if in season or frozen otherwise, just defrost at room temperature or briefly microwave)
2tbsp chia seeds
2-3tbsp date syrup (or a little more if you have a sweet tooth)
How you do it:
The night before (ideally) soak your cashews in boiling water and prepare your chia jam.
Simply mash the raspberries until there are no bits left (I use a fork).
Mix in chia seeds and date syrup and give everything a good stir.
Let it set in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours (chia seeds turn into a jelly like substance when they get wet).
You can also make the sponges the night before if you like.
Preheat the oven at fan 180C.
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients one by one mixing everything with a whisk.
Pour half of the batter into a lined cake tin and bake for 20mins or until a skewer comes out clean if inserted.
Leave the sponge to cool and bake the other one.
On to the frosting.
Drain and rinse the cashews, they should be soft and nearly doubled in size.
In a food processor blend all the ingredients for 4-5mins, the longer the better to get rid of any remaining bits of cashew nuts.
Taste and add a little more sugar and/ or cocoa powder if you like.
Now it’s time to layer your cake.
Simply spread the frosting onto the flatter side of one of the sponges, put the second sponge on top and press down a little.
You can also add a layer of jam on top of the frosting if you like.
Now generously spread the jam on top of your cake and scatter over some dark chocolate shavings for both extra indulgence and a great look.