The richness, the wonderful taste and the ways it melts in my mouth.
So coincidentally when I moved to Belgium I entered into the land of chocolate. High-end delicious chocolate is never far away for a moment of sheer, blissful, beautiful indulgence!
One of the best parts of my healthy lifestyle is that I treat myself to chocolate ever day.Chocolate is misunderstood as being a food that is bad for you – when really it is not bad for you at all ! What is “bad” is all the things we add to chocolate (like heaps of sugar and butter!). I sneak cocao into my morning oatmeal in the mornings and usually have a bit of dark chocolate in the late afternoon to get over the “mid-day” hump 😉
In fact, dark chocolate is being discovered as having wonderful effects on heart health, improving cognitive functions (good for exam time I guess!), controlling blood sugar as well as the fact that it is full of antioxidants, good for dental health AND choc-full of nutrients and minerals! [source] Read this great study about how a little bit of dark chocolate a day keeps the doctor away 😉
But, like my friend peanut butter, chocolate also seems to call my name from the kitchen often. I keep my “portioned” baked goods and dark chocolate in the freezer and take them out when I need that Chocolate Fix. Balance.
On my morning run, I giggled to myself because I’m seriously thinking of getting a shirt that says “Will run for Chocolate“.
This dessert fulfills all your chocolate needs – it isdark chocolatey, dense and moist without being overly sweet. I like it for dessert, for breakfast or as a snack (essentially, I like it any time of the day!). I made this cake using hot coffee which fits in perfectly with the pumpkin spice–chocolate flava this cake loaf is sporting!
Great thingsabout this recipe are that it is tasty, made with spelt flour, has no processed sugar or butter, does not use any animal products, contains lots of pumpkin, and … oh did I mention it’s made with chocolate 😉 Also, unlike a lot of the healthy dessert recipes out there, this loaf is cut up into 10 dense pieces. I just hate when you read a recipe and then to make it truly healthy you have to cut it into 32 😉
My cake has beautiful flakes of pumpkin in it because I used homemade puree. If you don’t like the look of the pumpkin, don’t worry, you won’t see canned pumpkin in the baked result!
Dry Ingredients : Spelt Flour, Baking Soda, Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Salt
“Wet” Ingredients: Pureed Pumpkin, Cacao powder, Coconut Oil, Hot Coffee, Honey, Cane sugar, Vanilla & Apple Cider
1 and 1/2 cup flour (I used white spelt) see note*
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 and 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tbsp melted coconut oil*
1/3 cup cocao (or high quality cocoa)
1/2 cup cane sugar*
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp honey*
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)*
1/4 – 1/2 cup of hot strong coffee*
50 grams of finely cut up dark chocolate (or 1/3 cup chocolate chips!)
Pre-heat oven to 350ºf or 180ºc
Put dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. Mix until the spices are evenly dispersed.
Put wet ingredients in a large bowl (only 1/4 cup hot coffee). Whisk together until very smooth.
Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Fold until everything is well combined. Add hot coffee tbsp by tbsp if your mixture is a bit too dry (I needed to add in two extra tbsps) Be careful not to over-mix!
Fold in the dark chocolate “chips”
Spread into lightly oiled loaf pan.
Bake for forty minutes or until toothpick comes out clear.
Let sit for 10 minutes and Voila! Enjoy!
– I used white spelt flour in this recipe because of its nutritional benefits. All-purpose or a white whole wheat blend also work well. I would not recommend using brown spelt or straight whole wheat flour in this recipe.
– If you don’t have cane sugar on hand use white or a light brown sugar.
– If you are strict vegan or just don’t have honey on hand you can also sub rice syrup, maple syrup or agave syrup. I made this with rice syrup once and it turned out equally as delicious!
– If you are out of vinegar – you can just leave it out altogether – the flavour will not change but you will have a slightly denser cake!
– If you are not a mocha fan then you can sub the hot coffee for hot milk or even hot water! I made this once with my homemade oat milk and it was very delicious 🙂
– If you don’t have any coconut oil on hand you can also use walnut oil, canola oil, peanut oil or even olive oil!
Nutritional Benefits: High in manganese and selenium, very high in Vitamin A, no cholesterol (if using vegan chocolate, low in cholesterol if using “normal” dark chocolate), also contains a healthy does of fiber and iron
Why isn’t there more oil or butter in this cake? Will it still taste good?
The reason that we can get away with using less oil in this cake, while maintaining the density and moisture, is because we are using pumpkin instead of the heaps of oil or butter you’d usually find in a typical loaf cake. AND YES, I swear it will still taste good. Some people like to replace 100% of the oil or butter with mashed up pumpkin, bananas or applesauce but I prefer a baked good with a little bit of oil (which goes a long way!). I find that without any oil baked goods often taste a little bit gummy or chewy. But, if you are used to or like the taste of no-oil baked goods I’d say add an extra two tbsp of pumpkin or applesauce instead of the oil and go for it!
Is this good the next day?
Even better ! I found the flavours were really enhanced the next day! I cut my cake and freeze. I eat it when I need a treat during the week … Hehe, which is basically every day 😉
Why did I use spelt flour?
I used spelt flour instead of all purpose because it is much better for you than all-purpose flour.
“Spelt flour has slightly more protein and fewer calories than wheat flour. It contains a broad array of nutrients and is a good source of vitamin B2, manganese, niacin, copper, phosphorus, protein, and fiber. Spelt has a much tougher outer husk than wheat. During milling, this tough outer shell helps protect the grain, preserving both nutrients and flavor. It also helps protect the grain from pests and infestations which makes it much easier to grow without the use of pesticides.” [source]
My Question to you!
So it is pretty obvious from this post that I am a dark chocolate fan – but to be honest, I try not to discriminate too much (I mean I will also eat white chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha chocolate, hazelnut chocolate….). Okay, the one chocolate I don’t like is orange chocolate (you now the ones you get at Christmas time that look like an orange?) Blech, orange chocolate and I do not mix. I’ll take the orange or the chocolate but not together please 😉
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