This week, I’m celebrating. What is so important that I bake a chocolate cake, you ask? Well, only that this is the 100th article on My New Roots and it’s time for something sweet!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, things are looking a little different around here. I thought that it was time for a freshening up, so with a new season (and a new camera!) comes a new-and-improved My New Roots for all. I hope you like the changes, and enjoy navigating through the new digs.
Back to the cake.
Are you good at keeping secrets? This dessert sure is. Super fudgy and moist in the center with a chocolate-power punch, you’d NEVER know it was gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan! And it’s best kept secret? Chickpeas. Oh yes, it’s true.
Is chocolate actually good for me? Actually?
I come from serious chocolate roots. My dad is totally obsessed with the stuff and usually has a stash within arm’s reach (no joke). I grew up loving it too, and mowing down indiscriminately on everything from ice cream bars to snickers bars, Easter bunnies to Christmas candies, but only in the past few years have I become snobby about it. Partly this is for health reasons, but it is also for taste – the reason I indulge in the first place. I cannot believe how good good chocolate actually is, and how little you need before feeling satisfied.
And as for health? Well, I’ve learned that there is a major difference between snickers bars and organic dark chocolate. Certified organic chocolate found in health food stores and good grocers, has natural ingredients such as flavonoids (flavan-3-ols) and phenols (phenyl ethylamine) that are recognized antioxidants. Antioxidants offer protection against heart disease, cancer, and boost the immune system. Dark chocolate has the added benefit of being a mood enhancer as it boosts the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and endorphin.
Here are some tips from Dr. Mercola for choosing the best chocolate for your health:
– Choose a bar that lists chocolate, or chocolate liquor, cocoa or cacao as the first ingredient.
– A quality ratio is a 60 to 70 percent cocoa mass with the remaining 30 to 40 percent containing no oils other than natural cocoa butter, as well as no preservatives and no artificial flavourings.
– Find chocolate made from the least destructive processing techniques — Organic is always best as over-processing reduces your healthy nutrients and can introduce lead contamination.
– Restrict your intake to dark, organic chocolate — Consuming chocolate as close to its original raw state (unprocessed cacao) provides you the best health benefits.
– Avoid chocolate made from milk or milk byproducts — Adding milk to the chocolate process can diminish your antioxidant benefits.
– Select chocolate with low sugar content — Sugar can seriously impact your immune system
– Consume chocolate in moderation — When you eat too much chocolate, you potentially diminish and defeat any health benefits due to the sugar.
– Avoid chocolate if you’re struggling with a health challenge — Sugar can suppress your immune system.
– Choose a chocolate made to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility — Fair Trade certification should be part of your selection process.
I’ve become pretty hard-core in my chocolate eating, so to obtain the most health benefits I always choose an organic bar with 85% cocoa mass. It is incredibly rich and almost spicy, with a smooth finish and warm, long lasting aftertaste. I would strongly recommend you follow suit with this recipe, but you could also use something a tad lighter – at least 70% though.
The results are pretty incredible. The cake is extremely rich and fudge-like. A small piece is all you need!
Very important note: this needs to be served cold, so keep it in the fridge before serving.
Chocolate Fudge Cake with a Secret
8 oz. / 225 gr. High-quality, organic dark chocolate, melted
3 TB high-quality organic cocoa powder, plus some for dusting
zest of one organic, un-waxed orange (optional)
1 can (or 1 1/3 cup) garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup applesauce (or 4 eggs, if you eat them)
1/2 cup date syrup (or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350F / 175C. Lightly grease an 8” bundt pan or spring form pan with a little coconut oil (or ghee or butter).
2. Mix beans, eggs, date syrup, orange zest, cocoa, and baking powder in blender until smooth.
3. Add melted chocolate and blend until well mixed.
4. Transfer mixture into pan and bake for 35-50 minutes. My toothpick still didn’t come out “clean” when I did the test, but the cake firms up when cold. Chill completely in the fridge. Dust with cocoa powder. Serve to very lucky people.
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did – it will certainly become a staple in my house when entertaining, or doing a little celebrating. When you serve it, see if your lucky recipients can guess what’s inside – the cake can keep a secret, will you?
Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com