Recipe: Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake
Can chocolate cake and sugar-free actually come together as one, and taste really good?
OH YES INDEED! THEY CAN!
As most of you know I have been on a no refined sugar journey for the past 3 months. I have not even had honey or sweeteners in my diet. I decided for my 37th birthday I wanted a birthday cake and I wanted to see if I could bake a tasty cake like I once enjoyed when I ate sugary sweet foods. And I am totally surprised at how lovely this turned out.
Now, I have finally introduced sweeteners into my diet. Not many and not often. I bought myself a box of xylitol sachets for my 1 decaf coffee a week when I go into town. So this cake has a little sweetener (a really small amount).
You will be surprised at the ingredients and amazed that this tastes so good (well I hope it tastes good to other people, it tasted divine to me).
So here is an amazing sugar-free chocolate cake, borrowed from my good friend Sharon, who got it from her friend and it has been slightly adapted with a delicious topping I borrowed off a site online.
You can also make this cake gluten-free with gluten-free flour so you could have a super healthy cake that tastes as good as any shop bought cake BUT with the added benefits of nutritious ingredients.
SUGAR-FREE Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Topping
Makes 1 large cake for a 20cm cake tin (half ingredients for a small cake).
Preparation time: 1 hour maximum with a food processor. I have not got a food processor, and this was my first time baking a cake like this so it took me around 4 hours (grin), but I had a lot of fun and that is what matters to me.
Equipment needed : 1 x 20cm loose bottom cake tin, grease-proof paper, food processor if using one, coffee grinder if you have not bought already ground oats. Wooden spoon, fork, knife, sieve. Electric whisk (or you can do it by hand).
120g Rolled Oats (ground)
370g dates (soaked overnight)
6 ripe bananas
250ml of olive oil (or rapeseed)
360g of flour >>> I used 240 grams of kamut flour and 120g of 100% cocoa powder (my friend used a mix of brown rice flour, quinoa flour and spelt – BUT you could mix your flour in any way you want. I personally wanted a chocolate cake version).
6 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
Sugar-Free Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
Borrowed from Just A Pinch Recipes HERE
With the ingredients for the topping I would say you can play around with the measurements to get the sweetness level right, I found 1 teaspoon of xylitol not enough but 2 was just right. This recipe uses 4 tbsp so that to me would be too much, adjust to your tastebuds as you mix.
60g unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled (My chocolate had xylitol added as nowhere in my local area sold unsweetened)
1/3 cup of whipped cream
125g unsalted butter softened
4 tbsp fine xylitol (I used 2 teaspoons as my chocolate has xylitol in the ingredients)
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (not essence which is synthetic)
1/2 tsp chocolate extract (I did not add this)
Cake Base (with processor)
Process the dates and bananas then add the oil. Once processed add the ground oats. Process all together and then add the flour/cocoa and bicarb. Grease your cake tin and/or add cut greaseproof paper to fit the tin. (If you are using a non-stick tin, I recommend that you grease it and coat with flour, as non-stick often sticks.) Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth out the top of the cake so it is fairly even when it is finished (I dipped a knife into the left over date juice from soaking, this helped with smoothing it out) and add to the middle of your oven.
Cooking time: 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes on 160 degrees C. Adjust temperature if using a fan oven as oven temperatures can vary (I set mine to 150 degrees C for a little over an hour).
Cake Base (without food processor)
My friend laughed when I told her it took me 4 hours to make. She had originally said she did not know how I would do it without a food processor. I informed her during our united laughter that in the good old days they never had food processors and so I used a bit of elbow grease (not literally, might I add, that would not be good for the recipe!).
So if you do not have a food processor make it the old fashioned way and be prepared to enjoy the whole process. If you are not new to baking it will probably take you a far shorter time than it did me.
Once it is baked take it out let it cool down and after a while pop it on a cooling rack.
After weighing out all the ingredients into bowls and plates (aka cookery programmes), I took the dates and placed them onto my wooden chopping board. I mashed them with a fork and once they were mashed fully I then took a large knife and chopped finely across the entire board (see photo below). I then placed this into a large mixing bowl. I kept the juice from the overnight soaking to use as a sweetener in other recipes.
I then took my 6 bananas and mashed them with a fork and placed them into the mixing bowl along with the dates.
I was a bit shocked at the oil measurements, a bit scared it was wrong, that seemed an awful lot of oil but I followed the recipe and mixed the oil into the dates and bananas using a wooden spoon.
I then processed the rolled oats in the coffee grinder section of my smoothie maker which did a great job at grinding the oats finely. I added the oats to the mixing bowl until well mixed.
I then sieved the flour and cocoa and added that and the bicarbonate of soda to the mixing bowl. I added this gradually and took my time to make sure it was fully mixed in. This was quite time-consuming and used a lot of energy but it is worth it.
Once I had finally finished, I greased my cake tin with butter, cut circular piece of grease-proof paper to fit the base of the tin and cut a piece of grease-proof paper to go around the sides. This was not really necessary, you can just grease the tin. I then added the mix to the tin, used a knife that I dipped into the left-over date-water from the night before to smooth the top of the cake down so it was even for cooking. I then popped it in the oven and began making the topping mixture.
Once the base is baked take it out let it cool down and after a while pop it on a cooling rack.
SUGAR-FREE Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
I enjoyed making the topping a lot. I am such a novice still when it comes to baking and cooking that simply whipping the cream brought out the giddy child in me. I used an electric whisk so if you did this part of the baking by hand this would increase the preparation time.
First I melted the chocolate in the microwave (you can do this in a pan). Cut it up into pieces first and add to a microwaveable container. Add this to the bowl or jug you are mixing into and allow it to cool.
Whip the double cream until it is goes firm and peaky but don’t over-whip or it will go back to liquid. Then whisk this into the cooled chocolate using an electric mixer.
Beat on a medium speed and then add the butter (make sure this is quite soft has been standing a room temperature or you can warm a little in the microwave – but not to runny, just soft).
Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and xylitol. You may want to gently fold the cocoa in before whipping, otherwise you may end up with a face full of cocoa powder (yes this newbie baker did just that!). Continue to mix until the consistency is perfect for topping, taste test the sweetness level and add more if necessary.
Now at this point the recipe says it should be watery and can be placed in the refrigerator for easier spreading but mine was just the right consistency. So I would not put it in the fridge if yours turns out the same. I made the mistake following the instructions and having to re-whisk the cream topping so I could spread it again (I think our fridge is a super cool fridge to be honest).
Once your topping is ready in the bowl and your cake base is cool, now you can spread the delicious frosting on the cake. Add any extra toppings you would like. I added a few walnuts.
Hey presto your done! (WELL… not exactly hey presto the old fashioned energetic way but still yum!).
I left my cake out for one day as I indulged in several birthday slices and I then put it in the fridge. This made the topping mega yum! To me the topping tastes a lot like the topping you get on a really lovely gateaux when on holiday in the Med.
Hope you thoroughly enjoy it like I did, would love your feedback and alternative recipes.
My friend used a maple syrup and cocoa powder topping (this was too much sugar for me but when I had sugar it was tasty).