The most valuable lesson we learned from last weekend’s baking experiment is that a chocolate cake doesn’t need to be overly dense or heavy to be good. Beating the eggs gives the cake its lightness, but a heaping helping of cocoa powder gives it a rich, deep chocolate flavor. The ganache is not too sweet and even has a little roasty, fruity flavor, thanks to the use of coconut cream and spices.
They say every home baker should have a go-to chocolate cake recipe. This one might be ours from now on. It can be yours, too. It couldn’t be easier to put together. It also happens to be gluten and dairy-free.
For the cake:
5 tbsp unsweetened, Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup / 120ml boiling water
1/2 cup / 120ml coconut oil
3/4 cup / 150g white granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup / 90g dessicated coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
For the coconut chocolate ganache:
1 cup / 240ml coconut cream
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or darker), chopped
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
Make your ganache. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes and stir. Microwave for another 1 minute or until chocolate is completely melted. Stir with a spatula until even-colored and smooth. This ganache may be served warm, but might even be better cold.
Make your cake. Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. Grease a 9×2 inch cake pan with a little oil. Line base of the pan with parchment paper.
Blend the dessicated coconut in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder until you have a fine flour-like consistency. Set aside.
Sift cocoa powder into a bowl. Whisk in boiling water. Stir until mixture is thick and smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract and spices. Set aside to let cool.
Beat the eggs with a handheld mixer (set to medium speed) 6 to 7 minutes with or until thick and light. Gradually add coconut oil and sugar. Beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Mixture should have doubled in volume and should form ribbons when mixer is lifted.
Set mixer to low speed. Mix in your chocolate mixture into the whipped eggs until evenly combined. Gradually add dessicated coconut. Use a spatula to fold the coconut into the batter. Scrape down sides of bowl if necessary.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until sides of cake are set but the center is still slightly damp. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Unmold and cool on the wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and/or cocoa powder.
Have some cake. Serve with your ganache, chocolate shavings, ice cream or fresh berries if you have them.