It's been over two months since my last post. It's been very hot and humid over here that it put me off baking for a while; much to the benefit of my new-found leaner figure, since I lost 4 lbs! Well, now that's been raining for the last couple of days and the temperature is cooler, I am back in the kitchen experimenting with cakes and frostings as usual, trying to create healthy desserts that taste great. This is always difficult with cakes. Sugar is never healthy, especially white sugar. I read that it's as addictive as heroin and it's bleached with bone char and various chemicals. One of this is sulfur dioxide, a compound found in oil and fuel, which is also used as a preservative in dried fruits such as raisins, dried apricots and prunes. Whenever the recipe allows it, I always try to substitute regular sugar with honey or natural brown sugar. Sugar also causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which contributes directly to wrinkles. But it's OK to have a portion of a healthy dessert, occasionally.
I recently came across a notebook of recipes from the 1950s which belonged to my grandmother. Her indulgent chocolate cake recipe included spices and dry fruit, ingredients which I feel are best suited to a winter cake, so I decided to adapt it to my taste and skip those altogether.
I wanted to be back with something chocolaty since I love chocolate and everything that has cocoa in it. Chocolate is uplifting and it's good to know that according to medical researchers, if eaten in moderation, dark chocolate - and cocoa in general - (maybe not milk chocolate, since it's full of fat), is a powerful antioxidant and therefore acts as an anti-ageing and also helps lower cholesterol.
Ingredients (serve 6):
For the cake:
170 gr brown sugar
120 gr flour
30 gr cocoa
50 gr unsalted butter
2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate custard:
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 pint milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
For the frosting:
50 gr unsalted butter
100 gr cream cheese
2 tbsp honey
Cocoa, for dusting.
Prepare the custard by whisking the egg with the sugar. Add the cocoa and corn starch, the milk and place over a low heat stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and allow to cool.
Now on to the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in cake tin with some butter and dust it with flour.
Beat the eggs with sugar and butter until fluffy. Blend in the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth. Gently pour the mixture on to the cake tin.
Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Cut the cake in half and spread the chocolate custard on the bottom half of the cake, then carefully top with the other half.
Prepare the frosting by blending the butter with the cream cheese and the honey.
Ice the cake all over with the cream cheese icing, using a palette knife. Dust the top with a small amount of cocoa.