I am taking a moment from my wonderful busy-ness at the moment to share a plateful of deliciousness with you all. I’ve been planning menus and ingredients list for my work a retreat chef and also happily planning the myriad of different sessions for my summer school. Exciting times here in the Kind Earth Kitchen with lots of new things unfolding.
Today I am sharing my new “Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake” recipe. This actually happened recently after a friend asked me what they could substitute the banana for in my banana chocolate cake recipe. The photos don’t really do it justice! All you need to know is that it is very delicious indeed and perfectly moist.
I’d been wanting to try a sweet potato version for ages. The sweet potato works as a delightful binder in the recipe (in place of the banana, which acted as a binder in the banana chocolate cake version).
And who knew that sweet potato worked so well as a dessert! Well, it sure does.
A nice balance of sweetness is happening in this cake, thanks to the subtle sweet potato, along with coconut sugar and a little maple syrup. It’s not overly sweet (not a fan of ‘sweet n’ sickly’ here), but it’s a dessert, so I do love that nice infusion of gentle sweetness.
It is beautifully moist when served at normal room temperature. It freezes well (ideal if you live on your own and don’t want to eat it all in one go hahaha). TIP: freeze in slices so that you can just take out the amount you need.
Feels quite light too, thanks to the healthful ingredients.
I adore the frosting on this one. It is based on the ‘chocolate dream’ frosting from Angelicious.
Oh my goodness, you won’t believe how many healthy ingredients are used for this chocolate cake alchemy.
The frosting is essentially made from dates, avocado, vanilla and cacao/cocoa powder. A world apart from the sugary, dairy-laden frostings that many of were once familiar with (or maybe still are familiar with? although I am assuming if you are here on my page that you are exploring healthier alternatives).
What is the difference between raw ‘cacao’ and ‘cocoa’?
You might notice that I use the words cacao and cocoa interchangeably. It’s not to intentionally confuse you haha – but please let me explain more…
Essentially, ‘cacao’ is raw and ‘cocoa’ is roasted. The raw seeds obtained from the Theobroma cacao tree are known as cacao. When these seeds are processed (usually by roasting) the name becomes cocoa. Apart from the slight difference in spelling, it’s commonly believed that raw cacao has a more potent and active blend of nutrients (speculation suggests that is because these nutrients haven’t been destroyed by the roasting process). However, I am not totally sure where these facts originated, because there doesn’t appear to be any scientific research to back it up.
I do often go for the raw stuff, although I also equally use pure cocoa powder (as long as it is organic, fairly traded and doesn’t contain any additives). Personally, I feel there is a massive benefit in both raw and non-raw cacao/cocoa.
Science has documented the impressive benefits of cocoa for centuries. That tells me there is certainly benefit from both raw and non-raw forms. Of course, we are baking the cake anyway, so I am not sure that it matters. The frosting, however, is uncooked. The important thing (whether raw cacao or cocoa) is to get it from a supplier that has good ethics, offering it in its pure (pure as in, nothing else added, i.e. 100% cocoa powder), organic form (see my favourite brands below if you need ideas).
Where to get good quality cocoa or cacao powder?
UK & Europe: This is my favourite one in the UK by Sevenhills Wholefoods – a company with great ethics.
North America: This is my favourite one in North America. I use this when I am visiting.
Cake 'wet' ingredients (to blend)
- 175g sweet potato (one small sweet potato)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (important rising agent with bicarbonate of soda)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100ml coconut oil (melted) (0.42 cup or a little under 1/2 a cup)
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
Cake 'dry' ingredients
- 100g rice flour ( 3/4 cup)
- 50g ground oats (just under 1/2 a cup)
- 50g tapioca flour (just under 1/2 a cup)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 5 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
- 100g dates (pitted)
- 1/2 medium avocado
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
Peel the sweet potato first. You need one small(ish) sweet potato and are looking for about 175g (when peeled) - a little more or less is fine.
Boil the sweet potato until you can gently pierce a fork though. If you chop into small chunks then this shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. When cooked drain with a sieve or colander thoroughly.
Put all the ingredients under the 'cake wet ingredients' list into a jug and blend until smooth.
Now is a good time to turn your oven on to pre-heat it (gas mark 4 or 175C or 350F).
Take all the 'dry' ingredients and mix them together in a bowl.
Add the blended 'wet' ingredients to the bowl and mix together thoroughly.
Line a loaf tin (1kg or 2lb loaf tin) with parchment paper and put the cake mix in.
Pop into the oven for 40 minutes.
When ready, take out and pop the cake onto a cooling rack. You can let it cool in the loaf tin if that helps (you do need to be careful when taking the cake out of the tin because it can be very fragile until it has cooled down).
To make the frosting
- Blend all the frosting ingredients together to form a puree. Make sure your dates are pitted and if they aren't soft then be sure to soak them ahead of time.
- Spread frosting on the cake with a knife, when the cake has cooled down.
Serving and storing the cake
- This cake is best served at room temperature. It can be a bit too firm if served right out of the fridge (although it is best to store it in the fridge). It keeps for a few days if you refrigerate. It keeps for a few weeks in the freezer too.
- UK: Organic Cacao/Cocoa Powder 500g Sevenhills Wholefoods
- USA: Organic Cacao Powder, 1 Pound, Terrasoul Superfoods
- UK: Organic Dates Pitted Deglet Nour 1kg by Hatton Hill Organic - Certified Organic
- USA: Organic Deglet Noor Dates (Pitted) Terrasoul Superfoods , 2 Pounds
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