Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday.
Bring on the homemade cards, beaded bracelets and crepe paper flowers sprayed in Chanel No. 5.
Bring on the kid made pancakes, the messy kitchen and the mum choice of Sunday night movie (that they will inevitably whinge about having to watch but secretly love).
I’m not a fan of #blessed and I tried to keep a gratitude journal once (it lasted 3 days) but the one thing (or 3) that I am the most thankful for are my kids. Being a parent is a struggle at times, but it’s a journey that I am so lucky to be able to experience. Whilst they drive me crazy, often leaving me pulling my hair out and wondering why I stopped drinking, they are the best and I love them…which I tell them often, much to the disgust of 7yo S who will roll his eyes at me (but I know he secretly loves it and my squeezy cuddles).
Much of my food choices are because of my Mum duties to keep my kids safe, healthy and happy. It’s an unsteady balance of trying to feed them foods that will nourish their bodies, keep them interested and not leaving them with FOMO. If being perfect means only feeding my kids broccoli then I’m happy to be the imperfect mother who hides veggies in their dessert.
This Chocolate Cake with Jam and Cream is as simple as you can get, but it tastes epic and will having everyone guessing the secret ingredient (and no it’s not sweet potato!).
I made this Chocolate Cake with Jam and Cream recently and took it to playgroup. We’ve been going to the same playgroup for nearly 9 years. There is a wonderful group of ladies who run the session each week, lead the singing and dancing and bake tasty treats for all the tired mums to eat. Some weeks I like to take something along to show them how much they’re appreciated…and so I don’t eat all the cake myself!!
This Chocolate Eggplant Cake. This is now officially my favourite chocolate cake. No one will ever be able to taste the eggplant or even know it’s in there as it’s blended within an inch of its life. Adding oil (I used olive oil but feel free to use any oil without a strange taste, making sure to melt the coconut oil if using it) adds to the moistness of the cake and the extra cocoa (3/4 cup compared to the normal ½ cup I use in this chocolate cake) gives it a dense, mud cake like texture. Lucky for me my husband refuses to eat eggplant (it’s a mental hurdle…he’s eaten the cake before when we didn’t tell him what was in it) so that means more cake for me!
I made this Chocolate Cake with Jam and Cream as a 2 layer cake for playgroup, baked in a 20cm/8inch round tin, but here I have made a 3 layer cake in a 6 inch tin constructed from a sheet cake. The 1 cake cut in half horizontally is way easier but if you have the time the 3 layers creates a greater wow factor (and a better jam, cream to cake ratio).
When creating a 3 tired layer cake I like to use the method I learnt in Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Cookbook (she’s amazing!!). It’s the same quantity of cake as in a 20cm round tin but instead it’s baked in a large baking tray and the layers are cut out and put together inside the springform tin. You should be able to cut 1 ¾ layers of cake from the baking tray, and then use the remaining cake to finish the middle layer and then make the bottom layer jigsaw style. It may sound messy and fiddley but it works and it allows the cake to be constructed in the tin to the exact size which stops the fillings oozing over the edges. To help ‘set’ the layers I like to place the cake in the freezer for a few hours. This helps the layers hold when removed from the tin.
I have made a simple Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam but feel free to use commercial jam or berry sauce. I have used my favourite Whipped Coconut Cream as the filling for the cake. Coconut Cream can be tricky, depending on the season you’re in (summer is the worst!) and the brand that you use. The trick is to make sure the can has been in the fridge for as long as possible to help separate the cream from the watery liquid. After you remove the thickened cream and whip it up with the sweetener make sure you allow enough time for it to go back in the fridge to thicken up again (4 hours-ish). If it’s summer, or the cream is super runny, try adding dissolved gelatine to the cream, about 2 teaspoons for 1 ½ -2 Cups.
Chocolate Cake with Jam and Cream
Chocolate Eggplant Cake
- 1 large/medium sized Eggplant baked whole in moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until super mushy and gooey inside. You will need 2/3 Cup of mushy eggplant.
- 1/2 Cup Oil I’ve used Olive OIl but you can use melted coconut oil or any other oil without a strange taste
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 6 Eggs
- 3/4 Cup Cococa
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/4 Cup Arrowroot
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Cream (place an opened can of coconut cream/milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop off the thickened cream and discard the watery remains
- 2 teaspoon Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Berries I used mixed frozen berries
- 2 Tablespoons Water swap this for maple syrup/rice malt syrup if the berries are too tart
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
Chocolate Cake with Jam and Cream
- If making the 3 layered cake:This cake can be constructed in either a 5 or 6 inch spring form cake tin. I have used a 6 inch tin.Take the bottom of the chosen tin and cut 2 circles from the Chocolate Eggplant sheet cake. Make sure at least 1 of the circles is complete. The scraps will be used to complete the 2nd circle (if needed) and form the 3rd, bottom layer.Take a 6 or 5 inch spring form tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Line the sides of the tin, ensuring that the paper goes above the level of the tin edges (you can always add the 2 layer if needed during construction). Make sure the paper is greased.Using the scraps of the cake, press the pieces into the bottom of the cake tin to fill the bottom of the spring form tin. It won’t look pretty but it doesn’t matter as there will be lots of layers on top and it will never be seen.Spread 1/2 Cup of Jam evenly over the bottom cake layer.Spread 1/2 Cup of Whipped Cream over the jam
Top with a layer of cake (the almost full layer of cake; use more scraps to complete the layer) and spread with more jam and cream.
Place the full cake layer on top.Cover the cake in plastic wrap and place the cake in the freezer for 2 hours then place it in the fridge until you are ready. The freezer helps to set the layers. It is optional but helps it stay together.
Remove the cake from the fridge and the tin.Use the remaining cream to pipe pretty patterns on top of the cake and decorate with berries.
- If making a 2 layer cake:Cut the 20cm/8 inch cake in half horizontally.Cover the cake with 1/2-3/4 Cup of Jam.Cover the jam with 3/4-1 Cup of Cream.Place the top layer of cake on top.Use the remaining cream to pipe pretty patterns on top of the cake and decorate with berries.
Chocolate Eggplant Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F.
- Line and grease a large baking tray (32cm X 27cm) to make a 3 layer cake in a 5/6 inch tin or line and grease a 20cm/8 inch round cake tin to make a double layer cake.
- In a medium saucepan melt the coocnut oil over a very low heat, being sure NOT to let it boil. If using olive oil (or another not solid oil you don’t need to do this.)
- Remove the skin from the baked eggplant and scoop out the mushy flesh. You will need 2/3 Cup of mushy eggplant goodness (but not the tough skins).
- Place the eggplant in a blender and process until mushy. Add the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and 1/2 Cup of cocoa. Blend until smooth. This can also be done with a hand blender.
- In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs by hand. DO NOT over whisk/mix.
- Whisk in the chocolate eggplant mix until combined.
- Sift and stir through the dry ingredients (including the remaining cocoa) until combined. Make sure that there are no lumps of coconut flour remaining.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 15-20 minutes for the sheet cake or 30 minutes for the 20cm cake, or until cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Do not remove until cooled completely
- In a bowl of a kitchen stand with a whisk attachment, add the thickened coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk on high until thick.
- Place the cream in the fridge and allow to thicken before using (allow 4 hours)
- Place the berries and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regulary to prevent the berries from sticking to the saucepan.
- If the berries are still whole/chunky, use a hand blender/masher to squash them.
- Add the chia seeds and stir to combine. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or until set.