Light Chocolate Cake from Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood.

 

I posted a photo of this Light Chocolate Cake that I baked on Thursday on another blog and I’ve had such great feedback, that I decided to share the recipe with my notes attached to it. I am a huge fan of Harry Eastwood and Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache is one of my favourite baking books.

I would never go as far as saying that this cake is healthy: eating too much of it will not do you any favour but as Harry says herself in the introduction of the book: “The most important aspect of the cakes in this book is their gorgeous taste and texture, but I have also made a real effort to reduce the amount of fat and sugar…. It is commonly believed that so-called ‘healthy food’ must be dull, without flavour…. This is mostly unfounded – with the exception of ‘diet food’, which relies on bad or unnatural substitutions of ingredients. Hunting down cooking methods that honour ingredients rather than dissimulate them may require imagination and flair, but the answer to great-tasting, healthier cake is right under our noses.”

If you are looking for a beautiful, healthier-than-average cake to bake for a special occasion, this is the one for you!

So with this being said:

Serves 12, 273 calories (Kcal), 10.6 g saturated fat per serving

3 medium free range eggs
160g caster sugar
200g peeled and grated butternut squash
(Sandra’s note: Harry advises against using a food processor for grating the vegetables as they may release too much water. But I haven’t found it a problem: I prepare my tins and the rest of the ingredients first then process the vegetable and put it in a bowl lined with kitchen paper to absorb any moisture until ready to use it.)

120g white rice flour
(Sandra’s note: You can find white rice flour in the “World Food” section of your supermarket, cheaper than from the “Free From” section)

3tbsp good quality cocoa powder
80g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
125ml buttermilk

For the icing:
50g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sieved
50g mascarpone
4tsp cocoa powder
Small pinch of salt

You will need two 18cm diameterx5cm deep loose-bottomed tins

1- Preheat oven to 180C. Line the tins with baking parchment and brush a little vegetable oil over the base and side
(Sandra’s note: or use softened butter to grease the tins.)

2- Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for a full 4 minutes until pale and fluffy
(Sandra’s note: don’t skip on that step. You want to beat as much air into the eggs/sugar mixture and for it to triple in volume.)
Beat in the grated butternut squash, followed by the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt
(Sandra’s note: I sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt on top of the ground almonds to add lightness to the batter.)
Add the buttermilk before beating one last time to make sure all the ingredients are well combined
(Sandra’s note: Although I use my electric hand mixer to whisk the eggs/sugar mixture, I then swap to a spatula to mix the rest the other ingredients in order not to knock too much air out of the eggs/sugar mixture.)

3- Pour the mixture evenly into both tins, then place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.

4- Once cooked, remove the cakes from their tins, peel off the parchment paper and leave them to cool down completely on a wire rack
(Sandra’s note: do not ice your cake until it’s completely cold otherwise your icing will melt and run off!)

5- To make the icing, Beat the butter with 100g of the icing sugar by working them together with the back of a wooden spoon until it turns into a smooth paste
(Sandra’s note: this takes a while and it seems you’ll never get there. You will!)

6- Once you reach this stage, beat vigorously for 10 seconds to loosen the mixture further. Add the mascarpone, cocoa powder, salt and remaining sugar and beat once again to combine
(Sandra’s note: again, this stage takes a while but it does eventually turn into a smooth paste.)

7- Refrigerate the icing for 15 minutes. Beat it with a wooden spoon before icing the middle and top of the cake
(Sandra’s note: Again, make sure your cake is completely cold before icing it.)

Et voilà!!

Do you have a favourite cookbook that you go back to over and over again? Please let me know in the comment section!

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