Organic Chocolate Cake with Yoghurt and Walnuts
“I could give up chocolate but I am not a quitter”.
Let’s face it: there are many temptations we can resist as adults, but most of us are helpless before our favorite chocolate bar or a chocolate cake. I could do without some desserts for most of my life. But even then I rarely refused indulging in chocolate! In tough times we used an expression ‘to keep a bar of chocolate for a rainy day’. I remember my friend coming over for tea and bringing our favorite bar of chocolate, adding that she ‘had it for a rainy day’. We both started laughing as the day was not rainy at all.
I do not know how things changed, but I noticed getting addicted to sweets when I moved to the US. Now I consider myself a person with a sweet tooth. I even read that a person could become kinder if eating more… sweets! I started ordering more desserts after meals, and I think I became kinder:-) As I once read in a restaurant: “Do the responsible thing: order dessert first!” Another observation was that desserts were very different in the US than the ones I was used to in Europe. I had a hard time finding my new favorites!
Most sweets sold in the US are too sweet and have quite a few harmful ingredients (artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils to name just a few). I really hate it, and do not understand why it has not changed yet. Thanks to the increasing number of health-conscious people, there is a higher demand for healthier desserts. Now healthier sweets and desserts can be found in health stores (Wholefoods, Nutrition S’Mart, etc), at some restaurants, and, of course, at fresh markets where local business owners offer their gourmet desserts. One of my favorites are: Hazelnut Praline Dark Chocolate by Lake Champlain (costs less here than in stores) and Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate. I may occasionally have some milk chocolate but I developed taste for dark chocolate as I read so much of its benefits. You can read more here.
If you are determined to make your own desserts, nothing can be more rewarding. You know the ingredients, and you can indulge guilt free. I was happy to discover this Organic Cacao Powder that I use for making hot chocolate (cacao powder, boiled raw milk and brown organic sugar). It is very similar to what my Mother used for cooking – oh, sweet childhood memories! It was a different brand but it was natural and the only one sold back in those days. They still serve cacao drinks made of milk, sugar and cacao powder in Europe. I did not taste anything similar here – hot chocolate is a different story.
I use cacao powder for making chocolate desserts, and it is a great healthy alternative. My favorite ingredients in a cake are chocolate and walnuts. For the recipe below I used a local water buffalo plain organic yoghurt but you can use any plain organic yoghurt. It is an easy recipe with minimum ingredients. I hope you enjoy it!
For cake (base cake):
– 2 organic eggs
– 50 g thawed butter
– 220 g organic sugar
– 250 g plain organic yoghurt
– 230 g flour
– 2 teaspoon of lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon of baking soda
– 2 tablespoon of flour (not necessary if you add cacao powder as a filling)
Fillings for this cake:
– 2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder
– 100 g of crushed organic walnuts
The ingredients above are base ingredients for one large layer.
You can add ‘fillings’ to this large layer. For this particular recipe I added only two fillers: walnuts and cacao powder.
Before cooking I divided the cake mixture in two bowls and added around 2 tablespoons of cacao powder to one bowl, and about 100 g of crushed walnuts and 1 tablespoon of flour to the other one.
You can add other fillings to the base cake like poppy seeds, raisins, prunes, fruit pieces, etc.
You can even use a flavored yoghurt, but I did not try that, so I let you experiment with it.
For chocolate cream:
– 200 g organic sugar
– 100 g organic sour cream
– 5-7 teaspoons organic cacao powder
– 50 g of unsalted butter
For top decoration (optional):
– crushed walnuts and hazelnuts
Mix eggs, sugar and butter in a large bowl.
Pour yoghurt in a separate bowl, add lemon juice, add baking soda.
The mixture will bubble (foam). Add a bubbling mixture into an egg mixture.
Add flour, mix well.
Divide the mixture in two parts (two separate bowls). Add 2 Tsp of cacao powder to one bowl. Add 100g walnuts and 2 Tsp of flour to the other bowl.
If you have a rectangular baking sheet, you can bake both mixtures at the same time on the same sheet as shown in the picture.
Bake at 356F for 20 minutes. The cake will be done when a toothpick comes out dry when you test it.
Let it cool. Cut the cake in two parts: one will be chocolate, and the other one will be a walnut one. You can additionally cut each of them in two, so you will have a total of 4 parts/layers. The cake will be small to average size. If you need a bigger cake, cook additional layers.
For the chocolate cream mix sour cream, cacao powder and sugar.
Place it on a low heat and by stirring bring it to a low boil.
When it thickens, add butter. Remove the cream from the stove and let it cool off. Never apply hot cream to a hot/warm cake – let it cool off first.
Spread the cream on each layer. Sprinkle nuts on top. Place the cake in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Enjoy and share!
The Amateur Expert.
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Author: Elena White