Oh hello! Sorry for the long silence on here. It has been a manic start to the new year (which was a few months ago now, I know). But pregnancy nausea lasts a long fucking time and I am only just starting to feel moderately better. My family and I will be welcoming baby number three in mid-spring sometime and fingers crossed for a smooth rest of the pregnancy and a return of my healthy appetite. Morning sickness (which is a stupid term, because let’s be honest, pregnancy nausea is bloody constant and usually just as bad or worse ALL DAY LONG – it does not discriminate) is a pain in the arse. Especially while chasing after a rambunctious toddler. Big props to parents with a toddler age gap, because it is full-on. Tips and resources on helping a toddler adjust to
being dethroned having a younger sibling will be gratefully received.
And in other news, I turned a year older last week and felt justified to make another chocolate cake for the blog. And why not throw a chocolate cream cheese ganache on top because that’s how I roll. Chocolate + chocolate is a great combination. This cake recipe is an adaptation of my Bittersweet Chocolate Hazelnut Cake and uses ground almonds and zucchini instead of hazelnuts and pear. It tastes quite different and the ganache is bloody marvelous. This ganache has a thicker consistency once the cream cheese is added and goes onto the cake more like an icing, rather than a glassy finish of a traditional ganache. If your ganache separates on you, don’t worry. I will provide a fix-it solution for this. And if any of you are dairy-free, here is a version of ganache that uses coconut milk and dark chocolate instead.
*You can also make these into cupcakes instead and pipe the ganache on top. It would probably make between 12-14 cupcakes.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
200g ground almonds
3 TBLS coconut flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or sugar of choice)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup cocoa
3 large free-range eggs – lightly beaten
100gm butter or coconut oil – melted
2 tsp vanilla
200g grated zucchini (about 1 1/3 cups packed)
preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 22cm cake tin or springform pan.
- Place ground almonds, coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, sea salt and sifted cocoa into a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Add eggs, melted butter or coconut oil, vanilla and grated zucchini and mix well with a whisk, wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Pour cake batter into the prepared cake tin and place on the rack in the middle of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The top of the cake will just be starting to crack.
- Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the tin. Wait until the cake has cooled completely before icing (recipe below).
*This cake and ganache will keep for 5 days in the fridge and is just as delicious and moist as it is on the day of baking.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Ganache
150 mls heavy cream
300gms dark chocolate – coarsely chopped
250g cream cheese – room temperature
honey or maple syrup to sweeten if necessary (add this in once ganache has cooled)
- In a saucepan, bring cream to a simmer, stirring occasionally. While waiting for the cream to heat up, place dark chocolate pieces into a heat-proof bowl.
- Once cream is simmering, remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the dark chocolate pieces. Cover with a plate or lid and let it sit for 5 minutes undisturbed (do not mix it – very important).
- After 5 minutes, remove the lid and using a whisk, mix in circles starting from the inside and working towards the outside of the mixture. It should start to turn into a smooth ganache. Once completely smooth, leave the ganache to sit until it comes to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes).
- Using a whisk or a wooden spoon, mix in the cream cheese until smooth. Taste the ganache and add honey or maple syrup to taste – if necessary, but you may not need to.
- Spread over the cake using a butter knife or rubber spatula. Or you can use a piping bag for a fancy cake.
*Freeze any leftover ganache for up to 6 weeks
**If your ganache separates into a gritty mess, you can fix it! Leave the separated ganache mixture in the bowl and heat about 1/4 cup milk until boiling. Remove milk from heat and slowly pour the hot milk A TEASPOON OR TWO AT A TIME over the ganache mixture while whisking. Add just enough hot milk until the mixture becomes smooth and comes back together. I had to use about 1 1/2 to 2 TBLS of hot milk to bring my sad mess back together. But it works!