I just have to start this post by shouting like a mad-woman (fresh from watching the long-awaited Great British Bake-Off, which I love a ridiculous amount considering I cannot ever bake a single thing on there, I just love it!)
It has to be a really special occasion to warrant chocolate cake being made in our house (because I love it so much I eat it all!) and, cue samba drum roll beats, Dan and I have some H.U.G.E. news to share with the world, we’re expecting a baby in February! Our precious secret is out! It’s particularly momentous for us because we really didn’t know if it would ever be possible. But I have done it and I am doing it, we have gotten past that terrifying three-month end of first trimester marker and now are strapped onto this roller-coaster! As surreal as it feels at this still early stage, the baby is growing fast inside me, now the size of a lemon (I find the fruit comparison so good somehow!), has hands and feet, we’ve seen their face and even their brain (I know I wasn’t expecting that somehow!). We saw it dancing too.
we can’t wait to meet you tiny dancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the first three months I haven’t been toooo sick or anything, but I have been nauseous every afternoon and evening and off most food (except for cereal, fruit and for the first 6 weeks a lot of coconut yoghurt ice-cream, which I am now banned from as I have piled on the pounds and spent all our money!). I’ve especially found savoury food difficult, and so dreaming up recipes for you or even thinking much about food has been a challenge (luckily I had an impatient queue of recipes waiting) and my mind has really been elsewhere most of the time. The first few months I found pretty intensely stressful, it just was the greatest responsibility and so nerve-wracking. You know I have a lot of health issues, and as a very sensitive type 1 diabetic it is a big challenge to conceive and to manage my diabetes safely whilst pregnant, literally an around the clock job. I am in hospital every week, and being very well looked after, and the baby and I are doing super well. I am excited and completely terrified and thrilled and tired and determined to enjoy it. And I am so happy that I am able to make Dan’s dreams come true and for us to start a family. (Thanks to those heady days of making rowan flower cordial, lol) we are being swept along with this new and fateful tide!
I must say I don’t think everyone needs to have children to find fulfillment or have a happy life, or that it is something we should take for granted or a club to belong to that others are therefore excluded from (which is unfortunately the reality so often, naturally so), I really don’t. There are so many different people you can be in this world and ways to spend your time and channel your resources. For many years I have been forced to face the very real possibility that I wouldn’t have children, and it was seriously painful, at times almost unbearably so, but I could see that there were upsides and downsides, especially for those who can live life to the full and explore their talents undisturbed. I know it will be a great challenge for me personally in every way being a parent, living with the health difficulties I have. I won’t be able to do a lot of the things other mothers can because of my hand disability for example, but Dan will, and I’ll be there doing everything I can and pushing myself to my limit everyday, as I do now. And that is life, it comes in all forms and with all sorts of struggles. Loving, doing your best and striving for the right is all that matters, and I have as much as any other woman to give. I am so glad that we have the opportunity to embark upon this adventure. The heather is blooming purple all around here setting the hills ablaze with glorious colour, a new path is opening up and the future is beckoning…
Now past the first trimester I slowly feel myself coming back into a more normal orbit and this chocolate cake was SO SO GOOD (and so well-earned!)! Unlike me, Dan isn’t a
greedy over-enthusiastic foodie person at all, he’s very particular, and always drives me crazy by not eating things I see as massive treats and I just don’t understand why he doesn’t want them!!! But he said this is the best chocolate cake he’s ever had (and ate loads) and that really was such sweet music to my ears! Date syrup, coffee, coconut yoghurt, coconut sugar and cocoa are an icing dream team, smooth, rich with flavour and goodness, and the cacao nibs really make it, they are in my opinion an essential component. I find cacao nibs a great buy, they add so much class to so many things, they’re packed with antioxidants, and a little crunch really goes a long way. One of these small squares of cake is so comforting and uplifting, without being too much. It’s not crumbly like gluten and grain free cakes can be due to the flax egg. Perfect.
What to expect from this chocolate cake:
rich, dense, moist chocolatey goodness
gluten, grain, soya and refined sugar-free
the best mocha icing
a satisfying cacao crunch
that heady chocolate feeling
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- 1 1/2 cups (250g) buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup (50g) tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp ground linseed (flaxseed)
- 5 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup (70g) cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
- 30 drops stevia (or use more sugar)
- 3/4 cup sugar or syrup, I use fructose, any is fine
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup oil, coconut is good
- 1 cup nut milk, I use almond
- 6 tbsp coconut (or other) yoghurt
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine (the more buttery the better)
- 4 tbsp date syrup
- 8 tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 tbsp coconut (or other) yoghurt
- 10 drops stevia (or top up other sugar)
- 1 tsp coffee granules or a dash of very strong brewed coffee
- cacao nibs
Preheat an oven to 190 C / 375 F
Grease your cake tin or baking tray. I use a 13 x 9 x 3 inch rectangular baking tin. You can use whatever you have or fancy using but if it is deeper and less wide do add a little more baking time.
Mix the dry ingredients and gently fold in the wet.
Spoon the mixture into your tin, smoothing out until even.
Add an earthenware ramekin or such-like with water to the oven to keep things moist.
Bake for 20-25 mins, until a skewer comes out clean.
Turn out carefully and leave to cool completely before cutting into squares and icing.
Mix together the ingredients bar the cacao nibs adding more cocoa powder or sugar to get the texture you like.
Spoon a generous tbsp of icing onto each square and spread to the edges.
Sprinkle with cacao nibs.
Store in an airtight container.
SONG OF THE WEEK Elton John ‘Tiny Dancer’