Light Chocolate Cake

Thursday 23 June 2011
I've been intrigued with these healthy cakes where the main ingredient is, get this - vegetables! I kid you not. Harry Eastwood who by the way is a lady despite what her name suggests and a Brit who grew up in France. She's probably best known for her earlier cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin. I've got two of her cookbooks, The Skinny French Kitchen as well as an all dessert book, Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache and love them equally. The Light Chocolate Cake is a favorite. It's not too sweet or heavy like the hundreds of cakes I'd eaten. She uses very little butter which not only makes washing a breeze but the result is good and very healthy.

If you're used to the smell of butter, it may take you a while to get used to this but the cake is moist and tasty. Most importantly, for those who hate veggies, particularly the kids, this is a great way of sneaking extra vitamins into their food without them realizing it. This recipe is dead easy to make. I normally just blitz the butternut squash in the blender as I can't be bothered grating it by hand.

I HAVE to mention the icing. Now, I love cupcakes but what I detest is the icing. Most buttercream icing that I'd eaten are ghastly. They're more often than not, sickening sweet. I can just visualize my arteries getting clogged up when I think about the amount of butter used. However, this is by far, the best icing recipe I've ever tried and uses a mere 50gm of butter. The recipe is also perfect for those who are allergic to gluten as it uses rice flour. The best thing of all, I get my chocolate fix without the guilt.

light chocolate cake1

light chocolate cake2

light chocolate cake3

Light Chocolate Cake

Serves 12

3 medium free range eggs
160g caster sugar
200g peeled and grated butternut squash
120g white rice flour
3 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
80g ground almond
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
125ml buttermilk

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

For the Top
handful of spray roses (with stems at least 2cm long)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line the tins with baking parchment and brush a little of vegetable oil over the base and sides.

2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl for 4 full minutes until pale and fluffy. Beat in the grated butternut squash, followed by flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the buttermilk before beating again one last time to make sure that all the ingredients are well introduced to one another.

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 the oven, unmould, peel off the baking parchment and leave them to cool down completely on a wire rack.

5. You can make the icing whilst the cakes are cooking, as long as you don't ice them until they are completely cold, otherwise the icing will run off. Beat the butter with 100g of sugar in a large mixing bowl. You will need to work them together patiently, using the back of a wooden spoon. It will seem like an impossible task at first but they will eventually turn into a lovely rich paste.

6. Once you reached this stage, beat vigorously for 10seconds to loosen the butter even further. Add the mascarpone, cocoa powder and salt as well as the remaining sugar. Beat once again to combine.

7. Refrigerate the icing for 15 minutes. Give it a good beating with your wooden spoon before icing the middle and top of the cold cake. Decoate the top with flowers before serving.


  1. omg I am not a fan of traditionally super sweet icing either - I typically scrape most of it off. This looks delicious and pretty good for you...I will have to try it! Thank you :)

  2. Looks great Li, - will give it a go.

  3. I don't eat chocolate but yours I would try! Looks amazing!

  4. It may take some getting used to if you've never used rice flour. You won't get the rich buttery taste but it's light and you don't feel bloated even after a huge slice.



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