February 07, 2011

Healthy Birthday Cake - Almond, Hazelnut, Orange and Chocolate!

Hello friends how was your weekend?

I'm always excited to start a new week. I love planning ahead and making to-do lists for the week, whether all the things on the list will get done or not doesn't matter, it's just fun planning.

On Sunday we attended a birthday party where I had been asked to bake a cake. I wanted to make it a healthy one, and I was quite nervous of how the cake would turn out as I didn't have a plan B in store! What made the situation even more nervous was that of course I couldn't cut the cake and check (and taste) how it had turned out before it was already on the table, decorated with candles and then cut into pieces for all the guests to eat *gulp*. I am glad the guests were so polite as to say the cake was "very nice" - at least it made me feel much better ;-)

The cake didn't turn out too bad at all actually. I was quite happy that it tasted as I had planned and imagined it would. This is not a very sweet cake, but the tiny pockets of chocolate give it just enough sweetness with the natural sweetness of the orange. I've lightened the cake with some plain flour, and once again I've replaced all butter with unsweetened apple sauce and fat-free yoghurt. There is only a small amount of brown sugar used, but you could consider using other sweeteners (like raw sugar or raw honey), instead. 

Almond, Hazelnut, Orange and Chocolate Cake
(Serves 10-12)

1 cup almond meal
1 cup hazelnut meal
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
2 tsp baking powder
6 large free-range eggs
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup organic, fat-free, plain yoghurt
1/4 orange, juiced
100g dark (70%) chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a 22cm cake tin. In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients: almond and hazelnut meal, flour, cocoa, brown sugar, orange zest and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and add in the vanilla, apple sauce, yoghurt and orange juice. Mix well to combine, then mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold until smooth. Lastly fold in the chocolate.  

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar. 

Have a lovely week!