Friday, 12 April 2013


“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” - Audrey Hepburn

I know that I advocate healthful eating on this blog, and also the benefits of vegetarianism. However, I also must say that even more important is the tenet: “Moderation in all things” rather than an extreme approach to healthful nutrition (that is, orthorexia = a morbid adherence to a healthful diet, so much so that it interferes with a normal, sane life). Instead of no alcohol whatsoever, have a little alcohol – a standard glass of wine, with food three meals a week with a no alcohol day in between the alcohol days. Rather than no sugar at all or no desserts at all, moderate servings, e.g. a small slice of cake when there is a particularly nice one available! If you are not a vegan (which is rather extreme), then aim for some animal protein in your diet once a week: Lean red meat, chicken or fish.

A balanced diet is important, with lots of fresh, seasonal produce, complex carbohydrates, raw foods – plenty of salads and fruit, lots of pulses, whole grains, olive oil, dairy (especially things like yoghurt and cheese in moderation). This regimen allows you to have a treat now and then and occasionally even go on a splurge like enjoying a very special dinner out or a special dinner party.

To learn more about food and your health, enrol in the free online course, Food Nutrition and your Health.

Here is a recipe for chocolate cake, which can be enjoyed in small doses!

Chocolate Cake


Melted butter or margarine, for greasing
50g cocoa powder
125mls boiling water
125g butter, at room temperature
275g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
150g self-raising flour
40g plain flour

75g unsalted butter
175g best quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
300g icing sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
125ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a deep 22cm round cake pan with the melted butter or margarine to grease and then line the base with non-stick baking paper.
Sift cocoa powder into a bowl. Gradually add almost all the water, stirring to form a smooth, thick paste. Stir in remaining water. Set aside.
Use electric beaters to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a medium mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes or until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined,
Sift together the flours. Use a large metal spoon to fold the flours into the butter mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture, in 2 batches each, until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with the back of the spoon.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Stand for 3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Cut the cake carefully, horizontally into two halves.

To make the icing, melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way so the chocolate doesn’t spoil.
While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl.
Add the golden syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar.
When you’re done, you may need to add a little boiling water (a teaspoon or so) or some more icing sugar, depending on whether you need the icing to be runnier or thicker. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
Spoon about a third of the icing on to the centre of the cake half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the two together.

Spoon another third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes till set.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.

1 comment:

  1. Try the fat-reduced chocolate cake recipe to be found here: