For somebody who has a deep respect for most things chocolate I should be deeply ashamed of not having even one recipe with that heavenly ingredient on this blog yet. I was, and so here comes one. And one that was really worth waiting for. It took me a while to get to the chocolate business on this blog since it is not used much in traditional Ayurveda. And yes, I hear you when you say ,,But Danielle, you are anything but a traditional Ayurvedic type!” True. I have contested so from the beginning and will do so today. But even I am not crazy enough to suggest that chocolate, despite it being labeled an almost super natural super food nowadays, could replace a regular diet of healthy whole grains, pulses, veggies, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. See, when it comes to food I am liberal. Not a total idiot!
Chocolate is great. But you need to know when and where to use it for it to do what it really does best. Mend a broken (or at least bruised) heart. Like when you didn’t get the dream job, or the blue envelope arrived on the door mat, or the boyfriend broke up with you, or the house burnt down, or your dog died.
In Ayurveda pure cacao falls under the bitter taste. And you could contest that when you feel bitter, sad or worried eating something bitter would only make you feel worse. Totally legit presumption. Which I suppose is why chocolate as a candy is sweetened and made creamy by adding cacao butter and in some cases dairy to it. It is however precisely these add ins that have given chocolate a bad name. Most chocolate bars are severely processed, sweetened beyond recognition and so loaded with preservatives that they probably have the Mayans turning in their tombes every time anyone has one. Ohhh, poor Mayans. No resting in peace for them!
See back in Mayan times when cacao was discovered it was deemed food for the Gods and for good reason. The hot, bitter and frothy cacao drink they made with it was known to elevate energy levels, used as an afrodisiac and part of many spiritual ceremonies. The Aztec learned about cacao through the Mayans and found it so special they even made up a God for it. Cacao beans were so precious in those days they were used as money and only the elite were able to consume cacao on a regular basis. It wasn’t until the Spanish took cacao to Europe that it became common practice to add sugar to it to make it more suitable to the European taste buds.
You don’t have to be a Mayan priest or Aztec ruler to appreciate the holiness of chocolate. There is just this something about it, this inexplicable attraction, this unique taste. It might be the fact that it was probably one of the world’s first real luxuries. You don’t have to have cacao to stay alive, but you sure feel so damn alive when you do! However I still feel that this is how cacao or chocolate should still be treated, like a luxury. And not like the commodity it has become being stuffed in bored, unhappy, half unconscious peoples mouths by the kilograms full day in day out. No! Chocolate is meant to be savored. It was once food for the Gods for heavens sake! So it needs to be an ingredient used on special occasions. When you need to celebrate life. Or when life is kicking you so hard in the butt that you need to remind yourself that some day, any day now, you will find a reason to celebrate again.
So my chocolate recipe was made with that idea of celebration (or consolation should you need it….) in mind. I shoo-ed all the refined sugars and used dried fruit (prunes in this case, which make a natural pairing with cacao and give the cake extra moisture) and just a hint of coconut blossom sugar instead. I made the cake gluten free for maximum enjoyment but did use some dairy to counterbalance the bitter taste of the cacao. Finally, despite the quite lenghty ingedient list, this recipe is quick. Really quick. As the whole cake batter is made in a food processor. So whip out that kitchen aid, chop up some prunes and go feed that inner Goddess of yours! She will thank you for it!
This recipe is fine for Vata on occassion because of the dairy and almond flour in it that balance the bitter cacao. Furthermore the prunes can help constipated Vata’s to get the show back on the road, so to speak. Generally speaking it is also fine for Pitta’s who don’t have nut allergies. Kapha, please don’t go and get your heart broken just to be able to eat this! Believe me, this cake is good but still not worth it….
For 2 mini bundt cakes (I ate them both! But I really needed the consolation….)
- 15 grams rice flour
- 15 grams tapioca flour
- 15 grams almond flour
- 20 grams coconut blossom sugar
- 30 grams prunes, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon ghee (some more for greasing)
- 1 tablespoon yoghurt or thick coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 tablespoon Dutch or raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon organic baking powder (aluminium free)
- 1/4 teaspoon himalaya salt
- 15 grams prunes, pitted and chopped finely
- 3o grams melted dark (bitter) chocolate for garnish
- a few dried rose petal leaves for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees. Grease 2 mini bundt cake molds with some ghee.
Mix all ingredients, except the 15 grams of chopped prunes, the melted chocolate and the rose petals, in a food processor till you have a smooth batter. Fill the molds 3/4 full with the batter. Now scatter over the chopped prunes.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes in the molds before inverting on a cooling rack. Pour over the melted chocolate. Serve warm sprinkled with coconut flour or very finely ground organic cane sugar and the rose petals if using.