First, I wanted to experiment with reducing the refined sugar. I've always heard you can pretty much cut the sugar in half in most recipes, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth and didn't want to do that without adding a bit back. Plus, I've been curious if I could turn really sweet natural things into sugar, like dried pitted dates. They are sweet, but I knew if I just chopped them, there would be chewy little pieces of date in my chocolate cake. I wanted to keep their sweetness, but "hide" them. It's not a date cake, after all. So, I chopped six dates into smaller pieces, then threw in 1 1/2 tsp of corn starch to help them from glomming up the food processor (my first attempt was in the coffee grinder, but it didn't work). This made a little ball of what I'm calling "date paste" which I added back in later.
Next, I wanted to experiment with reducing the flour. I've always heard flour is empty calories. And it certainly doesn't add flavor. Basically, from what I can tell, flour helps bind the good stuff together. So, what else can be made into a floury-like substance? I used a combination of ground walnuts, ground unsweetened coconut, and ground quick oats. All of those things are supposed to be healthier than flour, plus you get a little added oil from the walnut and coconut, so you won't lose moisture. And so the experiment begins...
|Not Pictured: Cinnamon (because I decided to add it later) I used cinnamon with the chocolate because of a cake my mom used to make that was a chocolate sheet cake with cinnamon in it.|
1 1/2 C Quick Oats
1/2 C Walnuts
1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut
2 Tbsp Flour (The original recipe called for 1 3/4 Cups)
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 C Sugar
3/4 C Cocoa
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Cup Milk (The original recipe called for buttermilk, but I forgot to buy it, so I used what I had)
1/2 C Oil ( I keep Smart Balance oil on hand. I'm going to experiment with other healthy oils in future cakes)
1 Can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 1/2 tsp Corn Starch
2 Premium Chocolate Bars (I bought the ones that were on sale and chose ones with cocoa nibs for extra "health". You can go crazy with whichever ones grab you.)
|First, I made the "date paste" in the food processor, then set it aside. This is six dates with 1 1/2 tsp corn starch.|
|Before you grind the coconut, give it a nice little toast. Just to a light brown.|
Toast your coconut, then your walnuts, then put them in a food processor with the oats and flour to make a "flour substance". This will yield about the original amount of flour the recipe called for... 1 3/4 Cups. Add your baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, date paste, and cocoa and run the processor long enough to mix it all up well.
Add this to a bowl, then add eggs, oil, milk, tomato soup, sugar, and vanilla. Stir it all together. This won't smell good or look very appetizing. Trust me. At this point, I put the batter into the refrigerator for about an hour. I wanted to let my fake flour substances absorb the moisture. That may or may not have made a difference. It might have worked fine going directly into the oven. Next, pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. The resulting cake is super moist and super rich and very chocolatey.
|They may not look like they are melting at first. Just slide them around with a spatula and you will see they are melting on the bottom. Keep moving them around and they will start turning into "frosting".|
|Looks like a cake Grandma would make. Tastes so delicious, you can't believe it's halfway healthy.|
|It was so moist and delicious!|