National (any excuse) day

Vegan chocolate fridge cakeWhat a busy week. Not only has National Breakfast Week been celebrated, we also had Chocolate Cake Day.

Social media (or at least the threads I follow) has been awash with a multitude of heavily filtered pictures of porridge bowls soaked overnight in concoctions of almond milk and liberally sprinkled with goji berries.

There have also been plenty of luscious, rich chocolate cakes oozing naughtiness, and steaming mugs of mocha latte and coffee art worthy of the Turner Prize.

It looks beautiful, although we don’t all have time to prepare such indulgent feasts for our breakfast during the week – nor do many of us have the inclination to prepare five-tiered chocolate cakes with all manner of decorative twirls, swirls and curls.

Chocolate Cake Day interested me however – and not just because I have a slightly sweet tooth and thought it an excellent – if somewhat bizarre – excuse to indulge in some proper gorging.

My brother and sister’s favourite cake of mine is one I learnt to make as a kid. It’s a fridge cake and insanely rich, loaded with butter, eggs and chocolate. It’s not healthy, but boy is it good.

Inspired by Chocolate Cake Day I wanted to find a healthier alternative – something still indulgent but with substantially less guilt per slice.

I also wanted the thumbs up from two of my toughest critics – my siblings. Speaking of which, it’s National Sibling Day, 10th April.

I came across one recipe and, after adjusting (the majority of) ingredients to suit what I had in the cupboards I was pleased with the results – so I thought I would share.

Not only is each slice packed with nutrients, to keep energy levels up, they tick the vegan and gluten-free boxes too. They’re a great pre and post workout snack too.

 

Makes 12 slices

40g (6tbsp) flax seed

40g (4tbsp) sunflower seeds

40g (4tbsp) pumpkin seeds

25g (4tbsp) cacao powder – I’m loving Choc Chick cacao at the mo

3 big handfuls of pitted dates (or a mix of dates and dried figs)

6 tbsp coconut oil

1 handful of pecans, roughly chopped

1 handful of apricots, roughly chopped

1 handful of flaked almonds

 

Line a 24cm rectangular cake tin with parchment paper.

Mix the first five ingredients in a blender and pulse till finely chopped. Melt the coconut oil either in the microwave or in a bowl over some hot water. Add the melted coconut oil to the finely chopped mix and blend till a sticky doughy consistency.

Tip the mix into your tin and spread out evenly, pressing it firmly into the corners with a spatula.

Sprinkle the chopped nuts, flaked almonds and dried fruit over the top and press down gently.

Leave to chill in the fridge for 2hrs or so, then once set lift out onto a chopping board and slice into 12 pieces.

Keep refrigerated, until ready to serve.

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