Good morning dear friends!
We are still in Belgrade, enjoying the beautiful Spring days with our family and taking daily strolls with Luka and Zoe around the city.
Everything has been very quiet around here these past days because of the extended holiday of Labor Day and the Orthodox Easter, so the city, which is normally booming with energy, has had a lovely calm, leisure-like feeling, pretty much like the one you get on a vacation resort by sea. Really, really nice and relaxing 🙂
Today’s post, however, is not about Belgrade. It is a recipe I came up with in my quest to get my children to eat vegetables! I had seen online and read about different cakes and brownies made with veggies inside, but all the recipes I could find used dairy which, as you know, is an ingredient that Luka and I shouldn’t eat. So I decided to experiment a bit, and, after a few trials, I came up with this recipe. To make it even yummier, I also made a frosting that, instead of butter and tons of sugar, uses avocado and honey. And the best part? It tastes delicious!
I like to make this cake in a sheet cake or brownie pan because it’s ideal for cutting into small bites. One word of caution, though: The addition of the veggies makes this cake EXTREMELY moist, so make sure that it’s cold when you cut it. It is actually a good idea to put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before doing so, and to use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to do so.
And don’t worry: this cake does not taste like salad! If you let it cool down appropriately, you won’t be able to tell there are veggies inside. I advise you, though, to make it with your children because I think it is a good idea for them to get used to the idea that vegetables can be part of the food they like. The more they get used to you making vegetables a part of their diet, the more normal they will seem to them and, hopefully, they will be willing to try them in other ways as well.
Here is the recipe:
Chocolate sheet cake and frosting, with hidden veggies (dairy free, egg free)
Ingredients: 100 grs dark chocolate (70%), 1 cup vegetable milk, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup beet puree, 1/2 cup carrot puree, 1/4 cup spinach puree, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt. For the frosting: 1 avocado, 1/2 cup honey (or agave), 2 tablespoons cocoa
1) Put the chocolate in a bowl, then place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and let it melt. Once it has melted, set aside and let it cool.
2) Put the milk in a bowl and add the vinegar. Wait a few minutes, until it curdles.
3) Add oil, sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
4) Sift flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
5) Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and mix well.
6) Add the vegetables to the batter. Mix well.
7) Add the rest of the flour. Mix well to incorporate fully.
8) Add the melted chocolate and mix very well for a few minutes.
9) Grease a pan and dust it with cocoa. Pour the batter in it, tap it against the counter to divide it evenly and remove any air bubbles, and place it in the oven, pre heat at 175 degrees celsius, for about 1 hour, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.
10)Once fully cooked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool.
11) Make the frosting: Peel the avocado, remove the flesh and mash it with a fork. Add honey and cocoa and beat until light and fluffy. You may use an electric mixer if you have one.
12) Once the cake has cooled down, add the frosting on top. Place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, cut into small square bites and enjoy!
Do you hide vegetables in desserts? Which is your favorite recipe? Please share in the comments!