Strawberry Chocolate Cake

June 21, 2015

Happy Father's day!!!

Today is a special day dedicated to all the hard working fathers out there.  So to make this father's day celebration an exceptional one, I decided to make my dearest husband an extraordinary strawberry chocolate cake.  

It was my first time to bake a cake and I was a little bit worried of failing on this first attempt.  I've been baking (cupcakes, cookies, and banana bread) for several weeks already, but sometimes I still tend to mess up on a few recipes.  I admit, I am still on the learning curve and there are still a lot of things that I have to learn.  I just hope I won't have to learn from disastrous kitchen experiences because that would be really, really, really sad (and embarrassing)!

Anyway, I got this recipe from Deliciously Ella's Triple Layered Chocolate Cake with Thick Frosting and Fresh Raspberries.  I just replaced the raspberries with strawberries because they're my husband's favorite.  And I wasn't able to source the exact ingredients required so I ended up making a few alterations with the original recipe like:  
(1) I fell short of avocados so I used banana as a substitute; 
(2) I didn't have vanilla bean paste so I used the commercially available vanilla extract;
(3) I used cocoa powder in lieu of the raw cacao powder (which has more anti-oxidant content) because I wasn't able to find one in the supermarket; and
(4) I used only 2 cups of sweet potatoes instead of the recommended 4 cups because I decided to make only two layers of cake instead of three.

Aside from the few alterations with the recipe I mentioned above, the other challenge I had to face in making this cake is the non-availability of a food processor.  We didn't have a food processor at home, so I had to use the chopper as an alternative.  The chopper actually worked well and the end result went exactly just fine.  The only thing is, it's a little too small to hold the entire mixture so I had to make everything by batch.  In short, it was too time consuming!  It actually took me four hours in the kitchen to finish this strawberry chocolate cake.  It was tedious but definitely worth every effort because I made it for the most special person in my life.  That's what you call "labor of love."  (Ewww... I'm getting cheesy!  Pardon my ka-cornihan.)

This cake is super healthy and nutritious!  It's loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber -- making it a super perfect dessert for your loved ones.  Honestly, I never have imagined that such vegan dessert can actually taste this good.  Try it and you'll never have to feel guilty indulging over a sweet dessert ever again!

Serves 12

For the cake:
2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
1 cup almonds, ground
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup dates
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

For the icing:
4 avocados
2 ripe bananas
1 cup dates
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

For the toppings:
1 cup of strawberries

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into chunks.  Steam for twenty minutes or until soft.

Place all dry ingredients – ground almonds, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Make the icing.  Peel the avocado and banana.  Remove the avocado and date stones.  Place all ingredients into food processor and blend for a few minutes until a smooth, thick, creamy mix forms. Place into a new bowl and store in the fridge.

Transfer sweet potatoes into the (empty) food processor with the dates, vanilla extract, water and maple syrup and blend until smooth.  Mix this into the bowl of dry ingredients until well blended.  Pour cake mixture into two separate cake tins and bake for twenty minutes or until you can put a fork in and pull it out clean. 

Once cool, assemble the cake. Put the thickest cake on the bottom and spread a layer of icing over it before placing a circle of strawberries around the edge and a few in the centre for balance. Then place the second layer on top and do exactly the same thing. 

Serve and enjoy!

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