Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Marrakesh Express Loaf Cake – Random Recipes #21

Random recipe maybe in the title of this post, but it’s actually a random ingredient we had to select this month for the Random Recipes challenge over at Belleau Kitchen. CT got the joy of sticking his arm in the cupboard and pulling something out – a half used packet of hemp flour! Hemp is a gorgeous green coloured flour, but it has a slight bitter edge and goes off fairly quickly. The whole point of the challenge was to use up things that tend to hang around at the back of the cupboard unnoticed, so the box was truly ticked on this score.

The next step was to enter hemp flour onto Eat Your Books. Not surprisingly, I only had one result and that was for Dan Lepard’s Marrakesh express loaf cake from Short and Sweet. As there was no chocolate in his recipe, I had to adapt it and what with one thing and another, it got adapted more than I’d originally intended.

This is how I made it:

  • Placed a tsp of instant coffee in a large pan and poured 300ml of boiling water over it and stirred until dissolved.
  • Added 150g chopped dried dates and left to simmer gently for a few minutes whilst I added some other ingredients.
  • Added 130g molasses sugar, 1 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup.
  • Stirred and removed from the heat.
  • Added 75g unsalted butter and 100g Maya Gold (G&B dark orange spiced chocolate) – chopped.
  • Grated in the zest of a lemon and then added the lemon juice as I thought the additional tartness would help cut through the richness of the cake.
  • Beat in 2 small duck eggs (medium hens eggs).
  • Sifted in 150g spelt flour, 75g hemp flour and 2 tsp of baking powder.
  • Stirred this in followed by 100g chopped walnuts and 2 tbsp of sesame seeds.
  • Poured into a 2lb loaf mould and baked for 45 minutes at 180C when a skewer inserted in the middle came out more or less clean.

The result was a dense but moist cake with a lovely fruity flavour. Overall it was quite tart and worked particularly well spread with a good layer of butter. It was hard to detect the dates specifically, but the walnuts had their usual delightful crunch. I felt I made the right decision not to include further spices, as there was plenty going on already. The hemp flour gave a distinctive nutty flavour, but also had a hint of bitterness about it. So if you happen to get the munchies on the night train to Marrakesh, CT reckons this is the ideal antidote – inadvertantly revealing some of his dark past.

Chocolate Courgette Squares

Along with the current glut of courgettes here in the UK, there seems to be a corresponding glut of courgette cake recipes. Guess what? I’m not bucking the trend. It took a while for our courgettes to get going this year, but they are now coming thick and fast. It’s courgettes for every meal at the moment so using them in a cake is merciful relief.

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