Natasha Mason is one of those incredibly talented, positive and enthusiastic people I feel lucky to know. It has been a few years since she was yelling stroke numbers from the riverbank as I pulled the oars through the water but I’m happy to say she is still cheering me on. She’s an inspired cook and lover of local growers, businesses and people who share her passion for all manner of whole, nourishing and natural foods. A few weeks ago she put to me the challenge to come up with a recipe for a flour-less, grain-less, and potentially dairy and sugar-less chocolate mud cake – a recipe for lean-mean paleo foodies who fancy an indulgent treat.
Here is the result. Not your typical chocolate mud cake recipe – but just as tasty. As sceptical as I was at the idea of a wheat-fee, white sugar-less mud cake, this one tastes pretty darn close to the classic but without all the butter, flour, and with honey in place of the white sugar, and easily made dairy-free if you like.
The coconut and combination of nuts gives each slice a hint of macaroon-esque bite, the coconut flour lends sweetness, and melted 85% chocolate delivers a burst of dark, intense richness. Topped with a luscious frosting made simply from avocado, honey, vanilla and cacao – you’ll love it. Trust me.
Natasha Mason is the Founder and Owner of NourishMelbourne – https://www.facebook.com/nourishmelbourne
For the cake:
65g unsalted butter – organic if possible
185g dark chocolate – I used 85% cocoa but this is flexible
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup moist coconut flakes or desiccated coconut – organic if possible
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tbsp almond milk – soy, cow, rice or any other nut milk may be substituted
2 eggs – organic and free-range if possible
1½ tbsp honey
1 tbsp raw cacao powder – good quality cocoa powder can be substituted
½ tsp baking powder
For the chocolate icing:
¼ cup honey
2 ripe avocadoes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup raw cacao powder – good quality cocoa powder can be substituted
Preheat oven to 160C.
Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking paper.
Roughly cube the butter and break up the chocolate into small pieces. Pop into a bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Allow to melt, stirring every so often, until smooth and glossy. Once melted, remove the boil from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a food processor, place the walnuts, hazelnuts, coconut and cacao powder and blitz to small crumbs.
Add the nut mixture to the melted chocolate along with the honey, coconut flour, baking power, and milk and whisk to combine.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and pop into the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer is inserted into the cake and comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the icing.
For the frosting, combine the honey, avocado, vanilla and cacao – in that order – in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a bowl and pop into the fridge until you are ready to ice the cake – to loosen up the mixture add a little water if needed.
Serve cake topped with icing – and any fresh fruits, chocolate shavings, nuts you like. I topped mine with a little cream and fresh orange-stewed rhubarb.