These melt-in-the-mouth morsels deliver a moist and dense chocolaty hit. They are not spongy like traditional cakes, but they do not contain sugar and are dairy and gluten free. Try them and see for yourself; to me, the taste and velvetty texture is reminiscent of a flourless chocolate cake made with lots of ground almonds.
If you do not have a food processor, then no problem! Use a stick/hand held blender to obliterate the medjool dates (soaking them before you begin will help), followed by the eggs and coconut oil. Just substitute the ground hazelnuts with extra ground almonds (so 70g in total) or buy ready-chopped hazelnuts for some texture.
Note, these little cakes freeze well and defrost in no time at all on a gentle heat; great for an impromptu treat.
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
200g stoned medjool dates (about 12) soaked in 200ml of hot water for 20 minutes if possible
2 heaped tablespoons of cacao powder (about 30g)
75g coconut oil
50g rice flour (I use Dove’s)
30g ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 150 (fan)/170 (conventional)
- If using, grind up the hazelnuts in the food processor to a rough flour-like consistency, this should take around ½ a minute (you don’t want nut butter!). Set aside.
- Put the soaked dates and their water into the food processor and pulverise them for at least a couple of minutes to achieve a creamy caramel colour. This is your sugar substitute and you want it to be as smooth as possible. Add the egg and blend for another few minutes whilst you melt the coconut oil (just microwave for about 30 seconds) and then tip it into the mixture whilst the blade is running.
- Sieve the flour, the cacao powder and the ground almonds (just to remove the big lumps from the latter) into a large mixing bowl then tip the date mix in. Stir well to combine.
- Dollop the mixture into 12 cupcakes cases in a muffin tin, smoothing the tops with a teaspoon if you are a perfectionist as, unlike normal sponge cakes, these do not smooth over in the oven.
- Bake for around 15-16 minutes until firm-ish – the tops will remain shiny though – and leave to cool in the cake tin before devouring.