Say what? Yes, the secret ingredient in this chocolately, fudgy little number is SWEET POTATO! So what does it do? Well, instead of using regular flour and heaps of refined sugar, sweet potatoes add natural sweetness, a rich texture and a heap of vitamins, minerals and beneficial fibre to this cake...so you can have your goodness and eat it too!
A tweaked version of my friend and nutritionist Tara Leong's recipe, it's super simple, as well as gluten (if you use gluten free baking powder) and dairy free. As she would note, however...just because it's healthy doesn't mean you should eat the whole thing! Nutrient dense foods also come with a decent serve of calories, so enjoy it with a little moderation!
1 large sweet potato, roasted in its skin and slightly cooled (around 1kg)
85g dark chocolate
3 free range eggs
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (brown sugar also works)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (not cocoa powder...you want that bitter chocolately kick!)
1 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder (regular is also fine if this isn't a crucial dietary)
3 tsp cinnamon
A good pinch of sea salt
200g almond meal
Raw chocolate glaze
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup water
6 tbsp runny honey or maple syrup (raw cacao can be bitter, so you can add more to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat your oven to 180c, then grease and line a 23cm springform or a deep loaf tin with baking paper. Slice the cooked sweet potato in half and scoop out the flesh, transferring it into a bowl. Mash the sweet potato roughly and set aside. Bring a small saucepan half filled with water to the boil. Once boiling, place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and carefully place on top of the saucepan. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil, then slowly add the sweet potato, melted chocolate and mix until just combined. Sift in the cocoa, baking powder, then add the cinnamon and salt. Lastly, fold in the almond meal in thirds until everything is incorporated. Transfer the contents of the cake to the lined baking tin and bake for 65 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted in the centre, comes out clean (as it is a very fudgy cake and not all sweet potatoes are the same size, it can sometimes take a little longer, just keep cooking until the toothpick comes out clean!). Once baked, remove from oven and set aside to completely cool before icing.
For the ganache, combine the cacao powder, water, maple syrup (you ca also use honey or rice malt syrup), vanilla and cinnamon over a medium high heat, whisking until the mixture thickens. If the mixture is already very thick, add a little water to loosen it, a tablespoon at a time. Once thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove the ganache from heat and vigorously whisk in the olive oil until smooth and glossy. For a mirror glaze finish, add in an extra tablespoon or two of iced water at the end and whisk vigorously again until combined. Once the cake is cool, remove it from the tin, then glaze and decorate.