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Make it healthier: chocolate cake

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Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy chocolate cake as part of ahealthy, balanced diet. Good-quality chocolate actually contains some beneficial antioxidants and phyto-nutrients but it should be eaten in moderation because it’s high in fat and sugar. Here are some tips to make your chocolate cake healthier.

 

  • Use good-quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa solid content (at least 70 per cent) for maximum flavour. This type of chocolate is lower in carbohydrate and higher in fibre than milk chocolate. Although a high-fat food it is mainly good fat, unlike sweeter chocolate which contains milk fats or other added fats such as palm oil that are higher in saturated fat.
  • Try using ground almonds instead of flour or use wholemeal flour or a mixture of wholemeal and plain flour, both are a good source of fibre.Try using ground almonds instead of flour or use wholemeal flour or a mixture of wholemeal and plain flour, both are a good source of fibre.
  • Why not add some fruit to your cake mix such as mashed banana or berries? You can even add cooked, mashed beetroot!Why not add some fruit to your cake mix such as mashed banana or berries? You can even add cooked, mashed beetroot!
  • Add dried fruit, such as raisins or prunes, which give a natural sweetness as well as extra fibre.Add dried fruit, such as raisins or prunes, which give a natural sweetness as well as extra fibre.
  • Serve your chocolate cake with some fruit - strawberries, raspberries, cherries, bananas and pears all go really well with chocolate.Serve your chocolate cake with some fruit - strawberries, raspberries, cherries, bananas and pears all go really well with chocolate.

Basic chocolate cake

This rich chocolate cake is easy to make and gluten-free (if you use gluten free baking powder). You can eat it as it is, or top it with low-fat chocolate frosting (see recipe below) and berries. You could also bake two cakes (just double the recipe) and sandwich them together with extra frosting and berries. Top with more frosting and berries for a fantastic special occasion dessert or birthday cake.

Serves 8–10 vegetarian – gluten free (if using gluten free back powder) – prep: 15 mins – cook: 15–20 mins

  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 3 heaped tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 level tsp baking powder 
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 100g Greek yogurt
  1. Grease an 18cm round cake tin with the sunflower oil and line the base with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas 4. 
  2. Add the ground almonds to a bowl and sift in the cocoa powder and baking powder (or gluten-free, if desired).
  3. Add the egg yolks to another bowl and beat for a minute then add the caster sugar, vanilla extract and sunflower oil and beat well.
  4. Add the Greek yoghurt to the egg yolk mix and continue beating until well blended. 
  5. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until fluffy and forming a peak. Stir the almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder into the egg yolks and mix well. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until it all becomes chocolate coloured.
  6. Spoon into the cake tin. Bake for 20-24 minutes until the cake is firm, allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Chef’s tip

You could add 50g of chopped prunes or raisins to the mixture if you wanted to make it a little sweeter without adding extra sugar.

Per serving

167Kcals – 5.03g protein – 9.83g carbs (

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9.13g sugar) –

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12.34g fat* (

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1.83g saturates) –

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0.23g salt* This recipe is high in fat, but most of the fat is good fat (unsaturated fat), which is better for your cholesterol and heart health.

Lower-fat chocolate frosting

This frosting can be used to top or fill cakes or simply served with fresh fruit such as bananas, strawberries or pears for a quick and easy dessert. If you refrigerate the frosting, it becomes really thick and creamy.

Serves 4 – vegetarian – prep: 5 mins – cook: 7-10 mins

Simply break up 50g of good-quality 70 per cent cocoa solid chocolate and add to a bowl along with 1 heaped teaspoon of caster sugar or stevia equivalent, over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir and mix well until the chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Now remove from the heat and thoroughly mix in 100g 0 per cent fat Greek yoghurt and it is ready to use.

Per serving

91Kcal – 3.7g protein – 6.8g carbs (

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5.8g sugar) –

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5.2g fat (

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3.1g sat fat –

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0.04g salt

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Why not try thisFruity chocolate tray bakefrom ourrecipe finder. It's a quick and easy to make - the perfect family pudding. 

Chocolate fondue sauce

Serves 4 – vegetarian – prep: 10 mins – cook: 10–12 mins

First prepare some fruit ready to dip - chunks of apple, pear, pineapple or banana work well as do strawberries. Break up 50g of good quality 70 per cent cocoa solid chocolate into small pieces and set aside. Add 200ml semi-skimmed milk to a pan over a low heat. Meanwhile add 3 heaped tsp of cornflour to a cup and gradually mix in 2 tbsp of milk. When the milk is about to boil, stir the cornflour mixture again and gradually add it to the pan of milk, stirring constantly. Turn the heat down as low as possible and keep stirring, but do not allow to boil. Once the milk has thickened stir in 2 heaped tsp sugar or stevia equivalent and add the chocolate, keep mixing well until it has dissolved. Serve immediately or it is delicious cold.

Per serving*

122Kcal – 2.9g protein – 13.8g carbs (

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5.9g sugar) –

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6.1g fat (

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3.6g sat fat) –

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0.07g salt

*not including the fruits

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