Katie Higgins, of the popular healthy dessert blog Chocolate Covered Katie, is known for giving desserts nutritional makeovers, but this crazy ingredient chocolate cake recipe actually does take the cake. Have fun making this delicious vegan cake, featured in Episode 6 of What the Fudge, for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, and see if they can guess the secret healthy ingredient.
Watch Katie make this recipe in Episode 6 of What the Fudge:
“When you make desserts for a living, you don’t want to just keep making regular chocolate cake, because people have *seen* chocolate cake,” says Katie. “I want some creativity.”
She definitely gets creative with this recipe, and her knack for healthy desserts is one of the reasons her blog is one of the top 30 cooking websites. Before we reveal the secret ingredient, let’s start with the chocolate.
First things first: Chocolate
Katie starts by measuring out 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder into a bowl. Next, she adds the flour. You can use regular, spelt or gluten-free flour.
“To keep the cake vegan, I like to add a little bit of flax meal. Flax meal will act as a binder, and it’s a nice alternative to eggs.” Katie explains.
She then adds baking soda, salt and baking powder to help the cake rise.
Pick your favorite sweetener
“I use regular sugar, but you can use organic sugar, you can use unrefined sugar… You can even use Xylitol if you want it to be sugar-free,” Katie says.
She uses 1/3 cup sugar in this recipe, which is a lot less than the one to two cups that many traditional cake recipes call for. She then adds a pinch of stevia to give it a little more sweetness without the extra calories.
The secret ingredient: Cauliflower!
“Please don’t freak out. I promise: It will taste delicious. You won’t even know it’s in there,” says Katie as she reveals she uses cauliflower in her chocolate cake recipe.
How does cauliflower work in this recipe? Well, when you put cauliflower in a food processor, it takes on a creamy texture. Its neutral flavor blends well with the other ingredients in a chocolate cake. Promise!
For this recipe, Katie processes two cups of cauliflower in a food processor. If you think cauliflower is too crazy of an ingredient, Katie suggests using canned pumpkin instead — but why not get a little adventurous?
“My recommendation with this cake is to not tell anybody…that it has cauliflower in it until after they take a taste,” says Katie. “It’s one of the most fun recipes on my blog to serve to people and then tell them later what the secret ingredient is because they’re never going to guess.”
Katie adds milk with the cauliflower to the food processor. “I’m using almond milk, but you could use coconut, soy or rice milk,” she says.
Next comes a bit of oil for richness. (If you prefer, you can omit the oil and add a bit more milk.) Next, she adds vanilla and purees the mixture in the food processor until it is completely smooth, without any clumps at all.
“Cauliflower is the secret ingredient after all, so you don’t want anybody to be able to tell what’s in there,” says Katie.
We need more chocolate!
Katie mixes up the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl, just until combined, being careful not to overmix. Of *course*, she then adds more chocolate. “I add a lot of chocolate to this crazy-ingredient chocolate cake. Sometimes, I add a little bit of Dutch cocoa powder, and I also add mini chocolate chips into the batter,” she says.
“I like mini chocolate chips better because they disperse more evenly, so every single bite of cake, you’ve got like a little piece of chocolate there, as opposed to big chocolate chips where you get a giant taste of chocolate in one bite — and no taste of chocolate in the next bite.”
She pours the batter into an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper and pops it in the oven.
“It’s made with peanut, almond or coconut butter as the base instead of butter or shortening, and you don’t use any refined sugar,” she says. “It’s healthier, and it really goes well with the chocolate cake.”
And one more sprinkle of chocolate
“We’re just going to sprinkle some more mini chocolate chips on. Besides tasting delicious, the extra mini chocolate chips on top add a nice texture,” says Katie.
She insists you can never have too much chocolate, and who are we to disagree? Enjoy sharing this crazy yet delicious recipe with friends and family this Valentine’s Day after watching Episode 6 of What the Fudge.