FOR THE CAKE
250g dates, pitted
90ml espresso or strong coffee
80g ground flaxseeds
180ml vegetable oil
1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained (reserve 120ml of the liquid for batter)
80g good-quality cocoa powder
2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
FOR THE ICING
2 very ripe avocados
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp carob or maple syrup, or to taste
a handful of mixed berries, for decorating
50g dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C. Line the cake tin with baking paper.
2. Roughly chop the dates, place in a small heatproof bowl, then pour over the hot coffee. Put into a food processor and blend the dates to a sticky paste. Add the rest of the ingredients for the cake, and blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth.
3. Dollop the mixture into the prepared cake tin and use a palette knife or spoon to smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes in the centre of the oven. When you insert a skewer, it should still come out slightly wet. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in its tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
4. To make the icing, scoop the avocados out of their skins and blend in a food processor with the cocoa and carob or maple syrup. Taste and add more syrup to your liking.
5. When ready to serve, transfer to a serving plate. Use a palette knife to spread the icing over the top of the cake. Decorate with the berries and grate the chocolate over the top to finish.
Top tips: This batter can be baked in muffin cases for individual cakes. Bake for 10 minutes. Using coconut butter will give the cake a slightly coconutty flavour, whereas a neutral vegetable oil will keep the chocolate flavour pure. It’s important to use really ripe avocados to achieve a perfectly smooth frosting.
Get ahead: The un-iced cake keeps for a few days when well wrapped, or can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.
Images by David Loftus from The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.