After all the fruity cakes and desserts that I’ve made this summer, it felt it was time for a chocolate-based cake, using dark cocoa powder, along with chocolate chips.
Once this was settled, I started choosing the rest of ingredients: starting with dark brown sugar and Medjool dates, which added wonderful caramel-like sweetness, and deep color to the cake.
As I, once again, also had a couple of ripe bananas, I decided to add them to the cake, mixed with walnuts, both of which added their unique rich flavor and texture. Spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla, along with espresso powder, and malted milk powder, added more layers of aroma.
The moist cake, was spread with a chocolate-sour cream frosting, which added a nice tangy flavor balance to the sweet dense cake.
This tasty and aromatic cake definitely met my expectations, for a chocolatey indulgence. Try it and enjoy.
* Medjool dates are fairly large, plump and soft dates. They are sweeter than most dates and are the best for baking.
* Espresso powder is an intense, highly concentrated granulated coffee powder. If you can’t find it, double the amount with regular instant coffee powder.
* Malted milk powder is a mix of whole milk powder and malted barley/wheat. It is mostly used when preparing malted milkshakes, but it is also used in baking. It is available in specially stores or online.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
¼ cup Dark Dutch processed cocoa powder, packed
1 tsp espresso powder (see notes)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water, divided
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large ripe bananas
½ cup walnuts
1 stick (115 grams) butter, melted
2 L eggs
¼ cup malted milk powder (see notes)
1¾ cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
For the chocolate frosting:
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 Tbs oil
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a 9”x13” (23×33 cm) pan with two layers of baking paper.
- In a small bowl, mix the dates, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla, with ½ cup boiling water, and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Transfer into a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Add the brown sugar, and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the bananas and walnuts to the food processor bowl and process coarsely.
- Add the melted butter to the large bowl and mix well. Add the banana-walnut mixture and mix again.
- Add the eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add the malted milk powder, flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to a smooth batter. Add the remaining ½ cup boiling water, and whisk again. Add the chocolate chips and mix in with a spatula.
- Pour the batter into the lined baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes, until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost dry (the cake should be moist). Place the pan over a rack, to cool to room temperature.
- Holding the upper layer of baking paper, turn the cake upside down, back into the pan, (lined with the clean layer of baking paper), and remove the first baking paper (this helps spreading the frosting more evenly).
- The frosting: place the chocolate chips in a small bowl, add the oil and mix. Melt over a double boiler, or in the microwave, and mix until smooth, add the sour cream and mix well. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake soon after, as it tends to harden quickly. Let the frosting set before cutting.