Friday, August 30, 2013

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Cashew Cream and Figs

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Cashew Cream and Figs

Dale got me the most gorgeous cast iron bundt pan for Christmukkah last year. We were wandering around an antique store and came upon a table of old, dirty cast iron things. Pots and pans and odds and ends and then in the middle of it all, this cast iron bundt pan. I had been on the lookout for vintage bundt pans for some time but never even considered the possibility of cast iron, so when I saw this one, I was sort of in awe. Even so, I really had no intention of buying it. I was looking for gifts for other people at the time and needed to spend my money on those other things. Dale, however, decided that I would not be leaving without that pan and snatched it up and carried it around the store the rest of the time we were there. I later realized what dedication that took, because this pan is a monster. A badass, lady monster. I love it.

So we took it home, and Dale schooled me on cast iron care. We re-seasoned it and got it all ready for caking, and I pretty immediately made a chocolate cake in it. I even took pictures and intended to share it here but just never got around to it. Actually, the first three times I baked with this pan all involved chocolate, which is sort of weird for me. Dale doesn't really like chocolate, and although I do, I tend to prefer other flavors. But this pan, this pan makes what I have decided is the perfect chocolate bundt. Fudgy, moist inside and tender yet crusty outside, which I tend to like in a chocolate bundt. So it seemed appropriate that I finally introduce this most wonderful cast iron bundt pan to the blog with a chocolate cake.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Bundt Cake

The day I made this cake, I locked myself out of my house without my phone... after I had put the cake in the oven. I had a moment of panic and then decided that it was as good a time as any to meet my neighbor. Even though I woke her up from what I imagine was the most ideal Sunday nap on the most wonderful weather day, she was nice enough to let me use her phone. As I sat on the porch on that most wonderful weather day, I could hear the timer going off on the oven. It was for some reason so torturous, and I was certain that the cake was over baking, drying, or, God forbid, burning. When Dale got home, I rushed inside and took the cake out of the oven, fully prepared to discover it ruined. To my surprise, however, it was perfect. So, my slip up baking time is included in the recipe below.

This cake is made with stone ground whole wheat and cold pressed olive oil and muscovado sugar. Minimally processed, unrefined goodness. The whole wheat and almond meal give the cake a hearty texture that becomes fudgier and moister after a day or two. Instead of sugary glaze, I opted for cashew creaam, which I have decided is a truly magical thing. It's buttery and not overly sweet, like fluffier nut butter. I love it. I should mention that if you prefer sweeter frostings/glazes, you'll want to add more maple syrup or dates. And obviously, if you don't like cashews (who are you???), you'll want to avoid this topping altogether and instead go for coconut whipped cream or real whipped cream or something along those lines.

Lastly, figs. They're such cute little babes that I knew they would be perfect on top of this cake. Their earthy sweetness pairs perfectly with the rich cake and creamy topping. It's truly an end of summer decadence.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Cashew Cream and Figs

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake + Cashew Cream + Figs
adapted from London Bakes (Kathryn's version is gluten-free.)

90 g (3 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Askinosie 70%)
60 g (1/2 cup) dark cocoa powder
240 ml (1 cup) good quality* brewed coffee, hot (I used Chemex brewed Intelligentsia Itzamna Guatemala)
155 g (1 cup plus 3 Tbsp) stone ground whole wheat pastry flour
60 g (1/2 cup) almond meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
55 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp plain yogurt (I ran out and ended up using 2 yogurt and 1 creme fraiche)
2 eggs, room temperature
360 g (1 2/3 cups) muscovado sugar
Cashew Cream (recipe below)
1 pint figs, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour a large bundt pan. Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over top and let sit a few moments to soften chocolate then whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, yogurt, and eggs until combined. Add sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in three parts, stirring with a wooden spoon after the addition of each until just combined.

Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate pan, and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until cake bounces pack when lightly pressed and tester inserted in center comes out almost clean (there will be a few fudgey crumbs). Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert onto rack and let cool completely. When ready to serve, top with cashew cream and figs. The assembled cake will keep in the fridge for a day, maybe two. If you want it to hold up longer, simply serve each piece with a dollop of the cashew cream and freshly cut figs (rather than topping the entire cake with them).

*For more on my coffee feelings, go here.

Cashew Cream
210 g (1 1/2 cups) raw cashews, soaked overnight
4 medjool dates
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
120+ ml (1/2+ cup) almond (or other nut) milk

Drain cashews and transfer to a high-speed blender along with the dates, maple syrup, and milk. Blend until smooth. Add milk until a fluffy frosting-like consistency is achieved. Adjust sweetness with more dates or maple syrup as necessary to suit your taste. Cashew cream will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Cashew Cream and Figs


  1. This cake looks so delicious and pretty. The story behind the bundt pan is very interesting and your description of the cake made me hungry. I've never tried cashew cream as a topping. That would be new to me but the problem is that I have no high speed blender and I know that they are very expensive. So it has to be ordinary whipped cream. What I like best is the decoration with the figs. That looks so so amazing and enchanting.

  2. Thanks! A food processor may also work for the cashew cream, but I have not tried it. If you do, let me know how it turns out. If not, whipped cream will be just as delicious, I'm sure!

  3. Broderick | Sartorial ExposureSeptember 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    That cake looks gorgeous