Claims that you can get a semi-healthy chocolate fix should always be met with skepticism, especially when they come in TV commercial form.
The ad for supposedly healthy chocolate cereal always makes me mad, even as the woman seems to be enjoying it sooooo much. First, that cereal has so many additives it’s actually amazing there’s anything recognizable on the ingredients list at all. Second, there is definitely not enough chocolate in there to satisfy anyone’s cravings.
This snacking cake, however, delivers on the promise of a dessert fix that’s not awful for you and that has a rich, dense, chocolate flavor that will kill any sweet tooth cravings you might have. Plus, it has hidden vegetables! So you can totally have your cake and eat it. A lot of it. Stuff your face with it.
And don’t feel guilty about it. The cake is so moist and dense because of the applesauce that stands in for oil and some sugar and the zucchini that I desperately needed to use up. The cake is also full of flax, with a minimal amount of sugar and with absolutely no gluten, eggs, soy, or dairy. It’s not Paleo, though. Sorry, Paleo people.
If you like, bake this in an 8×8 pan and slather it with vegan frosting for a festive celebratory cake. Or just bake it in a loaf pan, like I did, and keep sneaking back for slivers every hour. You know, to even it out.
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 6 Tbsp water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut, or whatever you want–you can even use 1/4 cup honey)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup gluten free baking flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (compliant, such as Guittard’s)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flax with water in a large bowl. Whisk, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- When flax has gelled, whisk in applesauce, sugar, vanilla, zucchini, and cocoa powder.
- In a medium bowl, combine gluten-free flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir into cocoa batter just until combined, Fold in chocolate chips.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (though maybe with a little melted chocolate on it from the chips). Cool in pan for a few moments, then cool on a wire rack until completely room temperature. Serve, or store wrapped in plastic cling wrap in fridge for up to four days.