Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Secret Ingredient Desserts #4: Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Ganache Filling

So I must admit that I have been simply dying to get avocado into my kids diets. Not only is it so tasty, but it gives you a wallop of good body stuff. I love avocado, sweet or savory, I try to incorporate it somewhere in our diets at least once a week. The kids though will not eat it. I mean for starters, it's green! While sis is an adorning salad eater and killer of anything sushi, she despises the look of avocado. Kiddo of course can not stand the look, texture and smell of it. So I am resigned to not have avocado in the kiddo's diets.... or am I?

I tried a few things to try avocado desserts for the kids, some of which they didn't mind. First I tried Chocolate Avocado Mousse and the first try was so avocado-y, I knew it wouldn't fly. I did work on a number of variations, but still was left wanting. 

Next I decided to try something in my comfort zone: cake! I started looking at a number of recipes for cakes that included avocado and came across this little number at Joy The Baker which used regular flour and a avocado buttercream, two things I knew first off I would have to change. I mean the unveiling of the secret ingredient was already rough, I wasn't about to stretch it with a green icing. I was intrigued by the recipe because not only was it dairy-free, butterless, and egg-free it, of course, included avocado!

So I tried the recipe that she had from Vegetarian in the Middle East (whose blog is no longer available) just eliminating the gluten-full flours with my flour blend and using an alternate icing. The result wasn't too bad, the kids liked it but MacLeod said it didn't really match my original chocolate cake (gluteny) from my bakery days. So I headed back to the beginning and started again. 

My second try I wanted to get something that was a little closer to the mix I used for my old cake recipe so I added chocolate and espresso and eliminated the oil. Additionally, I felt that the original recipe had a rather scant amount of avocado in it to offer enough nutrition per serving, so I doubled it. 

I baked up the second cake and to keep the gluten-free and casein-free cake on point decided that I would make up a coconut oil icing, something that I had been waiting to try for a while. Then because, well, I am a chocolate fiend, I made a ganache to fill the cake with. 

The resulting cake was a beauty and when I served MacLeod a slice he said it was my very best chocolate cake ever, which surprised the pants off of me. The kiddos think it is fabulous and even ignored me when I told them that there was avocado in it! 

Chocolate Avocado Cake with Chocolate Ganache Filling

2 ½ c gluten-free flour blend
6 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 C unrefined granulated sugar
1/3 C casein-free chocolate, melted
1 C soft avocado
2 C water, divided
1 tsp dry granulated espresso   
2 Tbs white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Casein-free Chocolate Ganche
2 lbs. casein-free chocolate
¾ C unsweetened rice milk

Coconut “Butter”cream
1 C Softened coconut oil
3 C powdered sugar
2-4 Tbs rice milk

Chocolate Ganache: 

It is best to start the chocolate ganache before you start the cake because the ganache needs time to set before using it.

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a sauce pan, heat milk until it is hot but not boiling. Pour milk over chocolate in the bowl and stir until the chocolate is melted and creamy. Set aside to set up to the consistency of peanut butter.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 8” cake pans with non-stick spray. 

2. In a food processor, pulse the avocado meat until smooth place in a medium sized bowl. 

3. In a large bowl, blend together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

4. In a measuring cup mix together 1/2 C hot water and the espresso. 

4. In the medium bowl with the avocado, add remaining water, espresso mix, vinegar and vanilla and blend well. 

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in large bowl with a hand mixer) place sugar and melted chocolate and mix until blended.  Add the avocado mixture to the bowl and blend until combined.

6. One cup at a time, add flour mixture blending to combine after each addition. After last addition, let batter mix on medium speed for one minute. 

7. Divide batter between the two pans and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. 

8. Cool on a wire rack. 

Coconut “Butter”cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened coconut oil. With the whisk attachment, Whisk oil until it’s creamy.

Slowly add powdered sugar, blending after each addition, until it is combined. If the mixture gets a little dry, add 1 Tbs. at a time of the rice milk. Whisk icing until you have soft peaks.

*If the peaks are not forming, the coconut oil may be too soft. Place the bowl in the fridge to allow it to cool for about 10 minutes then whisk it again for about 30 seconds to blend. 

Refrigerate until ready to ice the cake.


When the cake is completely cooled, level the 8" inch rounds by using a long knife to cut off a top layer of the cake. Place the first round on a cake platter or display plate. Smooth a layer of ganache on the top of the first round. Place the second round of the cake on top of the ganache layer. Top with Coconut "Butter"cream icing.


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