I've been rather busy over the past few days making bread and trying to get to grips with sourdough, so chocolate recipes have been on hold. But as I'm back to work on Monday, thought I'd better rectify this while I've still got a chance.
I've had a packet of lucuma powder lurking in my cupboard for some time now which I bought when I was last in Totnes - time to try it out! For those who are unfamiliar with lucuma (and I include myself in this catagory), it is an Andean "superfood" made from the fruit of the lucuma tree. It is meant to be particularly rich in beta-carotene, niacin and iron. It is quite sweet and is used extensively in raw products as a sugar and flour substitute. It also makes the best ice cream ever - apparently! Dipping my finger into the powder, it tastes remarkably like Hunza apricots - quite delicious. As I really want to see if the flavour comes out in a cake, I have decided to make a simple chocolate cake with no other flavourings.
This is the recipe I came up with:
- Melt 6 oz butter in a pan with 5 oz Rapadura (or brown sugar of choice) and mix thoroughly.
- Sieve 4oz flour (3 oz wholemeal spelt & 1 oz buckwheat) into a bowl together with 1 tsp baking powder, 1.5 oz cocoa, 2 oz lucuma and a large pinch of salt (Himalyan pink).
- Make a well in the centre and pour butter mixture in. Mix this together with 3 eggs (still no duck eggs to be found).
- Mix in 1 large tbsp yogurt.
- Spoon mixture into a 21 cm round cake thingie and bake for 30 mins at 180C (gas 4).
Unfortunately 30 minutes was just a few minutes too long in my oven and I managed to burn the top slightly. The texture was light if a little too dry for me. The flavour was subtle, but the fruitiness did come through. My guess is, you'd need to double the amount of lucuma to really get the flavour and maybe only put in 1 oz cocoa. I'd though about adding some yogurt to the mix, but decided I didn't want to mask the lucuma too much. In retrospect, I think this would have been a good addition producing a slight sharpness and a moister sponge. However, CT and I consoled ourselves with the thought that this cake had to be doing us good! There was an additional bonus - the whole house smells wonderful.