Clementine Scented Triple Chocolate Cake
We started the New Year with this Clementine Scented Chocolate Cake and the home made pasta made by my mum. And now I’m gong to remake this vegan Triple Chocolate Cake with sweet potatoes frosting for the last celebration of the season, the Ephipany.
The tradition in Italy is that a poor witch called Befana arrives on the 6th. She comes down on a broom to distribuite chocolate or charcoal to the children. It’s a old tradition and in some towns this sweet old woman is way more celebrated than Santa.
My children are waiting to wake up to a chocolate treat and find some small old socks filled with treats. For me is an other occarion to being around a beautiful table with friend. Create a cozy and welcoming table is without doubts one of my family traditions and here we have recreated it with my sweet friend Catia that undubtfully shares this love for beautiful dinners.
Sunday is one of those favourite times I love to spend at home at a beautiful table next to the fire place. This time the dept of winter, the Tuscany landscapes make it extra special.
I restore my sense of adventure and my gratitude in the frost of the dormant nature. Here I feel inspiration to curl in and meditate and really slow down and think about my year ahead.
I was used to don't make a new year resolution. The times I've tried I couldn't find an effective structure and I didn't gain much clarity from the process.
Now I usually start only once I am back to London from the Christmas holidays. I’ve a clearer mind after a long pause. First I list what I'm most grateful of (pro suggest to list gartitudes in details). Then I scribble ideas and instinctive goals, desires, dreams. A brainstorm, as much as possible without judgments.
When I have a list that satisfies me, I start skimming it down. I surely keep what is sensible, but also exciting and challenging. The goals need to fuel me, leave a positive vibe.
Usually I come down to 3 main goals from my scribbles.
One spiritual, one about health, one financial. I learned this structure form the famous book “7 habits of highly effective people” and it really helps me. It’s an old book and many more have come out since, but I’ve found is still one of the most efficent for me. I like that has a large organic focus on the whole lifestyle rather than only the business.
The next step is to divide each goal in 3 different categories or areas. The health will be emotional, physical and intellectual. Could include from keeping fit, relationship, creativity... .And I think of the 3 main steps towards each goal. Then I divide these 3 steps in 3 smaller actionable steps. Then I try to place the spes on a calendar.
It’s quite hard with small children to have the perfect calendar, but at least I put down the estimated deadlines to help me stay on track.
During the year I keep revising my goals and my steps. It can easily happen to underestimate how long a project can take or underestimate our potential in other cases. From my esperience if you think a new project (one you never approached before) would take a x amout of time, double it from the start. Psicologically is way better to find you have slightly underestimated your potential than largely underestimate the resurces needed to complete a task.
I’m far from being a pro but I’ve noticed a big difference since I use this method. Took me few trials to have everything working as I liked and I still improve it with old and new resurces. Early this year I’ve added Tim Ferris and Gabrielle Bernstein to my favs list. Her “Judjment Detox” is the book I’m opening the year with.
Hope to have given some useful inspo, and down here ya’ve the cake recipe! Enjoy my dear firend!
-Overnight cooling (6 hours minimum)
-30 mn cooking for the cake
-20 min cooking for the potatoes
-15 minutes working
For this cake you need two of 6” or 15 cm cake tins, a good food processor. Bowls to mix and mesuring spoons. And if possible 2 small pans for bain-marie the chocolate.
For the cake:
350 g white spelt flour
100 gr raw sugar
3 Tbsp cacao nibs grounded in small pieces, or good quality chocolate chips
1 Tbsp baking powder, heaped
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp flax meal + 9 Tbsp water (120ml)
100 ml extra virgin coconut oil (3 and 1/2 oz + 1/4 tsp)
200 ml almond or oat milk (8 and 1/2 oz + 1 Tbsp)
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
2 small clementines, rid and juice (50ml liquid)**
For the Frosting:
4 sweet potatoes (500gr circa)
150 gr pure cocoa powder
100 gr bittersweet chocolate
80 gr raw sugar
1/2 tsp of pure vanilla powder
1 clementine, rid only
pinch of salt
(If necessaary add some spoons of milk to make the food processor running)
- Turn the oven on at 180°C. Grease the 2 tins of 15 cm with some oil.
- In a large bowl mix very well all the dry ingredients.
- In a separate jar also mix the liquid ingredients together.
- Add the flax seeds and the 9 spoons of water to the liquid ingredients. Mix and set aside for 5 minutes.
- In the large bowl incorporate the wet with the dry ingredients, gently folding them together.
- Pass the batter into the tins.
Cook for 30-40 minutes, poke with a stick to check the acke batter is completely cooked. And then set aside to cool down. You can also leave them 30 minutes in the fridge before decorating.
While the cakes are baking:
- Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.
- Steam for 15-20 minutes in a steamer (or roast whole with the skin on for 30-40 min).
- Meanwhile, in a bain-marie melt the cocoa butter (never let the water boil)***.
- When the potatoes are cooked add them to the food processor with all the frosting ingredients. Blend into a smooth cream. (If necessary add some spoons of milk to make the food processor running, the smallest amount of liquid possible. You want the frosting to stay thick).
- Leave the frosting into fridge overnight or for enough hours until is thick enough to decorate the cake.
When the cakes are completely cooled down and the frosting is solid like thick chocolate mousse, you can assemble your cake.
If the cakes are ronded cut the round top with a very sharp knife.
Place the first cake on your serving plate and spread a scoop of frosting on it. Enough to have a good thick filling ( 3cm at least).
Then place the second cake on top, but this time upside down (so the perfect bottom becomes the top of your finished cake).
Scoop some frosting on the top and with a spatula start spreading to the sides and down around the cake. Add more frosting as needed to cover the whole cake.
If the cake is fragile start adding first a thin layer of frosting that will hold the crunbles. Then place the layered cake into the fridge for 10-20 minutes. When the frosting is cool again you can finish to frost it.
If the cakes are wobbly while frosting, poke a long kebab stick in the middle to hold them stable while you work.
For the full description go to my post :how to cover a layered cake with vegan frosting
* white spelt can be sobstitute with a gluten free blend.
** clementines can be sobstitute with the rid of 1 orange rid and 50 ml of juice, but if sobstitute with lemons use 20ml juice of lemon only and add 30ml extra of milk.
*** if you don’t have time for checking the bain-marie make the water boil and sitch off the flame. Then add the chocolate to the smaller saucepan that’s inside the water. The chocolate will take longer to melt but it’s a brainless method.