How to make healthy choices every day

Happy 100th Post, My New Roots!

This week, I’m celebrating. What is so important that I bake a chocolate cake, you ask? Well, only that this is the 100th article on My New Roots and it’s time for something sweet!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, things are looking a little different around here. I thought that it was time for a freshening up, so with a new season (and a new camera!) comes a new-and-improved My New Roots for all. I hope you like the changes, and enjoy navigating through the new digs.

Back to the cake.
Are you good at keeping secrets? This dessert sure is. Super fudgy and moist in the center with a chocolate-power punch, you’d NEVER know it was gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan! And it’s best kept secret? Chickpeas. Oh yes, it’s true.

Is chocolate actually good for me? Actually?

I come from serious chocolate roots. My dad is totally obsessed with the stuff and usually has a stash within arm’s reach (no joke). I grew up loving it too, and mowing down indiscriminately on everything from ice cream bars to snickers bars, Easter bunnies to Christmas candies, but only in the past few years have I become snobby about it. Partly this is for health reasons, but it is also for taste – the reason I indulge in the first place. I cannot believe how good good chocolate actually is, and how little you need before feeling satisfied.
And as for health? Well, I’ve learned that there is a major difference between snickers bars and organic dark chocolate. Certified organic chocolate found in health food stores and good grocers, has natural ingredients such as flavonoids (flavan-3-ols) and phenols (phenyl ethylamine) that are recognized antioxidants. Antioxidants offer protection against heart disease, cancer, and boost the immune system. Dark chocolate has the added benefit of being a mood enhancer as it boosts the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and endorphin.

Here are some tips from Dr. Mercola for choosing the best chocolate for your health:
Choose a bar that lists chocolate, or chocolate liquor, cocoa or cacao as the first ingredient.
A quality ratio is a 60 to 70 percent cocoa mass with the remaining 30 to 40 percent containing no oils other than natural cocoa butter, as well as no preservatives and no artificial flavourings.
Find chocolate made from the least destructive processing techniques — Organic is always best as over-processing reduces your healthy nutrients and can introduce lead contamination.
Restrict your intake to dark, organic chocolate — Consuming chocolate as close to its original raw state (unprocessed cacao) provides you the best health benefits.
Avoid chocolate made from milk or milk byproducts — Adding milk to the chocolate process can diminish your antioxidant benefits.
Select chocolate with low sugar content — Sugar can seriously impact your immune system
– Consume chocolate in moderation — When you eat too much chocolate, you potentially diminish and defeat any health benefits due to the sugar.
Avoid chocolate if you’re struggling with a health challenge — Sugar can suppress your immune system.
Choose a chocolate made to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility — Fair Trade certification should be part of your selection process.

I’ve become pretty hard-core in my chocolate eating, so to obtain the most health benefits I always choose an organic bar with 85% cocoa mass. It is incredibly rich and almost spicy, with a smooth finish and warm, long lasting aftertaste. I would strongly recommend you follow suit with this recipe, but you could also use something a tad lighter – at least 70% though.
The results are pretty incredible. The cake is extremely rich and fudge-like. A small piece is all you need!
Very important note: this needs to be served cold, so keep it in the fridge before serving.

Chocolate Fudge Cake with a Secret
8 oz. / 225 gr. High-quality, organic dark chocolate, melted
3 TB high-quality organic cocoa powder, plus some for dusting
zest of one organic, un-waxed orange (optional)
1 can (or 1 1/3 cup) garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup applesauce (or 4 eggs, if you eat them)
1/2 cup date syrup (or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350F / 175C. Lightly grease an 8” bundt pan or spring form pan with a little coconut oil (or ghee or butter).
2. Mix beans, eggs, date syrup, orange zest, cocoa, and baking powder in blender until smooth.
3. Add melted chocolate and blend until well mixed.
4. Transfer mixture into pan and bake for 35-50 minutes. My toothpick still didn’t come out “clean” when I did the test, but the cake firms up when cold. Chill completely in the fridge. Dust with cocoa powder. Serve to very lucky people.

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did – it will certainly become a staple in my house when entertaining, or doing a little celebrating. When you serve it, see if your lucky recipients can guess what’s inside – the cake can keep a secret, will you?

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

38 thoughts on “Happy 100th Post, My New Roots!”

  • Hi Sarah,

    So awesome – made this cake before!

    Would like to make it for my birthday though my doctor has me on a no added sugar diet. Do you think it would turn out alright if I didn’t add the maple syrup? As for the organic dark chocolate is there a substitute that may work such as more cocoa powder or carob chips or something else? Look forward to hearing from you!

    Thank you

  • Hi, I need help! In many recipes there is mentioned applesauce but they don’t really sell that in our shops in Estonia under that name. Does a regular apple puree with no sugar or other additives do? Or does it need to have lemon or something else squeezed inside?

  • Ok… a day has passed since making the cake and posting the last comment – the texture is now more like a chocolate truffle and so is the flavour. I wouldn’y change a thing! thank you for another great recipe!

  • So here goes – after a great experience with the raw brownies (which are more fudgy than borwnie IMHO) and fabulous cozy carro cake, decided to try this. swapped the garbanzo for black bean and used apple sauce. Came out of the oven after 50 minutes – it was still very wet and a while later collapsed in the middle. It literally dropped out of loaf tin when I turned it over (and there I was worrying i wouldn’t come out…). while it is has set, in that its not runny, it is still more mousse than cake in consistency. I find the date syrup flavour too dominant and the sweetness too intense. would like to try it next time with coconut sugar and eggs to see how that alters flavour and texture. definately worth experimening with (-:

  • This recipe is my personal fave! I love the taste of orange and and dark chocolate. And its so easy to make!! Have another batch in the oven right now for my 30th bday tonight and plan on pairing it with fresh sliced mango. Happy living!

  • Love your blog! I’m going to be making this cake tomorrow for our winters Saterday meal ( it’s snowing in Jerusalem!) . Do you put the beans in whole or do you mash them? Thank you so much for the recipes and the knowledge.

    • Hi E – they will be whole until you blend them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy!
      Sarah B

  • Love your blog! I’m making the cake for our winters saunter day meal. Do you put the beans in the cake whole or do you mash them? Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes and knowledge

  • LOVE, LOVE this recipe! It has been shared with many, so simple to make and is healthy! Thanks for creating and sharing this devine recipe.

  • I have had this recipe saved up in my head (and computer) for a couple of years now (the chickpea factor really fascinated me), and yesterday when I was grocery shopping and came across some seemingly amazing 85% cacao Colombian chocolate sold in bulk (it’s hard to find some authentic dark chocolate around here), it came back to me in a flash 🙂 It was so easy to put together, and it most definitely hits the spot. Mine turned out very intensely, as the chocolate I used is indeed very dark and quite bitter. This works well for me because I’m a fanatic of exactly that type of chocolate (and that type only), but it will probably be too much for the rest of my family (fine with me 😉 ). Thank you for sharing and lotsa love!

  • Seriously divine cake. All the Vegan-sweety doubters absolutely adored it and so did I. Thank you for sharing, another amazing and inspiring recipe.

  • This is so deliciously chocolatey and to my advantage, no one in my house likes orange-chocolate so all the more for me! Just a question Sarah, my cake was in the oven for over an hour and still came out quite wet, even after hours in the fridge. Should it be really moist like a gooey brownie and if not, what could I add to make it a little drier? Thanks for all your delicious inspiring recipes! ; )

  • Sarah, Thank you for sharing this recipe with us! Did you make the cake with applesauce or eggs? It seems like it would cook/firm up very differently with liquidy fruit puree than with eggs. It sounds like the way you made it worked out great so I want to make sure I do it just like you did!

  • How many servings can you get from this cake? Can’t wait to try it. Do you think it would freeze alright?

  • My Gosh… this looks amazing.
    I’m fairly new to your blog and think it’s just gorgeous, yummy and I feel healthier just reading it and dreaming of the healthy cooking I can accomplish.
    Have tried our your granola recipe (and we now no longer buy supermarket granola, EVER!!!).
    Thank you.

  • Hi Karine!

    Thanks for letting me know about the omission – I will fix that right away!
    And your version of the cake sounds really great. I think the banana would work really well in this 🙂

    All the best,
    Sarah B.

  • Hi Sarah!

    Thanks a lot for this amazing recipe! I’ve just tried it this afternoon, and it’s delicious! (Well, I’ve changed two eggs for one mashed banana and one cooked and mashed apple, and omitted any sugar, but still!)
    Just wanted to mention that you forgot (?) to write to add the baking powder in the instructions… Even if it’s written in the ingredient list, dumb people like me can forget to put it in the batter… :S

    Anyway. Thanks a lot for all your posts! I love your blog, and I’m looking forward to trying new recipes!

    Take care.


  • Congrats, Sarah! So inspired. So impressed. So ready to go home and put my bottle of date syrup to use!
    Thank you, thank you. x.

  • Thanks for ALL of the beautiful comments! I am so happy to hear that you like the site.

    FYI John – the camera I am using is a Canon 500D with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. It rocks. I am obsessed.

  • Oh wow, Anne of City Sage just sent me over here and this blog is incredible. I try my best to be healthy and eat my 5 a day but thank you so much for giving us a healthy chocolate recipe (and my little sister has just gone vegan, perfect timing)

    Thanks for creating this bit of awesome.

  • Are you by any chance the Sarah Britton who went to Northern Secondary School in Toronto?

    Either way—you have a GORGEOUS and inspiring blog and I’m fascinated by your holistic philosophy!

  • I have a birthday cake to make, so I’ll try this recipe, it looks very good. Congratulations on your 100th post. I enjoy your blog.
    p.s. I made the mojo sauce, excellent.

  • Yum..I shall definitely be indulging in this delicious chocolate delight for my birthday–thanks for the wonderful healthy alternatives!

  • Always glad to see a recipe using date syrup! We used to use it all the time in the Middle East. For some recipes, there is no comparison. You can buy it online in the States on the Organics Are For Everyone site.

    Thanks for the exciting gluten-free recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *