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The Garden House 67, Woodchester Road Dorridge Solihull Birmingham and West Midlands B93 8EL

Dairy Free 100% Cacau Chocolate & Pecan Loaf Cake with Cacau Nibs

Who can resist a chocolate cake, especially when the high cacau content has some health benefits! An intense hit of chocolate with added pecan and cacau nib crunch, made with olive oil for added moistness. Excellent with a dollop of crème fraiche


  • 100ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 115g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g spelt flour
  • 50g 100% cacau powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g chopped pecan nuts
  • 35g cacau nibs
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp grated orange zest (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 205g plain soya yogurt (or sheeps milk yogurt is this is more easily tolerated than cows milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 160C/ gas mark 3 and generously grease and flour a loaf tin.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, cacao powder, bicarbonate of soda, pecans and cacau nibs with ½ tsp of fine sea salt. Set aside/
  • In a separate large bowl, mix the sugar and zest together with the back of the spoon to release the citrus oils. Add the eggs and beat with a spoon or a hand mixer until ribbons of batter fall from the spoon or beater when lifted. Add the yogurt, olive oil and vanilla, and beat to combine.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the liquid mixture, a third at a time, stirring to combine and being careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.

This intense chocolate cake uses 100% cacau rather than confectionary or cooking chocolate. The health benefits of cacau are many. Cacau has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries and raw organic cacau even more! It has the highest plant-based source of iron and includes many other essential minerals. It is filled with magnesium to support a healthy heart and maintain many other functions. It has more calcium than cow’s milk. Cacau contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and E.

There can be some confusion between cacau and cocoa; the difference being that raw cacau powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, a process that keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacau butter), Cocoa looks the same but it is not because the powder is made by roasting the beans at very high temperatures and thereby killing off the beneficial enzymes.

Cacau nibs are a powerful superfood in themselves and used in this cake to give a satisfying crunch while offering more brain-boosting benefits than commercial chocolate.

Has there ever been any better reason to enjoy a chocolate cake!

Pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants and contain more than 15 vitamins and minerals. A handful a day can lower cholesterol levels.