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Chocolate-Walnut Cake

Photo: Oxmoor House
Yield 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
Dates, which have a remarkable affinity for chocolate, stand in for butter in this rich, elegant cake. Ground walnuts contribute both depth of flavor and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, while a touch of canola oil ensures a tender, moist texture and even more omega-3s. Round out the dessert with a dollop of vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt and some fresh raspberries.

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice firm white bread
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted and divided
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 280
  • caloriesfromfat 30 %
  • fat 9.2 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • monofat 3.4 g
  • polyfat 3 g
  • protein 6.1 g
  • carbohydrate 45.5 g
  • fiber 1.2 g
  • cholesterol 22 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 103 mg
  • calcium 26 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray, and line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat the wax paper with cooking spray.

  3. To prepare cake, combine dates, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup boiling water, and 1 teaspoon coffee granules; let stand 20 minutes. Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1/2 cup. Place crumbs in a large bowl. Reserve 10 walnut halves for garnish. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine remaining walnuts, flour, and salt in food processor, and process until finely ground. Add to breadcrumbs. Place date mixture, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg in food processor, and process until smooth, scraping the sides of bowl once. Add date mixture to breadcrumb mixture, stirring well.

  4. Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of the egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Remove the wax paper. Cool completely on wire rack.

  5. To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup cocoa and the next 4 ingredients (cocoa through 1 teaspoon coffee granules), stirring until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Gradually add powdered sugar to the cocoa mixture, beating with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and thick.

  6. Place cake layer on a plate. Spread the glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Arrange reserved walnut halves on top.