I made this cake once to bring a friend’s house for dinner and people were stealing each other’s crumbs. I served it to my family and my son spit it out. Just being honest. It would be really awesome to say that my family loves everything I make, that my 10-year-old scarfs down whole grain cakes with rosemary and dark chocolate and never, ever, ever asks for Flaming Hot Cheetos. But alas, I live in the real world with at least one child, as well as one adult, whose palates are rather, shall we say, simple.
But if I catered to the lowest common denominator in my house all the time, we’d never get to know the deliciousness that is this nutty, earthy, lightly sweet cake with a savory infusion of rosemary. And dark chocolate! Maybe it sounds like a weird combo to you. I actually wasn’t sure myself when I first whisked these ingredients together, but the scent emanating from my oven was enough to convince me that this is a very tasty cake.
I love rustic desserts. The flavors are deep and I don’t have to worry about anything looking too perfect. And I think anything rustic lends itself better to whole grain flours. I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce. She uses refined flours and refined white sugar, but I actually think the cake tastes better and more interesting with whole spelt and whole wheat pastry flour, and sweetened with maple syrup. I also don’t find myself in a sugar coma after eating a piece of this.
I mentioned that I have made this cake for after dinner, but I think it would also be lovely for a brunch. Sweet and savory all in one easy-to-bake cake. Maybe with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Love it. No thanks, Mr. Picky? No problem. More for me!
- 1 cup unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil + extra for greasing pan
- ¾ cup whole spelt flour (or use all purpose)
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup Grade A maple syrup or natural cane sugar*
- 1 ½ teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup whole milk or unsweetened hemp milk, at room temperature
- 1 ½ Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (measure, then chop)
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped into ½-inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil.
- Whisk the dry ingredients (including cane sugar, if using) in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the maple syrup (if using), olive oil, milk and rosemary and whisk again.
- Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing until combined. Stir in chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly and smoothing the top.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days.