One chilly evening, ten years ago, I sat in a cafe in Jerusalem with my parents and brand-new husband, taking a quiet night off from sheva brachos celebrations. When the waiter, dressed in crisp black and white, glided over to our table with a tray piled with full dishes. “You do such a good job of balancing all that,” my mother complimented him. The experienced waiter dismissed her praise with a wave of his hand and proceeded to deliver a short speech about the importance of balance in life. These words of wisdom from the waiter still reverberate today.
Throughout life, we are always looking for the balance between the ideal and the real. This site is called Israeli Salad. I love salad. My third post on the the blog was a recipe for my favorite breakfast, the fruity power breakfast bowl. Chopped fruit topped with plain, low-fat yogurt and seeds is a great way to start the day. Lately, however, I’ve really just wanted a cup of coffee and a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast. Cake for breakfast? The mother who tries to convince her kids to throw out lollipops? The writer of a food blog named after salad? Such hypocrisy!
Well, this chocolate cake, while not as healthy as fruit and yogurt, has no refined sugar and no oil. As far as cakes go, it’s right up there health-wise with No-Bake Fresh Cherry Pie, Banana Muffins with the Works, and Granola-Crust Cheesecake Fruit Tart. All the sweetness comes from dates. With no added sugar or oil, this chocolate cake can definitely count as a guilt-free breakfast or a light dessert. It also holds together well and slices beautifully. Served as dessert, it can be dusted with powdered sugar, or topped with ice cream or whipped cream.
The lite chocolate date nut cake has a light, spongy texture. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. The walnuts and coconut lend both texture and flavor. The chocolate flavor, boosted by a spoonful of instant coffee and a splash of vanilla, is still dominant. Fruit, nuts, eggs, whole grains, and caffeine. Sounds like breakfast to me! If you really need balance, go ahead and have a Ratatouille-Inspired Mediterranean Grain Bowl or Beet Bulgur Salad for lunch.
Lite Chocolate Date Nut Cake Recipe
20-25 pitted dates (150 grams)
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Pit, check, and halve dates. Place in food processor with regular knife blade.
2. Dissolve instant coffee in boiling water. Add to dates. Blend for about a minute, until there are not large chunks of date.
3. With food processor on, add vanilla and eggs. The continuous blending will help keep the eggs from cooking in the hot date mixture.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, shredded coconut, and walnuts. Blend until all of the dry ingredients and evenly combined with the wet ingredients.
5. Pour into a cake pan greased with cooking spray (or oil, if you prefer).
6. Bake at 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Do not over-bake.