Rachel Khoo’s free from everything chocolate cake

Long story. I was invited to a midsummer party one year and was asked to make a traditional Swedish chocolate cake (kladdkaka) but with the daunting request that it should be vegan, gluten-free and nut-free! So I embarked on a mission to make this free from almost everything but flavour. After much experimenting I did succeed, only for it to be eaten by a dog at the party. The dog was fine but the cake wasn’t. So it was roasted rhubarb with vegan ice cream for dessert instead.

David Loftus

SERVES 10-12

250g dates, pitted
90ml espresso or brewed strong coffee
80g ground flaxseeds
180ml vegetable oil (or you can use coconut butter, which will give the cake a slightly coconutty flavour)
1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained (reserve 120ml of the liquid for the batter)
80g good-quality cocoa powder
2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

2 very ripe avocados
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp carob or maple syrup, or to taste
a handful of mixed berries, for decorating
50g dark chocolate, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Line a 21cm cake tin with baking paper.
2. Roughly chop the dates, place in a small heatproof bowl, then pour over the hot coffee. Put into a food processor and blend the dates to a sticky paste. Add the rest of the ingredients for the cake and blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Dollop the mixture into the prepared cake tin and use a palette knife or spoon to smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes in the centre of the oven. When you insert a skewer, it should still come out slightly wet. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in its tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
3. To make the icing, scoop the avocados out of their skins and blend in a food processor with the cocoa and carob or maple syrup. Taste and add more syrup to your liking.
4. When ready to serve, transfer the cake to a serving plate. Use a palette knife to spread the icing over the top. Decorate with berries and finish with the grated chocolate.

TOP TIP This batter can also be baked in muffin cases for individual cakes. Bake for 10 minutes.
GET AHEAD The un-iced cake keeps for a couple of days when well wrapped, or can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.

The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo will be published by Michael Joseph on 26 July, price £20. To pre-order a copy for £15 until 29 July visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.