Healthy chocolate ganache cake

Health Agenda
Food Diet

Healthy chocolate ganache cake

Chocolate cake doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Accredited Practising Dietitian Fiona Tuck shares a favourite recipe from her book The Forensic Nutritionist.

You won’t believe that a cake with pumpkin and beans can be this tasty.

Serves 8–10


¼ butternut pumpkin or 1 large sweet potato

200g can black beans, drained and rinsed

10 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

¾ cup hazelnut meal or almond meal

1 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder

6 tbs macadamia oil or olive oil

1 cup sugar-free almond milk (or milk of your choice)

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of sea salt

½ cup chopped walnuts cacao powder, to dust

Chopped nuts or shaved dark chocolate, to decorate 

Chocolate syrup (optional)

1/3 cup filtered water

2 tbs cacao powder

3 tsp maple syrup

10g dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 22cm round cake pan with removable base with baking paper. Using a cake pan with a removable base is important, as the cake is very soft and will fall apart if you try to remove it from a regular cake pan.
  2. Peel the pumpkin or sweet potato and cut into small chunks. Steam until soft, then leave to cool.
  3. Place the pumpkin, black beans, dates, hazelnut meal or almond meal, cacao powder or cocoa powder, oil, milk, baking powder and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, then stir in walnuts until combined.
  4. Pour into the cake pan and smooth the top evenly using the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes or when tested with a skewer, it comes out almost clean. The cake will still be a bit wobbly when it is ready but it will firm up as it cools down. Remove cake from oven and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. To make the syrup (if using), place the water, cacao and maple syrup in a saucepan over very low heat. Stirring continuously, gently bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, stirring, until melted. Pour 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup over the cake (the syrup can be warm) and leave to cool completely.
  6. Dust with cacao powder and decorate with nuts or shaved chocolate. Place the cake in the fridge to firm up until ready to serve. The cake will soften if left out of the fridge.


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