Cakes are one of the first food people who try loosing weight or sustain a healthy diet ban from their menu. This bad reputation is well-deserved since most cakes contain loads of refined wheat flour and plain sugar which are unhealthy ingredients. Many also contain trans fat, a type of artificial fat first developed in the early 1900’s that has been linked to cardiovascular diseases since the 1990’s―it is now being phased out in the United States following a recent decision of the FDA.
This doesn’t mean all cakes are bad for us: replacing white wheat flour by oat bran and losing the sugar can turn them into healthy foods.
Oat bran is cheap, nutritive, rich in dietary fibers, and is believed to possess many health benefits including lowering LDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Cutting sugar in a cake may sound a little drastic; a great substitute is honey. Like sugar, honey has a high glycemic index (GI), but to its credit, boasts some nutritional value, is a natural food with character and gives cakes a unique moist texture. Used in small quantity, its high GI should be compensated by the oat bran’s low GI.
The oat bran choco cake on the above picture is easy to make and cooks in just a few minutes in a microwave.
2 whole eggs
125 g of mascarpone
80 g organic oat bran
75 g of chocolate, ideally 70% cocoa but you may prefer 50-60%
2 large teaspoons of liquid honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or as much as you like)
For best results, use a pyrex round casserole with a 15 cm diameter or something similar. You can mix all the ingredients directly inside.
Beat the eggs until frothy with a whisk. Pour in the mascarpone, honey, baking powder, cinnamon and mix together well. Add the bran and mix again. At this point, you may let it sit for 5-10 min so the bran can swell a little. The dough should be neither too hard nor too liquid. Then break the chocolate into small pieces and evenly distribute it in the dough.
Set your microwave to 800W and cook for 5:30 min. Let the cake cool down for 15-20 min, ideally on a cooking grid outside of the glass pan to avoid condensation.
Consume warm with some apple sauce, banana or a red berries smoothie. If you decide to keep it for later, store in a sealed box in the fridge to retain humidity.
Tips. (1) Depending where you buy it, oat bran can greatly vary in texture, from very thick to very fine. Fine bran is much better for this recipe. With thick bran, the cake will feel chewy and too compact. (2) Fresh cheese can be used instead of mascarpone as long as the texture is similarly thick. In Germany I use “quark” with 40% fat and in France “petit suisses”. (3) Alternatively, you can replace part of the bran by almond and/or hazelnut powder. These nutritious powders will greatly enhance the taste of your cake. (4) You may have to adjust the cooking time depending on how powerful is your microwave.
If you have any questions regarding this recipe or experience difficulties, feel free to contact me, I’d be glad to help!