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Birthday cake

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It’s a year ago now since spotless first went live, on 10/10/10. One year on and we are all in even greater need of real positive change, but we can also be proud of what has been achieved. At spotless we are glad to be part of that transformation, and proud of you for sharing the journey with us. In a spirit of celebration and gratitude, we’d like to share this very special birthday cake with you.

The recipe is taken from Harry Eastwood, who calls it Heartache Chocolate Cake. She says it is a sad cake, to eat on a sad day, but that isn’t how I feel when I eat it. It is smooth and richly chocolaty, almost a torte, and no-one will ever guess that it contains one of my favourite vegetables, aubergine. As you share in enjoying this truly wholesome cake, please be inspired to keep sharing the message of spotless, and certainly enjoying its goodness.


  • 2 small whole aubergines (weighing roughly 400g)
  • 300g best dark chocolate you can find (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into squares
  • 50g good quality cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 200g clear local honey
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brandy (for moral support)

You will need

  • a 23cm-diameter x 7cm-deep loose-bottomed tin
  • a skewer
  • a microwave (or not)
  • a blender


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F / gas mark 4. Line the tin with baking parchment and lightly brush the base and sides with a little oil.
  • Cook the aubergines. First puncture their skins erratically here and there with a skewer. Then either place them in a covered bowl and microwave on high for 8 minutes, or place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F / gas mark 6. Either way they should end up limp and soft to the touch. (If you have cooked them in the oven, remember to reduce the heat for baking the cake.)
  • Discard any water and leave the aubergines to stand until they are cool enough to handle, but still quite warm.
  • Next, skin (using the tip of a knife) and puree the aubergines in the blender. Once the warm aubergine is pureed and smooth, add the broken chocolate, which will mingle and melt slowly. Set aside, covered, until all the chocolate has melted.
  • In a large bowl, whisk up all the other ingredients for a minute until well introduced and slightly bubbly. Fold the melted chocolate and aubergine mixture into the bowl with all the other ingredients. Don’t be afraid to be quite vigorous with the spatula to make sure they mix nicely.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and place it in the bottom of the oven for 30 minutes, by which time your kitchen will just sing with the smell of hot chocolate.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in its tin for 15 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack and peeling off the parchment. Quickly turn it the right way up again and sit it on a plate to avoid scars from the rack. Don’t be upset if the top of the cake cracks.
  • Sieve a little cocoa powder over the top of the cake before serving.

Share and enjoy.
Enjoy and share.

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