A Slice of Summer with Carolina Ferrer

What does summer mean to you? To us, it’s a glut of ripe strawberries, the smell of freshly-cut grass and warm rays on our skin. It’s even a chocolate cake eaten with friends around the garden table. This time of year isn’t just about fresh flavours, but the memories that come with them.

One person who knows a thing or two about reflecting food to season is Spanish photographer and cook, Carolina Ferrer, who resides in the sunshine-soaked city of Barcelona. From a young age, Carolina has been drawn to food.

“My culinary passion began when my aunt and godmother gave me cookbooks from their childhood. I went crazy for those wonderfully illustrated books. From then on, I’ve loved making cookies, cakes, pies and everything that has to do with baking.”

Thanks to a gluten-free base, edible flowers and berry topping, this cake is a jauntier spin on the chocolate classic, but thankfully for us, no less indulgent. Infused with coconut cream and sweetened with dates, it satisfies cravings without feeling heavy – the perfect dessert to enjoy on long, balmy afternoons.

What you’ll need

For the cake

  • 195g pitted fresh dates
  • 200g chopped 70% dark chocolate
  • 90g unsalted butter or 90g coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 125ml coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 35g cocoa powder, plus extra to serve

 For the coconut icing

  • 400ml coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the decoration

  • Fresh or frozen berries, edible flowers and cocoa powder for dusting

How it’s made

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F) and lightly grease a 2L capacity baking mould and line it up with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Cover the dates with boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Place a medium saucepan over low heat and add the butter, chocolate, coconut sugar, coconut cream and vanilla extract. Stir until melted and remove from heat. Add the drained dates to the chocolate mixture and blend with a hand-held blender.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs lightly, add the chocolate and dates mixture and whisk. Finally add the cocoa and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour boiling water into a deep baking tray (big enough so that your baking mould will fit in it) and place your mould in it (water must come halfway up the sides of the baking mould). Bake for 2 hours or until firm to touch.
  6. Take out of the oven, allow to cool, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  7. To prepare the coconut icing, mix all three ingredients (cocoa, maple syrup and coconut cream) with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until thick.
  8. Remove your chocolate cake from the mould and spread over the coconut icing. Decorate with some frozen berries and dust with extra cocoa powder.

Decorating with frozen berries and edible flowers will make your dessert look as pretty as your table setting. For a final flourish, accent with seasonal plates and vases to transport yourself to Wonderland.

- Carolina Ferrer

For more sweet treats, tuck into our blog’s Create page.

Credits: Recipe and images by @carolina_ferrer_