Naked Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (Trampolini Black Label is best)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (regular or Greek , I use Cabot Vanilla Greek )
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup milk
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 pint fresh strawberries
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
2 big bunches of green or red grapes
1 pint raspberries
1 homemade whipped cream recipe
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare (olive oil or butter and flour) two 8-inch round cake pans.
Pour olive oil into stand mixer with paddle attachment.
Add in brown sugar, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla extract, and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
With mixer on low, slowly add a third of the dry ingredients into the applesauce mixture, alternating with the milk. Keep alternating until the dry ingredients and milk are gone.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and fold in chocolate chips by hand.
Divide batter between two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 26 minutes or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean. (Cooking times can vary depending on quality of ingredients and weather conditions.)
Cool cakes in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack. Cool completely.
To assemble cake:
Rinse all fruit so that it is shiny and clean.
Prepare whipped cream (and prepare chocolate sauce if you are making from scratch).
Place one cooled layer of cake on cake stand and cover in about 3/4 cup of whipped cream. Place a strawberry that is a about 1 to 1 1/2 inches high in the center of the cake, upside down. This will help the whipped cream to not ooze out when you place the next layer on. Now take some of your fruit and spread it around the edges of the cake. Because this is a naked cake, you will want to pay attention to how you place the fruit on the edge.
Once cake is covered in fruit, place next layer of chocolate cake on top. Starting with a bunch of grapes that are still attached to the vine, place grapes on cake and then start building up around them. Fill in with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, and place a few more grapes around to balance the color. Finally, place some strawberries around the edge and maybe even one on top.
Drizzle chocolate sauce over cake and chill until ready to serve. If you want to add confectioners’ sugar, sprinkle immediately before serving.