Cooking with botanicals is cooking with the power of nature. One of our favourite cookbooks, The Plant Pharmacy by Lisette Kreischer, shows some of the most delicious botanical recipes. Lisette is one of the founders of the vegan movement in the Netherlands and writer of eight successful cookbooks. In her latest book she shows how to make the most tempting syrups, salads and cakes that not only look great but are healthy as well. The festive dessert paired with our Winter IPA just had to be her recipe for this delicious chocolate chip spruce cake. The sweetness of the cake and chocolate is a fantastic combination with the aroma of spruce needles. The original recipe by Lisette is made with ganache. We chose to decorate the cake with powdered sugar and rosemary twigs for a winterish and fairytale feeling.

Chocolate Chip Spruce Cake

Dessert | Serves 6-8

400 gr spelt flour
1 bag/ 16 gr baking powder
275 gr coconut blossom sugar
Pinch of salt
75 gr Pure chocolate (min. 70%), cut into pieces
4 medjoul dates (without pit) torn into pieces
175 ml olive oil
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
200 ml coconut (or soy) yoghurt
125 ml pine syrup
100 ml coconut-, oat-, almond- or soy milk
2 tbs apple vinegar
Powdered sugar
Rosemary/ (organic) spruce twigs

This is how you make it

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Grease the cake tin (diameter of 20cm) with olive oil and flour.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, chocolate and the dates.
  4. In another bowl mix the oil, vanilla bean seeds, yoghurt, pine syrup, milk and vinegar.
  5. Scoop the wet mixture through the dry mixture and stir until it’s a smooth and firm batter which is not too wet. Don’t stir too long.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased cake tin. Bake the cake for approx. 45 minutes. Check the cake after 35 minutes, if the top gets too dark cover with aluminum foil.
  7. Carefully stick a knife or a thin stick into the cake, if it comes out clean and dry your cake is ready.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin.
  9. Once cooled display on a nice tray and decorate with powdered sugar and rosemary- or spruce twigs.

Serve with Lowlander Winter IPA