Ancho Pumpkin Yogurt Cake with Dark Chocolate Chips

When you want to reduce the calories and saturated fat in your home-made cakes, what kind of healthy alternatives to butter do you usually consider?  While I’ve heard of people substituting butter with healthy oils, avocado puree or apple sauce, I learned that low-fat yogurt can also do a great magic to home-baked goods.  Last Summer, a talented winemaker, Raphael Brisbois, and his lovely wife, Silvie from Bordeaux, brought their low-fat yogurt cake to Gary’s dinner party. Initially, I thought she may have sacrificed some flavor to lower the calories and add yogurt’s protein and calcium. But, one bite of her sumptuous cake completely changed my perception . Not only did the tangy yogurt make the texture of her cake creamy and soft, but it also added a great depth of flavor to it. Ever since that introduction, I couldn’t wait to try baking with low-fat yogurt and make my baked goods somewhat “healthy” so that I can feel less guilty indulging it. Today, using a Halloween pumpkin I brought in from my porch to my kitchen, I am making a delicious ancho-pumpkin-yogurt cake topped with dark chocolate chips.

To start, preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 9 inch round, 2 inch deep baking pan with some 7th taste ancho chili olive oil. Separately, shred 2/3 cup pumpkin in a food processor. Next, in a bowl, mix 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt, 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup 7th taste ancho chili olive oil, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup molasses and two eggs and whisk it until all ingredients are well emulsified. Next, add 2/3 cup shredded pumpkin to the mixture. In a separate bowl, sift 2 cups flour and mix with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of salt. Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir in everything in the bowl. Subsequently, pour the batter into the greased pan and sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until a toothpick poked in the center comes out dry. Let it cool for 5 minutes and serve a warm slice with creamy vanilla ice cream (This recipe serves about 12).

This dark yogurt chocolate cake with subtle undertone of pumpkin and ancho chili flavors came out so moist and fluffy that it was melting in my mouth like whipped cream melting in the sun. Pairing it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream further intensifies the creaminess of the cake and melting chocolate chips, while giving a sensation of fire and ice in the mouth. It made the cake taste even more velvety with a new dimension of rich flavors. It sounds simple and delectable, right? Instead of throwing away your Halloween pumpkin this year, try this recipe this Fall. You will love it! Enjoy my recipe. Happy cooking!

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