If you’re looking for a sweet treat to beat the heat or warm your bones in the cold of winter, African chef, entrepreneur and activist Pierre Thiam has just the recipe.
Born and raised in Senegal, Thiam has dedicated his life to sharing the joy and flavor of his West African roots. He does just that with his Teranga family of fast-casual restaurants that source their ingredients directly from African farmers.
Fonio is a West African grain similar to rice or quinoa, and it features prominently in his recipe for a delicious chocolate cake made all the better with fresh raspberry coulis, or pureed sauce. Today, Thiam is gracious enough to share that recipe with us, and you can in turn share it with your loved ones.
“This size cake usually serves eight to 12 people, but because it is so flavorful, I suggest cutting it into 24 pieces, one per serving,” Thiam says. “The cake will keep well, refrigerated in a sealed container, for up to one week.”
He also suggests using a 12-cup Bundt cake pan, or two eight-inch round or square cake pans.
Ready to travel the world without leaving your own kitchen? Follow this recipe, and experience Senegal in no time.
Fonio Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis
¾ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan(s)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 teaspoon for the pan
⅓ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cooked fonio
1½ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish Honey
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease a Bundt pan or two 8-inch round or square cake pans with oil. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon cocoa inside the greased pan(s) to prevent the cake from sticking.
In a food processor or blender, combine the buttermilk, eggs, egg whites and vanilla. Add the fonio and coconut oil, and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents of the blender and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake on the center rack for about 50 minutes (or 40 to 45 minutes for the smaller pans), until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake(s) from the oven and cool completely in the pan(s).
Purée the raspberries in a blender.
Pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve; discard the seeds.
If you like, sweeten with honey to taste.
Turn out the cake(s) onto a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with the coulis.
Slice and serve, garnished with fresh raspberries.
Visit Teranga in NYC and online, and follow Pierre Thiam on Instagram for more delicious dishes and inspiration.