Cinnamon Hibiscus Chocolate Loaf Cake

It’s no secret that I love incorporating florals into my desserts. I’ve created desserts with rosewater, orange blossom, lavender, butterfly pea flower, and more! So when Raaka Chocolate asked me to create a floral dessert inspired by their New York Botanical Garden series, I jumped at the opportunity. The entire collection is amazing, but I felt especially inspired by their Hibiscus Cinnamon chocolate bar. The the brightness of hibiscus works so nicely with their fruity unroasted chocolate, and cinnamon adds a beautiful warmth. As a result, this cinnamon hibiscus chocolate loaf cake was born!

Hibiscus

If you’re unfamiliar with hibiscus, it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce you. There’s a whole family of hibiscus plants, but the culinary world focuses on one particular variety: Hibiscus sabdariffa. The edible flowers of hibiscus are used all over the world, especially in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. You can use flowers can fresh or dried, and they have a tart, cranberry-like flavor. The flowers also impart an amazing hot pink color when in an acidic environment! Anthocyanins are the chemical compounds responsible for this color. My original plan was to create a hot pink hibiscus cinnamon loaf cake for you all – cute, right? Unfortunately, red colors from anthocyanins change to an unpleasant gray-green when exposed to alkalinity and/or heat. Instead, I put the hibiscus in the chocolate ganache where the flavor can shine.

You can purchased dried hibiscus flowers from some Asian or Latin American grocery stores, or online!

Instead of flavoring the loaf cake with both cinnamon and hibiscus, I decided to separate out the flavors. The cake is spiced with cinnamon and full of chopped chocolate for all the cozy things we love about a loaf cake, and it’s topped with a hibiscus chocolate ganache. While ganache is often made with just chocolate and cream, it’s simple enough to replace a portion of the cream with another liquid – in this case, hibiscus tea! The hibiscus is bright and fruity, which highlights the fruity richness of Raaka Chocolate perfectly. Have questions about flavoring a chocolate ganache with other liquids? Read on!

cinnamon hibiscus chocolate loaf cake batter
glazing the cinnamon hibiscus chocolate loaf cake

Flavored Ganache

Working with chocolate can seem scary because there are so many rules. For example: If you add moisture to chocolate, it’ll seize! Except…when it doesn’t? Nicola Lamb recently did an amazing deep dive into chocolate ganache, where she talks all about the science of ganache and shows you how to make ganache with water. I recommend subscribing to her newsletter if you’re interested in baking & science, but I’ll give a quick summary of ganache below.

Chocolate ganache is an emulsion, which essentially means that it’s a mixture where 1 substance is suspended in another. In the case of ganache, the particles of fat and sugars in chocolate are dispersed throughout and suspended in liquid. Cream is often used as the liquid in ganache because 1) it’s easy available, 2) it’s delicious, 3) it adds a luscious fatty mouthfeel since cream is so high in fat, and 4) fat mellows the acidity of dark chocolate. However, you can use liquids other than, or in addition to, cream!

For this cinnamon hibiscus chocolate loaf cake, I wanted to incorporate the hibiscus flavors into the ganache that glazes the cake. Hibiscus is very tart, and can be fairly mouth-puckering on its own, especially when combined with a bright chocolate like Raaka’s Maple Dark Chocolate. To mellow the tartness but still let the fruitiness of both chocolate and hibiscus shine through, I used a blend of cream and hibiscus tea as the liquid in the cake’s chocolate ganache glaze. The result is a creamy, rich ganache with fruity notes from both the hibiscus and unroasted dark chocolate.

If you want to get your own delicious unroasted chocolate from Raaka, you can use promo code LANIBAKES20 to get 20% off your order!

cinnamon hibiscus chocolate loaf, horizontal top view

The Quick Look

ComponentsSource/Adapted From
1Cinnamon Chocolate Pound CakeLanibakes
2Hibiscus Chocolate GanacheLanibakes

Cinnamon Hibiscus Chocolate Loaf Cake

A warm, cozy loaf cake flavored with cinnamon and studded with Raaka's Maple Dark Chocolate, topped with a bright hibiscus chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

Cinnamon Chocolate Loaf Cake

  • 200 grams sugar
  • 112 grams neutral oil, like canola
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 grams sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 56 grams almond flour
  • 160 grams all purpose flour
  • 70 grams Raaka Maple Dark Chocolate chopped into small pieces

Hibiscus Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 teaspoons dried hibiscus flowers
  • 40 grams boiling water
  • 60 grams heavy cream
  • 55 grams Raaka Maple Dark Chocolate

Decor

  • a handful of edible flowers, dried or fresh (optional)

Instructions

Cinnamon Chocolate Loaf Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper. You can use a strip of parchment to line the long sides of the pan. If the short sides are left uncovered, that's okay.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine 200 grams sugar, 112 grams oil, and 2 eggs. Whisk to combine.
  • Add 240 grams of sour cream and whisk to combine.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 56 grams of almond flour to the bowl. Whisk to fully incorporate the dry ingredients.
  • Add 160 grams of flour and whisk until the flour is mostly mixed, but some streaks still remain.
  • Add 70 grams of chopped dark chocolate to the bowl and fold in with a spatula.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the lined loaf pan.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes back without any batter clinging to it.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the pan (you may need to use a thin knife or spatula to loosen the edges of the cake from the short sides of the pan) and let cool fully.

Hibiscus Chocolate Ganache

  • Combine 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers with 40 grams of boiling water. Let steep for a few minutes while you heat the cream.
  • Bring 60 grams of heavy cream to a boil. You can do this in the microwave or over the stove. Stop heating as soon as it boils.
  • Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate.
  • Put a strainer over the chocolate, and strain 30 grams of hibiscus tea into the chocolate/cream mixture.
  • Use a small spatula or spoon to stir the mixture in small circles until it begins to come together. Keep stirring until the ganache is smooth and shiny.
  • Pour the warm ganache over the cooled cake.
  • If desired, top with edible flowers and leaves! I used fresh chamomile flowers and dried rose petals.


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