Ellen de Jager-Smith is head pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Bohemia hotel in Jersey. Here, she shares her perfect chocolate cake recipe to help mark World Chocolate Day (July 7) – and sends us snaps straight from her kitchen. This one’s a gluten-free and slightly healthier option, made with zero butter, refined sugar or cream, and finished with lashings of chocolate, avocado and date icing – meaning we can afford to scoff at least a few slices, right?

INGREDIENTS (makes one small cake or 10 cupcakes)

100g ground almonds
45g cocoa powder (raw cacao powder would work too)
5g baking soda
5g gluten-free baking powder
3 eggs
140g maple syrup
200g almond milk
200g pitted dates
50g grated courgette
200g olive oil
150g good quality dark chocolate 


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Sieve all of the dry ingredients together. Whisk the eggs and add the maple syrup. Blend the almond milk, dates, grated courgettes and olive oil together. Melt the dark chocolate. Add the dry ingredients to egg mixture to create a smooth batter. Carefully fold the almond milk mixture into the batter and pour in the dark chocolate. Pour the mixture into a lined tin. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (or 15 to 20 minutes if you’re making cupcakes).


2 avocados
250g dates
15g good quality cocoa powder
400g good quality dark chocolate, melted
60g maple syrup
350g almond milk
A pinch of salt


Blend everything (except the dark chocolate) in a food processor. Add the dark chocolate carefully while blending. Decorate as you please. Fresh raspberries, cocoa nibs and nuts work well.

Bohemia was the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants. The 4 AA Rosette restaurant also received the highest score in the Channel Islands in the Good Food Guide, with a glowing score of 7, and was listed as the best restaurant in Jersey in the guide’s ‘Top 50 Restaurants in the UK’.

Bohemia Bar & Restaurant, Green Street, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4UH, Channel Islands.
For reservations, call 01534 880 588 or visit