Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I am not the cleanest of cooks… I would go so far I would be in the top 5 messiest!
I have the uncanny ability to get cake mixture not only all over the bench, but in my hair, on my clothes and I have even managed to get some on the curtains across the room. I comsider it a skill; a gift even!
Sometimes I don’t even realise how filthy I have gotten – which can lead to some embarrassing situations. Like when you get dressed in the dark (to not wake the snoring husband) to make it to a 7am pilates class only to find yourself with chocolate cake spotted pants and smears of muffin mixture on your jacket when you finally make it into the light (where unfortunately you meet people who can see the collateral damage). At least my clothes aren’t on inside out; that happend to someone once!
I should wear an apron… at least then only the walls would get dirty!
I love cake. I love giving cake. I don’t give flowers or chocolates; instead I’ll bake a cake to cheer someone up, to celebrate a milestone or just because I want them to know that I appreciate them. Cake is the universal gift that cannot be refused! Especially these cakes, because they are healthy (well, healthier anyway, two even contain vegetables!).
The Great Chocolate Cake-Off (Paleo Style)
I used to have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that I used all the time. It was simple and did the trick. It, unfortunately, contained way to much sugar and wheat. So I had to find a new go-to recipe which was sugar, dairy and gluten free and (this is most important) that actually tasted like chocolate cake. And I don’t mean like a healthy chocolate cake, like a real cake. One where you feel fatter for even looking at it and afterwards you promise yourself that you’ll never eat cake again and you’re starting your diet tomorrow. I wanted a healthy cake to taste like that.
I found four recipes, each very different in their ingredients and cooked textures. Two contained vegetables (sweet potato and beetroot), three out of the four used coconut flour, the other almond meal and only 1 used real chocolate in the mix. The results from the blind testers were unanimous!
What we discovered was that beetroot was a very overpowering ingredient (this may have been because it was homegrown and had a stronger flavour than store bought beetroot). Whilst it gave the cake a red velvet appearance it was most definately a chocolate beetroot cake. This was in contrast to the recipe that used sweet potato. The testers were unable to pick which cake used this special ingredient. It gave the cake a moist, dense character. We all agreed that this cake was delicious but more suited to a pudding style dish. Eaten warm with whipped coconut cream it would be amazing.
The almond meal cake was not a moist as those that used coconut flour (the egg to meal/flour ratio is quite different when using coconut flour compared to almond meal) and it lacked the intense chocolate flavour of the other 3 cakes.
The overwhelming favourite amongst all testers was the chocolate cake adapted from Paleospirit.com. Not only was it moist and chocolately, it held its shape like a normal cake and would be able to be decorated. Your guests at a birthday party would not spot the healthy alternative!
As I ate my (2nd) piece of favourite Paleo Chocolate Cake (with whipped coconut cream – my new BFF) I felt the sinful urges of eating cake. That’s when it became my new go-to recipe.
- 2/3 cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 cup Cocoa, unsweetened
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 6 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil, melted
- 3/4 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup Milk (of choice)
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F
- Grease a 18cm (7 inch) cake tin (20cm/8 inch would be fine also) and line with baking paper.
- Sift the coconut flour, cocoa and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs.
- Add the oil, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on high speed for about 1 minute so that the batter is fluffy.
- Spread the batter in the pan evenly. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (if your oven tends to over cook things check the cake at 40 minutes then every 5 minutes until it is cooked through)
- Allow to cool before removing from tin.
- This tastes great when decorated with Chocolate Frosting!
Amazing Paleo – Chocolate cake using sweet potato
The Saffron Girl – Chocolate caking using beetroot
Australian Womens Health Magazine – Chocolate cake using almond meal