Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Is there some thing you do often that could probably be considered
fruitless pointless a waste of time?
I’m not talking about making the bed every morning (cause you’re just going to mess it up again at night!!) but something out of your normal daily routine. Maybe you take a lotto ticket every Saturday, maybe you leave the washing unsorted in the hopes that the laundry fairy will visit or maybe you’re like me and you enter competitions.
As a teenager I used to sit around next to the radio waiting for the winning song to come and frantically start calling the radio station to be the 9th caller. Lucky for me there was probably only 4 people listening to the FM station in my town and soon enough I was the lucky caller, winning a 1927 Album and a drink bottle (yes I’m old if I won an album!!!). I won a few things over the years; nothing as exciting as that first prize but just enough to keep me thinking I was in with a chance (#addicted).
Now, instead of calling radio stations (do they still exist?!) I enter the Taste Magazine #tastemagcover competition each month. Each month you attempt to cook the cover recipe and make it as fancy looking as their professional food stylists and photographers do. Most months I enter, and then I rush to the entry page of the next edition to see if my photo is in there…and it never is. One month I did get a DM on Insta saying that they might use my photo and could I answer some questions about the recipe. I don’t think they liked my answers (that I didn’t actually follow their recipe and instead used hidden veggies) as it never got in.
But this month…this month maybe I’m in with a chance because I think I out did myself with my version of their Chocolate Speckled Cake.
Whilst the prize would be nice, the main reason I #tasemagcover is so I can recreate the dish to help others overcome food envy. Leafing through food mags is a favourite past time of mine, but it can be depressing when you can’t eat most of the foods. I like to recreate the recipes using gluten free and dairy free ingredients making them Lisa friendly and putting my own #crazyveggielady spin on them. Whilst it will never see me win a new fridge or a super heavy frying pan, I am able to help more people enjoy amazing looking and tasty foods and that’s a win for me!
This Chocolate Chip Easter Cake is quite simply AMAHHHHMAZING!!!! It’s a mash up of flavors that oddly seem to work together, and it’s topped with a noodle chocolate nest and kid painted eggs. It will make an impressive dessert addition to your Easter feast…and unlike most Easter treats there’s no carrots in sight!!
Underneath the tasty Blueberry Cream Frosting is 3 layers of a Vanilla Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake. The cake is baked as a large rectangle and then the layers are cut out and assembled. I like baking my layer cakes in this way as means the cake layers fit snuggly into the tin and you get better formed layers and it’s a helpful way to moderate the amount of cake you eat (instead of baking 3 giant 20cm layers and stacking them up). I’ve made a slight change in the cake from previous recipes by adding Arrowroot to the Coconut Flour. This makes a more stable cake and gives the layers more thickness.
The Blueberry Cream Frosting makes a perfect purple covering for the cake, but it you prefer you can swap them for raspberries (pink) or blackberries (probably the same purple!). The berries are stewed and cooked down before being added to the thickened cream. This helps to intensify the flavour and makes a more vibrant colour. I have added a small amount of Gelatin to my cream to help make it thicker. Sometimes Coconut Cream, when taken from a chilled can of coconut milk or cream, doesn’t go as thick as you hope it will, or sometimes the Berries don’t cook down enough and remain too watery. If this happens the Berry Cream Frosting will be too runny and won’t stay in between the cake layers; by adding Gelatin it helps to strengthen the cream and give it more stability. It’s a good idea to make the Berry Cream Frosting before baking the cake so it has time to thicken.
This awkward looking Chocolate Nest was not edible but it did make the cake look super impressive. In the Taste Magazine recipe they used Rice Noodles but in keeping with the Paleo theme I used Sweet Potato Noodles. Now please don’t confuse these Sweet Potato Noodles with the noodles you’d make from a spiralizer and a fresh veggie. These are firm noodles from the Asian food section of Woolies that cook in water just like a rice noodle (they’re super tasty!). Rice or Sweet Potato; don’t cook the noodles before drowning them in melted chocolate.
The final touch to my version of this Chocolate Chip Easter Cake is the painted hard boiled eggs on top of the cake. The Magazine used white chocolate eggs, painted blue and speckled, but because I’m the strange Mum who doesn’t want her kids to be eating Easter eggs for the entire month before Easter Sunday I opted for hard boiled eggs. This actually worked out great as the kids painted them and then there was a fight after dessert to see who would get to eat the egg!
- Make the Blueberry Cream first to make sure it’s had time to thicken.
- You can swap the berries to change the colour of the cake.
- The cake is not overly sweet. Don’t worry if the cake scraps you nibble on taste plain; this allows for the frosting to be the hero of the dessert.
- You don’t have to make the nest. Instead you could decorate with chocolate eggs, berries or the kids Easter crafts.
- There is 200 grams of Chocolate for the Chocolate Chips and the Ganache. You can make this as 1 large batch and set it in a large tray (like the one you baked the cake in) in the freezer instead of making 2 separate amounts. Alternatively, use store bought chocolate
- Vanilla Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake
- 100 grams Chocolate Chips
- Berry Cream Frosting
- Chocolate Noodle Nest
- Boiled Eggs, painted to match the frosting
- 9 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup plus 1/4 Cup Milk (of choice)
- 3 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 3/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 2/3 Cup Arrowroot
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 400 grams Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Optional, depending on tartness of berries)
- 4 Tablespoons Water
- 2 teaspoons Gelatine
- 3 Cups Coconut Cream (place many 400ml can of Coconut Cream/Milk opened in the fridge overnight. Spoon off the thickened cream and discard the watery remains)
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 4 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Cococa
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream (can opened and in fridge overnight; spoon out thickened cream leaving behind watery contents)
- 100 grams Chocolate (you can make your own using the earlier recipe)
- 1 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 30-50 grams of uncooked rice vermicelli noodles or uncooked sweet potato noodles (not the ones you make on the spiralizer but the actual noodles from the Asian section of Woolies that look and taste like rice noodles. They're awesome in stirfries)
- 1/4 Cup Coconut OIl
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- This cake can be constructed in either a 5 or 6 inch spring form cake tin. I have used a 6 inch tin.
- Take the bottom of the chosen tin and cut 2 circles from the Vanilla Chocolate Chip sheet cake. Make sure at least 1 of the circles is complete. The scraps will be used to complete the 2nd circle (if needed) and form the 3rd, bottom layer.
- Take a 6 or 5 inch spring form tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Line the sides of the tin, ensuring that the paper goes above the level of the tin edges (you can always add the 2 layer if needed during construction). Make sure the paper is greased.
- Using the scraps of the cake, press the pieces into the bottom of the cake tin to fill the bottom of the spring form tin. It won't look pretty but it doesn't matter as there will be lots of layers on top and it will never be seen.
- Spread 1 Cup of Berry Cream Frosting evenly over the bottom cake layer.
- Top with a layer of cake (the almost full layer of cake; use more scraps to complete the layer) and spread another 1 Cup of Berry Ceam Frosting on top.
- Place the full cake layer on top.
- Cover the cake in plastic wrap and place the cake in the freezer for 2 hours then place it in the fridge until you are ready. The freezer helps to set the layers.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and the tin.
- Spread the remaining Berry Cream Frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Make sure the entire cake is covered.
- Take the speckle mixture and flick it all over the cake. You can use a pastry brush, a paint brush or a fork to fling the mixture onto the cake. Mayb do this bit out side or at least cover the bench and floor with a towel.
- Place the cake in the fridge for 30-60 minutes (longer is also fine).
- Pour the Ganache on top of the cake and spread to the sides, allowing some to drip off the edges.
- Place the cake in the fridge for another 30-60 minutes (longer is also fine) to allow the ganache to harden.
- Top with the chocolate nest, painted and speckled eggs.
- This amazingly awesome cake needs to be kept in the fridge between serves.
- The nest will start to melt at room temperature (if you have used my coconut oil based chocolate recipe) and must be kept in the freezer.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Line and grease a large baking tray (32cm X 27cm)
- Place the eggs into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg on high for 5 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk until large peaks have formed. Continue whisking on medium/high and add the milk.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the dry ingredients together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
- Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour).
- Fold through the chocolate chips.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray.
- Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a very low heat. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.
- Stir in the Cocoa and allow to thicken slightly.
- Pour the Chocolate into a small lined baking tray and freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove the Chocolate from the freezer and break into large pieces.
- Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to cut the chocolate into small pieces
- Use immediately or refreeze for later use.
- You don't need to add the gelatine if your cream is super thick and the cooked berry mixture isn't watery. Adding the gelatin helps to make the frosting more stable.
- Place the bluberries, maple syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a slow, rolling boil.
- Decrease the heat to medium/low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until thick. Ensure that the pot is stirred regularly to prevent sticking or burning.
- Use a masher or blender to break down the berries slightly if still chunky. Allow the mixture to cool completely before adding to the cream.
- In a bowl of a kitchen stand with a whisk attachment, add the thickened coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk on high until thick.
- Turn the whisk off and add the cooled berry mixture. Whisk on medium until combined.
- Take 2 Tablespoons of the cream and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cream and allow to thicken for 5 minutes. Place that small bowl in a larger bowl full of boiling water, ensuring that no water is able to get into the gelatin mixture. Stir the gelatin mix until it has melted. Add the gelatine liquid to the cream and whip to fully incorporate.
- Place the cream in the fridge and allow to thicken before using (allow 4 hours)
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof bowl. Add coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the coconut cream to the boil.
- Pour boiling cream into the chocolate bowl and allow to sit for 5 min, before whisking to combine.
- Allow to cool before using.
- If ganache cools and hardens, place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk gently until the lumps have broken and the ganache is smooth.
- A ganached cake does not have to be kept in the fridge; however if the ambient temperature is too warm the ganache will soften. If you feel it's too warm or you notice the ganache becoming soft put it in the fridge.
- Take the noodles and gentle loosen them and place them into a large mixing bowl.
- Take 2 dinner sized bowls/kids sized bowls and give them a good grease.
- Melt the coocnut oil in a saupan over low heat. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir.
- Add the cocoa and stir til combined.
- Pour the chocolate mix into the dry noodles and stir, mix, cover them all in chocolate. It helps to use a fork (or you fingers) to get even coverage.
- Shape the noodles over the base of one of the bowls and then place the other bowl on top and press down to create the shape.
- Place the bowl/noodle/bowl sandwhich in the frrzer for at;east 30 minutes to set.
- The nest must be kept in the freezer and is more about looks than actually eating!!