Thursday, June 5, 2014

flourless chocolate cake

do a google search for "flourless chocolate cake" and you will come across many options...most laden with white or powdered sugar. do a search for "grain-free brownie" or "grain-free chocolate cake" and, i'm not going to lie, you will find many results, but, perhaps like me, be disappointed by the resulting taste and texture. i love an ooey-gooey brownie as much as (possibly more than) the next person. other paleo, grain-free brownies i have tried have been a let down...too much coconut flour leaves them chalky, too much almond flour leaves them overly moist, too much tapioca starch leaves them higher on the glycemic impact than i prefer. one major thing i have learned over the last couple years is the mix of alternative flours you use is very important. this recipe, however, uses NO alternative almond flour, no coconut flour, no tapioca starch. skeptical would be a kind word to describe how i was feeling when i found and made this recipe, but i had just made almond butter and my food processor was already dirty so, why not? once i tasted the batter i was feeling more hopeful. i have, however, in the past had delicious grain-free batters that turned into disappointing baked goods, so i held my breath and final judgements until the end.

oh. my. goodness. JOY. when this rich, chocolate pan cooled off i found myself in cake heaven. light and airy, not eggy, not overly sweet. a near mary poppins of baked confections. extra bonus? the ingredients aren't hard to find/make. i made this recipe three times while visiting friends in oregon over spring break. that's three times in ONE week. when you find a good thing you must share it, right?! ;)

this recipe is originally from the healthy home economist and is called a brownie. the picture they posted is most likely cut from the middle of the pan. i have found if you want more of a brownie texture, cook it less. for a lighter, less gooey cake texture, mix the liquid ingredients more and bake longer. for my oven this means 24 minutes leaves a gooey center (will have a little wiggle in the middle when you take it out) and by 28 minutes the whole pan raises to cake stature (still a little give, but more solid). do NOT over bake. the recipe also works wonderfully baked in individual ramekins (baking time 15-20 minutes, depending on the size you use). i have changed very little...i use less maple syrup than the original recipe, found honey works fine as a substitute, and omit the chocolate chips, but otherwise have stuck to the above linked recipe.

flourless chocolate cake

1 C almond butter
6 eggs
2/3 C grade B maple syrup or honey
1 T vanilla
1 C raw cacao powder (organic cocoa powder is also fine)
1/4 t sea salt (originally called for 1/2 t salt, but my almond butter is already salted)
1 t baking soda

blend almond butter, eggs, sweetener, and vanilla in your food processor. add cacao powder, salt, and baking soda and blend again, scraping sides down to be sure everything incorporates well. spray or oil a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 24-28 minutes. allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

this is delicious on its own, served with a scoop of your preferred ice cream, or with fresh fruit (think raspberries or strawberries). it is also very tasty with dark chocolate chips/chunks and walnut pieces scattered on top before baking...sprinkle with a little sea salt after removing from the oven (oh man, that last one was gooOd).

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