Flourless Chocolate Cake

The only two claims this cake has to a health food are that it is gluten free, and it will make you happy. I’m convinced happiness is part of good health.

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I made this cake for a class I hosted at my home: Intro to Essential Oils. The cake got almost as many rave reviews as the class. 🙂

Ten days later, I was hosting another class, this time teaching. Of course I made the same fabulous dessert.

Here’s the recipe:

Preheat oven to 300 and oil a 10 inch spring form pan.

Heat in saucepan on stove until melted, then set aside:
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup organic unbleached sugar

Melt over double boiler:
2 packages (5.5 oz each) dark chocolate, Belgian (from Trader Joe’s)
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s

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Transfer melted chocolate into a mixer bowl. Use beaters on low speed to blend in:

1 cup unsalted organic butter, cut up and added in piece at a time. Blend in sugar/water mixture. Add one at a time:

6 eggs (I used 5 duck eggs)

Pour into pan. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes. The center will look wet. Allow to cool some before transferring to the refrigerator overnight.

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To serve, I just removed the sides of the pan and placed the bottom of the pan on a cake plate. I sprinkle with a lovely flaky finishing salt, and a side of whipped cream with 3 drops of pure peppermint essential oil. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Coconut Ganach

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In celebration of our completed Whole30, we are using this as a chocolate syrup over Black Cherry Ice Cream in banana splits. Hurray for us!

Chocolate Coconut Ganach
Melt over low heat:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup cocoa powder (TJs)
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk until smooth. Use warm as a syrup, or pour into a pan or moulds and cool for Ganach dessert (serve plated with a dollop of Creme Fraiche).

Here the Ganach is served in our banana splits.

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Black Cherry Ice Cream

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Oh, this ice cream is so good!

Whir in food processor until almost puréed:
2 cups frozen organic black cherries (Costco)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp almond flavoring

In a large glass mixing bowl, whisk together:
2 cups SCD yogurt or kefir (24 hour=lactose free)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup coconut cream (or heavy whipping cream if you aren’t concerned about lactose)
1/4 cup flaxseed oil

Add cherry mixture, whisk until combined and pour into an ice cream maker.

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The flaxseed oil may be omitted if you will be serving the ice cream immediately, but if you will be freezing it for later, the oil helps for scoop-ability; without it your ice cream will be hard as a rock!

Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log [SCD, GAPS]

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I made this Chocolate Hazelnut Yule Log for church potluck in December; there are about 8 other people (besides the 6 in my family) in my small church also following an scd/gaps diet, which makes potlucks a joy. This dessert turned out to be a little more effort than I had envisioned, but it made it worth it to share it with others (adults!) who appreciate the quality and effort behind such a delicious treat.

So give the recipe already, right? Here you go:

There are 4 parts to this log: the chocolate cake, a pudding filling with coconut and hazelnuts folded into it, a topping of caramel, and a frosting of Creme Fraiche and honey.

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Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt in saucepan on stove:
1/4 stick butter
4 Tb cocoa
1 Tb water
Combine in food processor with s blade:
1.5 packed cups almond flour
2 Tb coconut flour
1/4 tsp Real salt
3/4 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
To the dry mixture, add:
Cocoa/butter mixture from stove
2 large eggs
1/4 cup scd yogurt (homemade yogurt fermented 24 hours)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/2 dropper stevia liquid (I used English Toffee flavor)
Pulse until smooth, scoop batter out into a greased baking paper in a sheet cake (jelly roll) pan. Use a piece of seran to flatten/squish the batter to an even thickness across the pan, about 1/2 in thick. Remove Seran and bake until fork comes out clean, 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before rolling into a log.

(Because it will smell fabulous, and you/your kids can’t help yourselves, trim uneven edges off, and munch on the scraps.)

Hazelnut Filling
1/2 cup honey
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp salt (more if butter Unsalted)
Melt this together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it begins to simmer, add:
1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
Meanwhile (don’t you love that I said ‘meanwhile’ while you are stirring constantly?), separate:
3 egg yolks (or 4 if small yolks)
from their whites into a glass bowl (save the whites for adding to another recipe). Whisk the yolks slightly, and when hot mixture is simmering, add half of it to bowl with egg yolks, whisk then pour back into the rest of mixture and whisk until yolks cook/mixture coats a spoon.
Remove from stove and stir in:
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 Tb rum, hazelnut flavoring, or vanilla

Allow to cool until not runny, then spread on top of chocolate cake layer. Then carefully roll the cake lengthwise and place on your serving platter.

Caramel Topping
Use this recipe for Caramel. Allow to cool about an hour before drizzling over the top of the yule log.

Craime Fraiche Frosting

This requires homemade Craime Fraiche (whipping cream cultured with yogurt starter for 24 hours).

1 pint Craime Fraiche, chilled
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey (approximately)

Using handheld electric beaters, whip cream until it thickens just as when making whipped cream. Add vanilla, then slowly add honey until all combined and light and firm peaks form.

Frost over top of Yule log. Garnish with more chopped hazelnuts.

Enjoy!

A Little Something [Honey Brittle]

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Sometimes I just need a little something. A little dessert garnish, a little protein snack, a little candy on a stick, a little caramel drizzle.
Here is a little recipe. Three ingredients. But you could use it for many different things.

Honey Brittle (or taffy, or caramel)
1 stick Unsalted organic butter (can substitute 1/2 cup coconut oil if avoiding dairy)
2/3 cup raw honey
1/4 real salt

Melt together in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. When simmering, it will foam up; continue to whisk this down. Then when it starts to boil, it won’t foam quite as much, but keep whisking! You don’t want it to burn.

The length of boiling time will determine the texture of your finished product. On my stove, this is approximately:

1 minute: caramel
3-5 minutes: taffy (firm but stretches when cold)
5-7 minutes: toffee (hard when kept in fridge, will crack with jagged edges)

If you are whisking the whole time, you won’t be in danger of burning any but the toffee. In the past I’ve tried the hard ball/ soft ball/drop in water technique, but it’s failed me. So I watch the color; light caramel color for caramel, beginning to change to brown for taffy, and fully golden brown (toffee color!) for toffee. (Oh yeah, some people use a candy thermometer…maybe I’ll get one sometime…)

I’ve been making this a lot this fall. Isn’t caramel just a fall flavor?? Love it! Here’s how I use it:

Caramel
Pour hot into a glass bowl and refrigerate 1hour, serve with dipping apples.
Drizzle over mulled cider.
Drizzle into homemade ice cream with pecans.

Taffy
Wrap in individual papers (baking paper cut in squares).
Make nut power bars: when pulling from heat, mix in 1/2lb each cashews and almonds, and 1 cup raisins (or craisins would be great). Press into a greased glass baking pan (9×13), cut into squares when cool and wrap in paper with twine ties. Here is a picture of them in a jar in my pantry, waiting to be snacks for Friday School.

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Brittle
Toffee bits/pieces for garnish: Spread thin on a large papered baking sheet, top with Himalayan Salt, and freeze 1 hour, then crack.
Nuts may be added to the above for nut brittle.
Toffeed pecans: cut honey brittle recipe in half to candy coat 1lb of nuts. Separate before cooling or you’ll have a chunk. Cinnamon is a possible addition.
Toffee on a Lolly: pour 1 batch of honey brittle into two sprayed ice cube trays (16 count each, 32 total). Pop a small sized craft stick into each, and allow to cool to warm…pop each out and roll with squares of baking paper. Kids love these! For chocolate flavor, whisk in 1/3 cup cocoa powder after removing from heat.

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Winning Pie

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We went to a wedding last night; a friend got married in a park with a BBQ reception to follow. Fun, unique, and super casual. In lieu of serving wedding cake, they held an old fashioned pie contest.

Of course I couldn’t resist taking a couple entries, although I sometimes wish people understood how unfair it is to stack gluten-free, sugar-free baked goods against the “real” thing. Nonetheless, I wanted to have a couple of pie options which my kids could eat at the wedding, and when my oldest son heard that his friend Todd was planning to enter a pie, I suddenly had a band of eager kitchen helpers.

Roman helped me make a banana cream pie, GF and starch free, sweetened with honey, and topped with honey toffee bits. It was delicious, but unfortunately did not set up (without corn starch I tried increasing egg yolks, but it didn’t work). So we scooped all the banana cream “soup” out of the crust, and tried it a second time, with more yolks, and had something worth taking, although pretty running. It was still delicious and every bit was taken. And an scd friend gave me a good idea for how to make it more successfully in the future (folding a cooked custard into whipped cream rather than cooking the cream in the custard).

Because of all the uncertainty about the banana pie, I decided to make a second pie; chocolate peanut butter. Hudson helped stir and melt and press, so he was super excited to have his pie win 3rd place (out of about 30 homemade pies)!

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I was amazed at how well this pie crust held up, especially with the abuse of being used twice for the banana cream pie. Served well out of the pan, too.

SCD Pie Crust
Blend together:
1 packed cup blanched almond flour
1 Tb coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add:
2 Tb soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 small egg
1/8-1/4 cup honey

Blend just till smooth, press into a greased pie plate, using seran to spread smoothly on bottom and sides.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown begins to show on edges, 10-12 minutes. Cool before filling.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Filling
Melt in double boiler:
10 oz. very dark chocolate

I don’t have an actual double boiler, but a glass Pyrex bowel over a saucepan of simmering water works great.

Spoon half of melted chocolate into pie crust and spread over bottom and sides of crust. Place pie pan in freezer to harden.

Using beaters, whip together:
3/4 cup soft creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2-3/4 cup honey

Spread over hardened chocolate, drizzle remaining melted chocolate in stripes over top of pie.

Chocolate Cupcakes (GAPS, SCD)

ImageThis recipe was a real hit for my two year old’s birthday! I developed it from a family recipe which has held many, many candles since I was a kid, and even before I was born. This new version is just as tender, but with less sweetness as I substituted honey for sugar.

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This cake has a great crumb for a flourless cake!

Chocolate Cupcakes
Melt in saucepan:
1 stick butter
2 Tb. water
6 Tb. cocoa powder

Pulse/mix in Cuisinart with blade:
3 packed cups almond flour (fine, blanched)
2 Tb. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. salt (less if butter is salted)
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1 Tb. cinnamon

Add to dry:
butter/cocoa mixture
1 cup honey
1/2 cup yogurt (24 hour yogurt to keep this lactose free and GAPS/SCD approved)
1 1/2 droppers English Toffee flavored stevia (Sweet Leaf brand)
2 lg. eggs (I used duck eggs)
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend just until smooth. Divide into 2 paper lined cupcake pans (24 count). Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes.

Top with Cream Fraiche and/or Raspberry Compote:
1 1/2 fresh/frozen raspberries
1 Tb. honey
juice of 1 lime
Simmer on stove until reduced and thickened.

Spiced Pear Tart

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My son requested “apple pie” for his birthday cake this week. I felt that I could fake a single crust pie better than a two crust pie while using almond flour rather than real flour.

So it was going to be an apple tart, until the kids ate up all the apples the day before the birthday. So then it became a pear tart. We did have one half of an apple remaining, which took center stage, literally, in the center of the tart.

At this morphed stage of the birthday pie, I was thinking fondly of a spiced pear tart recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which is where my inspiration came from to make it upside down in a cast iron skillet.

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Preheat oven to 350.

In a large, clean (no savory flavors left over…if unsure, scramble eggs in butter and remove…there shouldn’t be flavors left after that) cast iron skillet, melt and stir:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. orange zest (I didn’t have this, but I’m adding it here because I think it’d be great) 🙂

Stir this syrup while it bubbles, about 5 minutes. I had my 8 year old daughter stir this while I cored, pealed and sliced:
2 pears (about 12 slices for large pears)

Lay the pear slices in the syrup, in a circular fashion, starting in the center.

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Let the pears cook in the spiced syrup for about 7 minutes, until soft, while you make the crust in the food processor:

2 cups almond flour
3 dashes cinnamon
2 Tb soft butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
Blend, then add:
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
Blend just until smooth. Turn out onto greased parchment paper. Cover with seran and roll to a round the size of your iron skillet (just guesstimate the size), about 1/2 inch thick. Remove seran, turn off stovetop, and invert onto top of pears/syrup. Press down slightly until dough is touching pears all around.

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It was at this point I wished I had greased the parchment before rolling out the dough. If you do, it may come off neatly at this point. Of course, it may also slip off while inverting it. Anyway, I baked it in the oven with the paper on top. After 15 minutes I pulled it from the oven and removed the paper. Only a little stuck, so not much harm done.

Allow it to cool on your stovetop or a cooling rack before inverting it onto a display plate.

This is quite sweet; we enjoyed it with dollops of smooth and tangy Creme Fraiche.

Almond Caramel/Brittle

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My kids raced their Awana Derby Cars tonight at the annual Grand Prix. Lots of fun! When my husband turned to me afterward and suggested celebratory ice cream, I was glad I had almond caramel bars waiting at home instead.

I haven’t been doing so well at staying perfectly on SCD. It always seems to be some “special occasion” where I indulge…but special occasions seem to come so often. I never eat gluten, but those grains, like corn chips, are so tempting to me, and I notice that I can feel it in my gut for a few days afterward. I must not be totally healed, and I know I need to focus on being grain free, as well as a concerted effort on sugar and lactose free, for the time being.

Anyway, we came home and enjoyed these:

Almond Caramel
1 stick butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup sliced almonds
Put it in a saucepan, melt over medium heat, simmer for 7 minutes while stirring, pour into a greased 5×8 glass pan, cool in fridge. Cut and serve when firm.

How easy is that? About as easy as making jello, right? That’s why this is my new favorite treat.

Today I used unsalted butter, so I added about 1/4 salt.

Brittle
I made this once, forgot to set the timer, so I kept stirring and watching it, and then I saw it change color to brown. I took it off the heat ASAP, but it had changed from caramel to brittle. Still super yummy, but if you plan it as brittle, I would recommend pouring it onto a piece of parchment paper, as it’s a little hard to chip out of the pan.

Pure Maple Sugar Candies

I found these delicious maple candies at my local Fred Meyer last December.

I was impressed that they are made from pure maple syrup. Maple Grove Farms also has other candies with blends of maple syrup and cane sugar, so choose carefully.

Of course this company also sells maple syrup, although not at the great prices of Amazon.com or Trader Joes.

To find a retailer in your area, you can check this page on the Maple Grove website.