LET’S CELEBRATE CHOCOLATE CAKE!

choc cake

I’m back!  Did ya’ miss me?  Don’t worry, I know you did, but it’s all OK now.

keep-calm-i-am-back

If you saw my last post you’ll know my absence has been due to rampant pregnancy induced nausea and I can’t even begin to tell you how ecstatic I am to be back on the food wagon!  Please keep the garlic and coffee away from me still though…

My first foray back into the kitchen was for Grandma Bear’s birthday.  This is not strictly Paleo as it does use butter, but it is also quite delicious.  I gave it another crack for our office morning tea and there was not a crumb left over.

INGREDIENTS

200g dark chocolate, my favourite is Green & Blacks 85% cocoa

150g butter

½ Cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 ¼ Cups ground almonds

2 Tablespoons cacao powder

Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and line your cake tin with baking paper.  I use a springform cake tin and this makes the removal of the cake so much easier.

Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl).  This is easiest if you chop them up into bits first.

Remove the bowl from the heat once they’re both melted and mix through the almonds, vanilla, sugar, egg yolks and cacao powder.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.  Next bit mildly technical, but you can do it!  Take one spoonful of the beaten egg whites and beat them into the chocolate mixture.  This will loosen it and make it easier to gently fold the rest of the egg whites in.  We need to try and maintain the aeration in the egg whites as that is what provides the lift to the cake.  The best motion to do this is a ‘cut’ rather than a ‘beat’.

Once all the egg whites have been incorporated gently pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for ~40 mins.  You want the texture of the cake to be sort of fudgy, so you’re definitely not looking for a clean skewer if that’s how you test the done-ness of your cake.

Enjoy with some coconut yoghurt or cream.  Birthday candles are optional, but they do add a rather jaunty, festive note 🙂

Raw Apple Crumble

raw apple crumble

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit this is not pretty and my photography skills probably do it no favors either!  But trust me it’s actually really good.  Sometimes it’s just so nice to have something fresh that’s not a fruit salad.  This definitely fits the bill.  It’s not really a crumble as the crumble bit goes on the bottom, but I didn’t really know what else to call it!

INGREDIENTS

Base
1 cup walnuts
5 medjool dates – make sure they’re pitted!
Pinch Salt
teaspoon of vanilla extract

Filling

5 medium-sized apples peeled, cored and cut into chunks (granny smith or braeburn are best)

5 medjool dates

½ Cup raisins
2½ tsp cinnamon
juice of ½ lime

1 dessertspoon of maple syrup

DIRECTIONS

Combine all the base ingredients in a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ black and whizz until they become crumbly. Line a springform cake tin with baking paper and press the mixture into base and place in the fridge while you make the apple layer.

Place 2 of the apples and all other ingredients into the food processor and whizz until smooth. Pour this mixture into a bowl.

Put the remaining apples into the processor and whizz into small chunks.  Add to the puree in the bowl and mix well.

Spread the apple over the base and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let the flavours develop.  I like to have this with a spoon of coconut cream on top, as you can tell from the photo!