Guiltless Chocolate Cake // Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad is a chocoholic.  End of story.  He would eat just about anything if it were covered in chocolate–so we have to watch him 😀

For his birthday, we whipped up a flour-free, dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate cake.  With so much “missing” from this cake (as compared to a traditional cake recipe), we were genuinely surprised as to the quality and richness of the texture.  This cake is hearty enough to be eaten at a tea party, coffeehouse, or evening snack.  Its rich, moist, chocolate, fudge-like qualities will romance your taste buds and make them ask for more!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

FlourlessChocolateCake2

8 oz baking chocolate

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup dates

1/2 cup hot water

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp coconut oil

In a food processor, blend dates until smooth.  Add cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, and coconut oil.  Melt the chocolate squares and add to mixture–be careful not to let the warm chocolate cook the eggs!  Pour batter into greased round cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Serve warm or at room temperature with coffee, espresso, coconut ice cream, or just on its own!

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Mini-Cake // Snow Adventures Continued!

I hope y’all are staying warm this (continued) winter!  This past weekend, Mary and I went downstate for a conference and were met with a horrible snow/ice storm on our way back.

Fortunately, we made it back up North–just in time for a housewarming party, turned birthday celebration for one of our gluten-free friends.  We made a gluten-free mini-cake for the friend, and wheat-free, dairy-free cupcakes for everyone else (I made a standard yellow cake recipe, substituting coconut oil and coconut milk for the dairy products–with the slight flavor of coconut and vanilla, it was amazing!)

Unfortunately, with all the hullabaloo, I neglected to take a photo (though the mini-cake was the cutest little thing).  We poured the batter into two small heart-shaped pans to make a double layer heart.

Coconut Mini-Cake

1/8 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

1 egg

1/8 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup rice flour

Combine wet ingredients and sugar in bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Add flours and dry ingredients and stir briskly until thoroughly incorporated.

Pour into greased mini-pans or muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (baking time depends on the size of the pan, if you put all the batter into one pan, the baking time will be longer).  Good with chocolate frosting and strawberry jam between the layers.

Chocolate Turtles // St. Valentine’s Day

Getting ready for St. Valentine’s Day, but can’t think of any sweets to make GF?  Well, you’re in luck!  These decadent chocolate turtles are naturally gluten-free (though not dairy-free–however, non-dairy chocolate does exist).  And by making the candies in decorative muffin cups, clean up is easy!  You can easily make large batches of turtles in almost no time at all–we made 5 1/2 dozen in less than an hour!

Chocolate Turtles

Pecan halves (pieces would work as well)

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers (though chocolate chips can work as well)

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers

Vanilla Caramels

Note: the 2 lbs of melting wafers from Ghirardelli was one of the best deals that we found for such good quality–if you aren’t able to use all of the chocolate at once, it freezes well.

Place muffin cups on a baking sheet and fill the bottom with 3-4 pecans or pecan pieces:

Turtles1

Unwrap caramels, if necessary; place one caramel in each muffin cup, making sure that it is in the middle of the nuts:

Turtles2

You can use either an oven or a microwave to melt the caramels–while a microwave works, sometimes it can be too strong and if the caramels are melted too much, they can turn crunchy instead of smooth.

For Microwave: Place candies on a microwaveable plate and cook on high for 20-30 seconds until caramels are just melted

For Oven: Place candies on baking sheet in 325° F oven for 10 minutes until caramels are just melted:

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Set caramels aside to cool.   Place dark melting wafers in the top of a double boiler; stir until melted.  For further instructions on melting chocolate, Ghirardelli has a nice explanation.

You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave: place wafers in a microwaveable bowl, cook in microwave on high for 15-20 second intervals until chocolate is melted.  Be careful not to burn chocolate!

Cover nuts and caramels with chocolate.  You can swirl white chocolate over the dark chocolate, or vice versa, for decoration.  Sprinkles are fun too 🙂

Turtles4

 

Wait until candies are completely cool and hard before consuming.

Make some cute cards to accompany candies:

Valentine Cards

Enjoy!  Happy St. Valentine’s Day!