The making and baking of sweets is a semi-rare thing for me nowadays, which is ironic only for the fact that I actually started out on my culinary path by getting myself a degree in Baking & Pastry. Back then I was more fascinated by the idea of icing petit fours and baking breads as opposed to the makings of sauces and stocks and learning the basics of butchering. I wanted to create edible works of art and sweets are pretty much always beautiful and entrancing – while there are many savory foods out there that might make you second guess your decision to “try something new.”
These days stocks and sauces are a weekly thing for me and I taught myself to break down a chicken from a YouTube video followed by lots of practice. Once I started cooking most of my meals at home and from scratch (and I do this in an effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also out of a passion for eating really good food), baked goods and breads by their own sweet nature became somewhat lost in the mix. Going off processed foods and grains can do that to you, in a way. Now the only time I make anything sweet is for other people and/or special occasions and the only bread I make (need?) is Brazilian Cheese Bread. The story of this cake in particular is a tragedy and a comedy all wrapped up in one, given the previous and yet unforetold facts, and it all ends with me sitting here typing this and finishing off the remainders of someone else’s birthday cake.
I had wanted to make a cake for my friend and co-worker’s birthday. He’s always politely asking me to cook for him and I wanted to make something special for his party in reward for his enthusiasm for my cooking. I woke up real early on the day of (although that’s not part of the tragedy, I’m always up that early) to make the cake when I realized that I wasn’t really all that equipped to make any kind of a cake, as I hadn’t made one in very long while. You may be thinking it’s because I lacked ingredients or a recipe, but surprisingly enough I had almost everything on hand and knew what I needed to do (at least for the cake, the icing took a bit more creativity). I realized what I lacked was equipment: cake pans, mixers, and beaters are non-existent in my tiny kitchen. But I couldn’t let that stop me.
Two cups of coffee and a bike ride later, I had created a delicious grain-free chocolate cake that was iced and ready to go. But then later that day something came up and I ended up being unable to attend, and therefore unable to deliver said cake to said birthday party as previously promised. As I sit here eating this cake, I’m thinking that I may have to make it up my friend in the form of actual dinner. Or at least some form of a snack. Or maybe just another cake. Because I’ve definitely eaten most of this one already. Myself. Luckily I had two awesome friends swoop in and kill off a few slices for me as well, so I can sleep better knowing I only ate 1/2 of an entire cake. There are still one or two pieces in my fridge that I may bring in to work this morning, although if I listen closely I can hear them calling my name. They would go great with some coffee…. At the end of the day (despite the non-delivery of cake) I ended up making this really great grain-free cake that I can now share with you. One that I personally approve of.
- 10 eggs
- 3/4 cup of coconut flour
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (I used Dagoba, found at Wheatsville Coop)
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup of honey
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt into a medium bowl. Whisk them together to remove any lumps from the cocoa powder and coconut flour. Combine well.
- After "sifting" the flour mixture, place all of the liquid ingredients into a larger, separate bowl (eggs, honey, oil, and vanilla extract) and whisk / combine until slightly frothy and well combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid bowl gradually, whisking as you pour. Hand mix until well combined.
- Oil a sheet pan with a layer of olive oil or cooking spray. Spread the batter evenly onto the oiled sheet pan.
- Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes - a knife will come out clean and the cake should be soft and spongy but firm. Let it sit in the pan until it cools, I like to slice from the pan or use a mason jar rings (or cookie cutters) to make miniature circle cakes. Any cookie cutter really, will work. You can also layer the two halves of the sheet cake over each other and frost them like a 2-layered rectangular cake.
- Serve with the chocolate pudding recipe listed below, or your favorite go-to icing or whipped cream. Or ice cream...
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs (sweetened) or chocolate chips
- 2 cups grass-fed milk or coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter
- 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (high quality - I used Dagoba found at Wheatsville Coop) --> or to taste, you chocolate lovin' fools
- Place a medium or small sauce pan filled halfway with water on the stove top. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a soft boil.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the milk with the tapioca starch to create a flurry. Set aside.
- In a larger stainless steel bowl, add the rest of the milk, the butter / oil, the cocoa powder, and the sugar. Place the stainless steel bowl over the pot with the boiling water and stir the mixture with a whisk, until it all melts together.
- Add the slurried milk and stir continuously with the whisk. The mixture should thicken as the steam heats the bowl, after about 5-10 minutes. When the mixture has started to thicken, add the chocolate chips or cacao nibs and then remove it from the heat.
- Wipe the condensation from the bottom of the bowl and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, stirring it every 4-5 minutes. When it has warmed / cooled and thickened more, remove it from the freezer and use it to ice the cake. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- *sub milk of choice for grass-fed butter and and sub coconut oil for grass-fed butter to make dairy-free*