Friday, June 22, 2012

Grain-free Chocolate Cake.

My attempts at grain-free cakes have really come a long way.  Those of you who have ever made a grain-free cake know that it's not the easiest thing ;)  I started my journey with some of Elana's recipes at Elana's Pantry.  The results were better than I hoped, but I knew I could make it better.  Over the past three summers, I've made a couple versions of her chocolate cake.  I've scoured a countless number of other food blogs, drawing ideas from what other real food bloggers have done in grain-free cake land.  I've experimented with the amounts of liquids and ratios of flours and other ingredients, changing it as I went along, longing for a certain taste and mouth feel of cake.  Now I finally have a recipe entirely my own.  Each time I've learned something new, and now this is a cake I am really happy with.  I cannot say more about this cake's texture, flavor and ease of cooking.  I know that you'll love it too.

Grain-free Chocolate Cake.
    makes two nine inch round cakes

  3/4 cup  organic coconut flour
  1/2 cup  blanched almond flour
  1/2 cup  cocoa powder - I used Ghirardelli
  12  real eggs
  1 cup  maple syrup - grade B
  1 cup  organic coconut oil, melted
  1 Tbsp  vanilla
  1/2 tsp  baking powder
  1 tsp  baking soda
  1 tsp  unrefined sea salt

  4 cups  organic powdered sugar
  1 stick  unsalted butter - I used KerryGold
  ~1/2 cup  raw whole milk
  1/2 tsp  unrefined sea salt
  optional: extract of choice for flavor, here I used mint extract

Chocolate Ganache, or use my Paleo Ganche recipe:
  1 - 12 oz  package chocolate chips - I used Trader Joes brand - feel free to use unsweetened also
  1/2  stick unsalted butter - I used KerryGold

Here's the final product! Cake assembled and frosting+ganache set.

To make your chocolate cake:
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees convection.
  2.  In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda. Whisk until there are no lumps.
  3.  In another bowl, whisk together eggs (room temp), maple syrup, melted coconut oil (make sure it's not hot), and vanilla.
  4.  Combine wet into dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. ****Grease and flour the sides of the pan - use butter (best) or coconut oil (ok). 
  6.  Pour equal amounts of cake batter into 2 9" round cake pans.
  7.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until top springs back lightly when touched and sides are pulling away from the pan.
  8.  Let cool only until you can handle the pans, then run a knife around the edges before gently inverting the cakes and removing them from the pan. If you floured and greased the sides well, getting the cakes out of the pan shouldn't be an issue, but if you didn't, you might get only the top of the cake out!

To make your frosting and ganache:
  1.  For the frosting, with room temperature butter, cream butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add milk slowly as needed into the sugar and butter.
  2.  Add vanilla, extract (optional).
  3.  For the ganache, in a double boiler melt chocolate chips and butter. Remove from heat when 80% of the chocolate is melted. Stir. The heat will melt the remaining chips.
  4.  Let ganache cool, but still be spreadable.

Cake assembly:
  1.  Remove cake from the pans. Place one on a large plate.
  2.  Frost with one layer of frosting on the top of the cake.
  3.  Place the remaining cake on top of the frosted layer.
  4.  Frost with remaining frosting on top and sides of both layers.
  5.  Place cake in the fridge for the frosting to set.
  6.  Spread ganache on top of the cake. Return to the fridge and allow ganache to set.

1) You can easily cut this recipe in half, and you'll have one 9" cake.
2) Do not make this with runny honey instead of maple syrup. There is less flavor and a bit less sweetness. When I made this with honey it just seemed to be lacking something.
3) Make sure your eggs are on the medium/large side. I've made this cake with small sized eggs, and the end product was a bit more on the dry side than I would like.

Here are some pictures of the first grain-free chocolate cakes I made:

At my house, cake is always served with real ice cream!

There was A LOT of filling inside, and it still wasn't enough ;)

German chocolate cake, completely finished!

This was my first attempt at grain-free chocolate cake. I wish I had remembered to snap a picture before cutting it up!

My brother's birthday is always during the summer, so I always have an excuse to make a cake.  It's my once a year cake indulgence!  However that is beginning to change since I've learned how to make these cakes so nourishing and healthy!  This summer will probably be a little different since my brother and his wife are having twins.  It's very exciting, but I doubt a birthday celebration with cake and ice cream will be the last thing on their mind ;)  This past week I made this cake in a banana version with peanut butter frosting!  It's so nourishing, low in sugar and high in protein, and I've been eating it with my yogurt and berries for breakfast.

Happy summer! Cake away :)


jlaliberty said...

How much is 1 stick of Kerry Gold butter, aren't those like 2 regular sticks of butter? Do I cut one in half the long way?

Meagan said...

1 stick of butter means one stick of butter. If you use KerryGold you will need to cut it in half.

Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server said...

Congratulations to your brother and his wife. They look like a lovely couple! And GREAT cake! Simple and yummy!

ForgottenPhotos said...

How moist does this cake get? I would love to try this for cupcakes for my daughters birthday party but always get concerned with almond flour and such that it comes out dry. Is 1 cup of coconut oil sufficed?

Meagan said...

ForgottenP - This cake is very moist! It's not dry even one bit. Good luck with cupcakes! Be sure to reduce oven time :)

Davis @ Candida said...

Being on a sugar free/grain free diet I can use this recipe to make my own chocolate cake version. I know how difficult it is to make a moist chocolate cake when you have to substitute ingredients. The pictures you have here makes the cake look appetizing enough to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

How much is 1 stick of butter? I don't live in the US and butter doesn't come in sticks here. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

One stick of butter is 1/2 cup.

Kari Peters said...

Your Chocolate Cake looks so... good! I've never attempted two layer grain-free cakes.