Saturday, July 28, 2012

Divine Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Cake (Grain Free and Paleo Friendly)

My youngest had his 3rd birthday last weekend and to celebrate I made him this beautiful and tasty Paleo/ Grain Free cake!  The actually dark chocolate cake recipe is not mine so I will include a link to it along with the changes I made, we really enjoyed it and hope you do to!

DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE:  I used this recipe from The Food Lovers Kitchen, the only modifications that I made where the following;  I reduced the honey to 3/4 cup (we have a wonderful mild local honey) and added in 1/4 cup of coffee liquor (which is a simple sugar syrup with coffee and vodka essentially).

 Strawberry Syrup Filling: I made a "syrup" of 4 cups chopped strawberries and 1/2 cup raw honey.  I pureed them in the blender and then poured it into a saucepan.  Brought it to a boil, reduced the heat and simmered until it was my desired consistency. You will have extra you can use on pancakes or ice cream if you like.  I then set it aside and let it cool a bit while I made the Ganache.

Ganache: 12 ounces dark chocolate broken into pieces 
( I used 85% dark Lindt Chocolate)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP coffee liquor (optional)
splash of vanilla (optional)

Break chocolate into a medium glass bowl.  Pour the whipping cream and coffee liquor into a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate pieces stirring until melted and glossy.  Cool for a glaze or if you would like to use it more like a frosting or for piping, chill it in the fridge until desired consistency.  Pour over the cake or spread to frost and you are ready to go!

Whipped Cream Filling: You may use whipped coconut milk cream for the filling or real dairy whipped cream ( I used dairy whipped cream).  Here are a few resources for Whipped coconut milk/cream recipes if you don't have one of your own.  You may choose to sweeten it slightly with honey or maple syrup or leave it plain, it's entirely up to you and what you prefer.

Additional Thinly Sliced Strawberries:  I sliced up some strawberries to use in the filling, the amount will vary depending on your preference.

ASSEMBLY: First bake your cake and let it cool completely.  Then make the Strawberry Syrup and set it aside to let it cool. Make the Ganache and set it aside to cool also.  While they are both cooling make some stiff whipped cream and slice up some fresh organic strawberries.  Then using a cake leveler divide each cake round into two cakes, you will go from 2 to 4 cake layers. 
Small Wilton Cake Leveler I used.

Place your first cake layer on the plate and top with some whipped cream, then top with some fresh strawberries and finish that off with some strawberry syrup.  Then place another cake layer on and repeated the steps until you get to the 4th cake layer.  Pour the ganache over the cake or spread to frost and finish it off by decorating it with some fresh  strawberries (if desired).

We enjoyed this with homemade Non-dairy Strawberry Ice Cream topped with some leftover strawberry syrup.  It taste amazing, it looks rich but it's not it's nice and light and not to sweet.  The guys in my family enjoyed more than one piece because it wasn't super sweet, and they also gave it a hearty thumbs up.  Hope you enjoy it too!

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Flourless Chocolate Torte for Special Occasions Grain Free and Paleo friendly

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is only for special occasions and is most certainly a real treat.   One I think you will find those who are not Paleo enjoy too.  I made this for a very special dinner we had last night with dinner guests who are not Paleo, and they LOVED it, even called it restaurant quality, so I think it must be pretty good!  I know it's been a favorite of mine for about a year, especially when I have an event or gathering of people with varied diets.  It is a remake of a recipe from here:, please follow the link if you are interested in the original recipe.  I have reduced the maple syrup, changed the coconut oil to butter (better texture and I'm allergic to coconut), added some vanilla and dash of cayenne and the end product is crazy good and super quick and easy to make!

Grain Free/Paleo Flourless Chocolate Torte

18 ounces of bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (I used 1-10 ounce bag of Ghirardelli bitterest chocolate chips and 1 full cup of Guitards dark chocolate chips each contain just 6 grams of sugar per serving)

1 cup of butter (or 2 sticks)

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 TBSP water

6 eggs

1/2-3/4 tsp real vanilla extract 

large pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.  In a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter.  Remove from heat and beat into the chocolate mixture the water and maple syrup.  Then adding the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and cayenne pepper and mix well.   Grease a 9" spring form pan, wrap the bottom of the pan with a sheet of foil and place the springform pan in a larger pan (square or rectangle, I use my roasting pan).  Pour the cake batter into the springform pan and then pour water into just the roasting pan, being sure not to spill into the cake.  You are going to cook the cake in a water bath so you want the water to go about 1/2 way up the side of the cake pan.  Put in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until done in the middle (my oven usually takes a bit longer than that suggested time), cool to room temperature or about 1 hour and then chill for a minimum of about 5 hours.  Serve with whipped cream, whipped coconut cream or some homemade vanilla ice cream and raspberries for a real treat!
Plated and ready to enjoy!

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick and Easy Homemade Non-Dairy Strawberry Ice Cream

We were at our friends cabin recently, it was very, very, hot and ice cream was sounding really good.  I came up with this quick and easy version of non-dairy strawberry ice cream for my kids.  Since we were on vacation it was one of those times I didn't want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can have delicious ice cream bursting with Strawberry flavor with out requiring much time or work and only takes a few ingredients.


1 1/2- 2 cups roughly chopped ripe organic strawberries
1 can full fat coconut milk (I like Native Forest because they have no BPA in their cans)
1/2 cup raw local honey (mine has a very mild flavor, so adjust accordingly)
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend briefly.  Pour into a glass bowl and chill in the refrigerator a minimum of 6 hours.  After your mixture has chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and chill for the amount of time your manufacturer suggests.  I have a Cuisinart (the kind where you just freeze the bowl and don't use ice), it only takes about 15- 20 minutes to churn a batch of delicious ice cream.  It's that simple and very refreshing!

Ingredients for Non-dairy Strawberry Ice Cream

My favorite Ice Cream maker, love this thing!

*Note* My apologies for the poor quality photos, I left my good camera at the cabin unfortunatly.

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