I just couldn’t let Easter pass by without including a fabulous chocolate cake recipe. It also happens to be my eldest daughter’s birthday on Good Friday, so I have the opportunity to mark both occasions with a Primal ‘tah-da’ moment that even impresses me! This delicious cake is grain, gluten, dairy and refined sugar free (although tasting it, you couldn’t possibly guess). I think it is absolutely perfect for an Easter celebration.
Light in texture, but intensely chocolatey, it really is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever eaten and certainly worthy of any (in our house that actually means every!), special occasion. The recipe has been adapted from another excellent food blog. So, all hail Adriana, Queen of Chocolate Cakes, because I think this recipe is an absolute triumph for healthy-eating chocolate lovers everywhere!
Because it’s so good (you can never have too much of a good thing!), I’ve increased the ingredients and divided the cake mix between two loose-bottomed sandwich tins, which saves the hassle of trying to cut the finished cake in half and also the risk of it falling apart when you do!
I’m not the world’s best cake decorator, so I’ve cheated a little (actually a lot!) by purchasing some Callebaut dark chocolate curls, some vegan Hotel Chocolat cocoa dusted eggs, edible gold leaf (should have googled how to apply this as most of it stuck to my hands, not the cake!), fresh flowers (pansies, violas and wild violets are all springtime pretty and good to eat too) to create this lovely looking, healthily indulgent cake. I hope you enjoy.
Happy Birthday Elizabeth and Happy Easter to one and all!
Celebration Chocolate Cake (V) (Serves 16)
Ingredients - for the cake
500g (1lb 2oz) ground almonds
70g (2½oz) coconut flour, sifted
70g (2½oz) raw cacao powder, sifted
125g (4½oz) raw coconut palm sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp sea salt
185ml (6 fl.oz) coconut oil, melted
75g (3 tbsp) raw set honey
400ml (14 fl.oz) full fat coconut milk
4 large eggs + 2 yolks, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, whisked separately
Ingredients - middle layer chocolate ganache
400ml (14 fl.oz) full fat coconut milk
50g (2 tbsp) raw set honey
20g 4 tbsp raw organic cacao powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients - chocolate frosting
180ml (9 tbsp) coconut milk (I used ½ coconut cream and ½ coconut milk)
185g dark chocolate, chopped - I used Callebaut Finest Satongo chocolate chips to save myself the bother of chopping
Instructions - for the cake
Pre-heat oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4
Grease the bottom and sides of 2 x 8-inch (22.5cm) loose-bottomed sandwich tins with coconut oil and line the bottoms of each with a disc of parchment paper.
Put the coconut oil and honey in a small pan and set over a low heat until just melted. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, raw coconut palm sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil and honey, coconut milk, eggs, and vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula, gently mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients to form a batter. Do not over mix.
In a small bowl whisk 2 egg whites to a firm snow. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
Pour batter into prepared tins and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. If you feel you need to cook it longer, cover cake with foil to prevent burning the top and lower the heat to 165°C (325°F). Cook until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cakes cool completely in the tins before turning out.
Spread the chocolate ganache over one of the cake halves and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the other half of the cake on top of the 'ganached half', then spread the chocolate frosting over the top and sides of the cake (for a smooth finish, it's easiest to pour the frosting directly onto the top of the cake - it will find it's own level and partially run down the sides without you having to work it).
Decorate the top with shaved dark chocolate, wild violets etc., if desired
Instructions - for chocolate ganache (see notes for more information)
In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and honey to a light boil.
Simmer on low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally (be careful, the mixture has a tendency to bubble-up and splatter when stirred!). Do not cover the pan.
Mix in the raw cacao powder and vanilla extract and whisk together until all is combined and smooth.
Let it cool and refrigerate until the cake is ready.
Instructions - for chocolate frosting
Warm the coconut milk in a small saucepan until it’s hot but not boiling (you should just be able to tolerate inserting a finger into the milk i.e. without scalding yourself!)
Tip the chocolate pieces into the hot coconut milk and whisk together until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is all smooth and glossy.
Let cool for 10 minutes or so before icing the cake.
Make the middle-layer of chocolate ganache first - it takes a long time to make, so plan ahead and have it ready before you bake the cake. You’ll know you’ve cooked it long enough when the coconut milk is reduced to about one-third of it’s original volume and it has a thicker consistency and darker colour (similar to sweetened condensed milk).
Get organised before you start to make the cake. Firstly, grease and line your sandwich tins and collect all the ingredients together (I often do this the night before).
Since the complexity of this recipe (it’s not difficult to make but you do need to stay focused!) is equivalent to a 'cook’s meditation on chocolate', I advise you to tick each ingredient off as you add them to their respective mixing bowls (the first time I baked this cake I completely forgot to add the coconut milk to the cake batter and today I threatened to do the same thing again!).
Allow the cake to cool completely before attempting to decorate. Any residual warmth melts the ganache and frosting faster than you can control it and, although the cake will still be delicious, you’ll end up with a messy chocolate cake ‘landslide’ rather than an elegantly decorated cake as befits a special occasion!
N.B. Wild violets are not to be confused with African violets. African violets with their hairy leaves make beautiful potted houseplants but if you eat them, they will make you very sick indeed!
Carbohydrate 21g Protein 13g - per serving (excluding chocolate eggs)