Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chocolate Birthday Cake {grain-free}

Has anyone seen the price of almonds lately?  A jar of good almond butter is almost $20!  And the almond flour I like to use has gone up by at least half in the past year.  An employee at Frankferd Farm Foods told me the prices have gone up because of the drought in California.  I sure hope they get some rain and the prices come back down, because almond flour makes up a good part of this delicious cake!  (Although the price might keep me from indulging too often!)

You absolutely cannot tell that this cake is made without any flour or refined sugars.  It is a wonderful option for anyone who cannot have gluten or grains.  There are recipes for frosting out there that have no refined sugar, but I opted to go with my standard Swiss meringue icing.  I'm sure I'll be trying out those other icing recipes before too long!  If you make this cake, please let me know if you like it as much as I did!

Wanna bite?  I know you do!!

Grain-free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
adapted from Deliciously Organic
makes 2 9-inch rounds

8 ounces dark chocolate (I use Callebaut dark chocolate)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil or 4 more tablespoons butter
2/3 cup maple syrup
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville brand)
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder (grain free)

Preheat oven to 350 ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Place the chocolate, butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a double boiler. Melt, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool (the mixture needs to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the egg mixture below). 

Place the maple syrup and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk for 5-6 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.  Slowly whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Sift almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder over egg mixture. Gently fold to incorporate. Divide batter between two buttered 9-inch cake pans lined with a round piece of parchment paper. Bake cakes for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool cakes for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges and then remove the cakes from the pans. Cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream
6 ounces egg whites
12 ounces granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 sticks or one pound butter at cool room temperature 
1 teaspoon vanilla
4  ounces melted and cooled dark chocolate

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs whites, sugar and salt.  Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  The bowl should not touch the water.   Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the heat and place the bowl onto your stand mixer and whisk at med-high speed until the mixture comes to room temperature (feel the outside of the bowl to gauge the temp).   Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and reduce the speed to medium.  Add butter one tablespoon at a time. When all of the butter is added, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl (at this point the buttercream might look curdled, but don’t worry, it will turn creamy). Whisk the mixture on high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed again and slowly pour in the melted chocolate and the vanilla, and mix until incorporated.

To assemble:
Place one cake layer on a cake stand and top with one third of the frosting. Spread frosting evenly on the cake. Place second cake layer on top and use remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.

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