Saturday, 14 February 2015

Light and Fluffy Chocolate Cake

Happy Birthday to me......

I totally made my own birthday cake.  Is that pathetic?  I didn't trust anyone else to get it right.  Heck, the first time around, even I didn't get it right.  I Googled a recipe for 'light and fluffy' coconut flour chocolate cake.  And there were dozens out there, advertising how light and fluffy they were.  And they really just aren't.  We all know that, right?


We've all made those take-the-spit-right-out-of-your-mouth cakes, or those bricks that have the weight of brownies but none of the right mouth-feel.

And I made a gut bomb of my own the first time around.  Two, actually, because it was a double-layer cake and I wasted a whole 1 1/2 cups coconut flour, and 8 eggs in that monstrosity, and I let it sit wrapped overnight because 'that will make it more moist'.  But it didn't.  And I thought about feeding my family the cake because I'd already put so much effort into it, but I knew we'd all be very disappointed and they'd tell me it was good when it wasn't, and then they'd say they're just too full, and not really eat it.

I could have made a to-die-for flourless chocolate cake that we all love, but it wouldn't have been a birthday cake.  I really wanted birthday cake.  Light and fluffy 2-layer birthday cake.  Was I being a brat?  I mean, I hadn't eaten any kind of birthday cake in YEARS--not even non-paleo traditional cake.  I soooo wanted cake.

Look at the light fluffiness!
So I went on the internet and Googled some more.  And then I found a site that mentioned separating the eggs first.  But then didn't actually have any recipes on their site that actually used separated eggs. But that seemed so plausible.  It just made so much sense.  After all, THIS recipe that the Paleo Mom makes uses separated eggs to make to-die-for fish batter that tastes totally authentic and perfect, so why can't it also work in cake?  Too far of a leap, maybe?  I've used separated eggs in a lot of creations (though I haven't been posting them)--and it makes a HUGE difference in texture.  All I needed was to fix the texture of the cake.  I knew how to make the cake taste right, but it had to FEEL right, too.

And it did.  Totally worked.  In fact, if my family didn't know me, they would have thought it was normal birthday cake.  I'm not kidding.

And then I iced it with a peanut butter butter-creme icing.  Don't judge me.  I do not react to peanuts at all--and this IS supposed to be a treat, after all.  I used all-natural and organic.  You can use almond butter or any nut butter you want.

And so, despite my total lack of photography skills, here's the recipe.  Don't let the photography offend you.

Chocolate Layer Cake

2x 8" round cakes


6 eggs, separated
4 Tbs canned pureed pumpkin *
4 Tbs butter, melted & cooled
1/2 c Truvia + 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk **
1 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c coconut flour (do not pack tight into measuring cup)
1/2 c cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease sides of 8" cake pans with coconut oil or butter.  Line bottom with parchment paper.

In first bowl, using a stand mixer or hand-mixer, whip egg whites until firm peaks form (the firmer, the better).

In second bowl, add egg yolks, pumpkin, butter, Truvia, almond milk, and vanilla.  In small cup or bowl, mix vinegar and soda to activate it, then add to wet mixture.  Mix well.  Add in coconut flour and cocoa powder and mix again.  Mixture will begin to thicken like wet cement, don't worry.   Now, add your egg whites into the wet mixture.  Blend carefully using the lowest setting on your mixer, try to blend only enough to barely mix together (too much mixing will deflate the egg whites so just barely get it mixed and no more than that)

Divide into 2 cake pans and tap on counter to help level out.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool fully in cake pans before inverting and icing.

Peanut Butter Icing

1/2 c butter, softened
1 c unsweetened natural peanut butter, or other nut butter
1/2 c coconut sugar
1/4 c Truvia
1 tsp vanilla
5 Tbs unsweetened almond milk, or as needed to thin

Blend all ingredients together.  Try to spread as much on the cake as you have the willpower to not eat right then and there.

* Pumpkin helps to keep the cake moist.  It will not flavour the cake at all, don't worry.  Apple sauce or pureed bananas will also work, but will change the flavour and texture slightly.

**Truvia is an artificial sweetener made from a blend of stevia leaf and erythritol (the only sugar alcohol that does not cause digestive distress).  It has roughly twice the sweetness of regular sugar or honey, and little to none of the bitterness that many artificial sweeteners have.  It has no effect on blood sugar/insulin levels.  Read more about sugar alcohols here.  If you choose to use honey instead, omit the almond milk and double the measurement to 1 cup honey or sugar.

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