Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Ganache

A grain-free, dairy-free, guilt-free, moist, rich chocolate cake for Paleo and GARD followers? Yes, ma'am (or sir). You can really experiment with this one, too. I cut the original recipe in half since there are only two of us, added more baking soda and powder for lift, half an extra egg for moistness, more cocoa, vanilla and maple syrup/honey, swapped out regular bar chocolate for chips, and used whole coconut milk in the ganache. With, may I add, GREAT results! I'd serve this to anyone with pride. Serves 6-8

1/3 c organic coconut flour
3 TB almond flour - not almond meal, which is coarser (I use jk gourmet)
4 TB c unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt, finely ground
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp  baking powder

5 extra large organic eggs from pasture-raised hens*
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
3 oz  + 2 tsp pure organic maple syrup  or raw honey (you can add more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 c organic coconut oil, melted

1/2 c (5 squares) GF DF semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 c whole coconut milk
few drops of good quality vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F (by the way, have you used an oven thermometer to check the temp? 5* one way or the other can make or break you when baking)

Grease (I used room temp coconut oil) an 8" round cake tin. In a small bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the wet ingredients together until well blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add in all the dry ingredients until well mixed, then beat on high for 30 seconds. Pour into the cake tin and even out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake 25-30 minutes (mine took 25) until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Don't overbake! Cool on wire rack for 10 min.

Run a table knife around the inside of the tin to help loosen the cake, turn it upside down on a cooling rack and tap the bottom of the tin firmly with the handle of the knife to loosen it. Use a second cooling rack to turn right side up, and continue cooling. 

Note: put a kitchen towel underneath the cake rack to absorb the moisture that's released when cooling. A lot of moisture comes out of this cake!

While the cake is cooling, heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edges and steam rises from the milk. Remove from heat, add in the chocolate and vanilla, and stir to melt the chocolate. Since you're not using chocolate chips, it won't harden as quickly but you'll have a better quality ganache. When the cake is completely cooled, use a rubber spatula to spread the ganache, letting it run over the sides. You can put it in the refrigerator to thicken it faster, but I like it ooey-gooey. Left out, it'll take a couple of hours.

*My baking improved immensely 5 years ago when I started using extra-large, instead of large, eggs and only from range fed hens. The shells are much harder, the yolks darker, & the whites incredibly thick and "whippable". 

The original recipe is here


  1. My oven temperature can vary by ten degrees either way, so I don't know if I can make this. :( I might give it a go anyway. How bad could a "disaster" possibly be?

  2. Hi Jen! Very good question. As to how bad it could be, if the oven's too hot, it will get really dry, and may even taste burnt, around the edges. If it's too cold, it will get a rubbery texture from having to bake it longer.

    I'd suggest keeping an oven thermometer *in* the oven. Preheat at least 20 minutes, as I always do - ovens are programmed with a timer for preheating to varying temperatures, and not indicative of the actual temperature. Then adjust the temp up or down as needed and wait another 10-15 minutes for it to reach the true temp. Yes, that's a lot of time for the oven to be on, but you've invested money in ingredients, as well as time and effort. It's worth it.

    Also, always use the center rack. The next time you roast potatoes or veggies on a half sheet, notice if one corner of the oven tends to be hotter, and keep your tin away from that corner.

    Put the cake tin on a half sheet pan; I always do, and get better results from that as well. They're just little things, but they make the difference between a "disaster" and a success.

    Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

  3. I love making cakes using almond meal and coconut flour (oh, and chocolate!)... thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

  4. You're so welcome, feeldivine. I hope you'll check back in and let me know how you like this one :-)

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