Saturday, June 9, 2012

Radically Natural Recipe: GAPS Moist, Chewy Cacao Cake

The progression through Full GAPS is a unique process depending upon your sensitivities and level of dysbiosis.  My family suffers on different levels and struggles with varying rates of healing.  But we are finally at a place where I can experiment more with baking, and we are able to occasionally enjoy this chewy chocolate treat.

This is what I consider to be a "universal" baking recipe, one that can be called cake, muffin, cupcake, even brownies.  The texture will vary depending on the amount of each ingredient used, so feel free to tweak and experiment to achieve your desired consistency.  Here's the formula we've been enjoying:

GAPS Cacao Cake
8 Tb. butter (I use 1/2 brick of Kerrygold unsalted), melted
1 cup cacao powder (I like Earth Circle Organics raw cacao)
8-10 eggs, depending on size
1 cup honey (I use raw organic honey from Azure Standard Food Co-op)
1 tsp. vanilla (I make my own with Mtn. Rose Herbs vanilla pods and brandy)
1 Tb. cinnamon (optional dashes of other spices as well, such as nutmeg, ginger, cloves...)
3/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup coconut flour (I like Tropical Traditions)

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, whisk in the cacao powder and cinnamon.  Separately, whisk the eggs (I use a KitchenAid standing mixer for this recipe, but you can whisk by hand as well).  I have found that the cake is "fluffier" if you spend time whisking the eggs individually.  Add the honey, vanilla and salt, mixing well.

Add the coconut flour slowly, mixing well to avoid lumps.  Add the cacao/butter mixture and whisk thoroughly.  Pour the batter into a prepared pan (coconut-oil-greased glass or silicone) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, testing with a toothpick or butter knife.

This recipe can be used in a square or rectangular cake pan, or in muffin pan.  I love the HIC Silicone Mini Muffin Pan ...that brand actually uses pure, food-grade silicone.  [You can can tell if your silicone has plastic fillers by doing a pinch test.  Just squeeze together an inch of the silicone and see if it turns white...if so, you have fillers and I would advise against using that pan for baking.]

This recipe was inspired by one I found at The Well Fed Homestead.  Hers is different but just as delicious, so check it out as well (Fudgy Coconut Flour Brownies).  I must credit my eldest son for our latest iteration of this cake recipe; he is becoming a fantastic chef and is developing excellent kitchen instincts!

[A little culinary/food snob trivia:  You may notice the different spellings of cocoa and cacao.  The common vernacular is cocoa, as in processed cocoa powder, but the more authentic term is cacao, as in cacao pod/bean/tree or raw cacao powder, and it is pronounced cuh-cow.  Chocolate and cocoa are derived from the cacao tree.]

Another great coconut chocolate cake recipe can be found at the Tropical Traditions web site, for those of you not doing GAPS.  The video below is a good step-by-step guide; note the emphasis on beating the eggs separately.