Very Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting

My friend Bobbie found this recipe on the world wide web, if it’s yours, please send me a link so I can give credit!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Bobbie and I made this as a birthday cake for her boyfriend and I made it again for my Dad’s birthday last month.  This recipe is for a moist, springy, not too sweet cake and it was a big hit with everyone.  No one seemed to notice it was mostly sugar and carbohydrate free, perfect if your dad has diabetes and you want to make him a birthday cake he can healthfully enjoy!  Yes there is some apple sauce in the cake, and, no apples are not on the Candida diet but they also do not contribute a lot of sugars to the over all cake. The apple sauce adds a lot of moisture and contributes to the texture of the cake. I would recommend having a slice and sharing (or freezing) the rest.  The chocolate frosting is just melted chocolate with heavy cream aka ganache.  I have been trying out stevia sweetened chocolate with erythritol (sugar alcohols fermented from non gmo corn) and so far Coco Polo is the winner in the dark chocolate category.  It’s nice to know when I get a chocolate craving I can satisfy it without creating more sugar cravings.

Ingredients for One 9 in Round Cake:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk or other milk
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • Stevia to taste

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and then line the bottom of a 9 inch round pan with parchment paper.  I used a spring form pan.

Sift the coconut flour into a bowl and then combine with the rest of the dry ingredients.

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In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.  Add the room temperature (soft or liquid) coconut oil, beat well, then add the rest of the wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.  Add the stevia, a dropperful at a time until the batter tastes sweet to your liking.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean- about 30 minutes.

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Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

If you are looking for a more in depth how to, try this!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of heavy cream

4 oz of dark chocolate

a pinch of salt

Method:

Coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Warm the cream just barely to a boil over medium high heat.

Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes, do not stir!

After 10 minutes, stir with a whisk to emulsify.  Be sure to scrape the bowl with a spatula to incorporate everything.

Spread slightly cooled ganache on a cooled cake and then refrigerate til serving.

OR

Let the ganache cool for an hour, stirring several times in between to keep it smooth.  Then beat on high with a mixer til it’s fluffy.  Frost with a knife or use in a pastry bag.

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Served with whipped cream, of course!

Served with whipped cream, of course!

Short and Sweet: Almond Cookies

These easy little cookies are perfect for a birthday tea party, a quick dessert or an anytime snack.  My dear friend Bobbie made these for her birthday party- they vanished quickly and no one seemed to notice they were free of wheat flour and sugars!  The original recipe comes from the blog L. Michelle, she’s got great photos, recipes and even a craft section.

An important note: Use very fine almond flour.  The cookies are still delicious with a more coarse flour, but the texture is completely different.  I made them with the same brand (Bob’s Red Mill) for the third time, and the texture was a little different than the first bag of Bob’s that I purchased.  I ended up using nearly twice as much almond meal to get them to stick together.

Bobbie's birthday cookies, they did indeed, get eaten!

Bobbie’s birthday cookies, they did indeed, get eaten!

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour (L. Michelle recommends Honeyville brand and Bobbie successfully used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour)

1 egg

1 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)

stevia to taste

1/4 tsp almond extract or whatever extract you like: vanilla, orange, maybe coconut?!

Procedure:

Combine all ingredients and mix well. To prevent lumping try mixing the dry flour and oil before added it to the egg. If it’s too dry add a tiny bit of water or almond milk.  If it’s too wet, add more almond flour- the batter should stick together well.

Roll batter into small balls and set out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a little less than a tbsp of batter for each cookie to make 12 cookies.

With your palm lightly press down on each cookie. Use a fork to make a design. Or, just roll out the dough and use a cute cookie cutter to make your cookies.

Bake at 325° F for 10-12 minutes or until firm.

NOTE: These are sweet and simple and you can add things like cinnamon or nutmeg and different extracts or flavored stevia for a wide variety of almond cookies.  Enjoy!

Perfect for Brunch: Kale and Goat Cheese Fritatta Cups

The link below is to the original recipe on TheKitchn, I copied it as is, I didn’t need to change a thing!  And I will be making these for the next big group brunch, they are perfect for sharing : – )

Photo credit: Megan Gordon

Photo credit: Megan Gordon

Kale and Goat Cheese Fritatta Cups 
I always use lacinato kale for this recipe, but you could really use any leafy green you’d like. And since you’ll have kale stems leftover, why not reserve them for a stir fry later in the evening?

Makes 8 individual cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. To get 2 cups kale, remove the leaves from the kale ribs. Wash and dry the leaves and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  2. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook the garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the kale and red pepper flakes and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the kale and thyme to the egg mixture.
  4. Using a 12-cup muffin tin, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to grease 8 of the cups (you may also use butter if you’d prefer). Sprinkle the tops with goat cheese. Bake until they are set in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Frittata is best eaten warm from the oven or within the next day, but leftovers can be kept refrigerated and reheated for up to a week.

Coconut Bread

This recipe belongs to Kelly and came from her amazing blog:  The Spunky Coconut, lots of other great recipes to check out there but first: bread.  It is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and, if you leave out the touch of molasses, it’s as near as you can get to carb free bread, thank you Kelly!!

A quick note: make sure that your ingredients are room temperature so that the bread cooks evenly.
Made with coconut flour and almond meal, I can't wait for my sprouts to be ready so I can make one of my favorite sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, onion and mayo.

Made with coconut flour and almond meal, I can’t wait for my sprouts to be ready so I can make one of my favorite sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, onion and mayo.

Here’s The Spunky Coconut’s recipe, I made only a few changes:
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk, room temperature – use the canned, organic kind.
4 whisked eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp organic black strap molasses (original recipe calls for 1 tbsp Honey.  The molasses adds 7 grams of carbohydrates along with some nutrition! Omit sweetener entirely for lower total carbohydrate count.)
Dry Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour (I have used both Bob’s and Honeyville in this recipe)
1/2 cup  coconut flour, sifted to remove any lumps
2 tbsp psyllium husk POWDER
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1) Lay a piece of unbleached parchment paper across the bread loaf pan so that it goes down one of the long sides, across the bottom and back up the other long side.  I used a metal bread loaf pan 4′ x 8′ and it worked perfectly.
2) Grease the two exposed ends of the pan. Set aside.
3) Add dry ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
4) Add wet ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer.
5) Add whisked dry ingredients to wet mixed ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer.
6) Using a flexible silicone spatula, scoop half of the batter into the prepared pan, and press it down firmly.
7) Add the rest of the batter to the dish using the flexible silicone spatula, and press down firmly again. (The top should
be smooth and level when you’re finished.)
8) Bake for up to 1 hour. In the metal bread pan I baked my bread for 50 minutes, a knife inserted in the middle came out clean, the top had risen, felt a bit springy to the touch and was nicely browned.
9) Let the bread rest in the pan until cool.
Say cheese- small and very filling, goes great with  soup : - )

Say cheese! A small and very filling little sandwich that goes great with soup.

Wonder Bread?

My sister found this recipe on the blog BabyGranny under the name of “Oopsie Bread” and it seemed pretty strange so of course I had to try it.  And I had to change the recipe up just a bit.  The original recipe calls for cream cheese and I used goat chevre instead.

Here’s how my ‘Wonder Bread’ came out:  kinda egg-y, kinda awesome!  I used farm eggs that were, in retrospect, probably much larger than the ones used in the original recipe, our bread was more yellow and more egg-licious.  On Christmas morning Elise and I made fried egg and bacon breakfast sandwiches with this bread, which is really just baked eggs and cheese.  So it was more of a cheese with egg and egg and bacon sandwich.  I don’t need to tell you it was wicked yummy.

A 'wonder bread' breakfast snadwich with Mangalisa bacon and our neighbors eggs, Happy Christmas morning!

A ‘wonder bread’ breakfast sandwich with Mangalitsa bacon and our neighbors eggs, Happy Christmas morning!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ounces goat chevre, cold
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Procedure for 8 rounds:

Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg whites and Cream of Tartar until stiff peaks form.

Beat egg yolks and cold cheese until semi-smooth.

Now gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

Mound or pipe mixture onto cookie sheet.  We spooned the batter onto the parchment making the rounds as uniform as possible.

Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until brown.

Please post what you did with your Wonder Bread!!  I’m thinking a burger would be good.  Or a sprout and avocado sandwich.

Cauliflower Pizza: A New Take On Veggie Pie

I was skeptical about this idea of using cauliflower as the base for a pizza crust.  Then, a former coaching client sent me the recipe she had used, telling me I would love it.  Since she and I have shared a bunch of recipes I decided it was time to see what I was missing out on:

Does this look like a vegetable to you?

Does this look like a vegetable to you?

The recipe I was sent is this one, from the site Eating Bird Food, which is all about how healthy foods can and should be delicious, I couldn’t agree more!  I took the recipe and made it double, with minor changes:

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 4 cups riced)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cheese- use your favorite- mozzarella is great, we had some goat Gouda so I used that.
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons each basil and oregano

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven and pizza stone, if you have one, to 400° F
  2. Prep a 12 inch round baking tray- you can grease the tray or use parchment paper.
  3. Remove the stems and leaves from your cauliflower and chop the florets into chunks. Add to a food processor (I used my Cuisinart) and pulse just until the texture is similar to rice. If you don’t have a food processor or Vitamix, you can grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or chop it.
  4. Sauté cauliflower “rice” in a non-stick skillet (I used our large cast iron pan) over medium heat and cook until translucent, approximately 10-12 minutes.   Mine did not get very translucent but it did get cooked somewhat which is the whole point.
  5. In a bowl combine all remaining ingredients, starting with the eggs so you can whip them up.  Then add the cauliflower and mix well to combine.
  6. Spread dough out evenly over greased tray or parchment paper – about ¼ to ⅓ of an inch thick. The pizza should be about 12  inches in diameter.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden, crispy on the edges and cooked through the middle.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven.
  9. Top with sauce and toppings.  Add whatever you like best, you’ll be eating this pizza with a fork so go for it: sautéed onions, mushrooms, fresh chopped veggies, pesto, cheese, fresh herbs, etc.
  10. Broil the pizza for 5 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted. Allow the pizza to cool for 2-3 minutes then cut and serve immediately.

I topped our pizza with one crumbled Italian sausage, sautéed onions, hot pepper flakes, more oregano and basil and just a bit of grated Romano sheep cheese.  I thought we had pesto in the freezer (wishful thinking!)  which would have been perfect for the sauce.  I could have made pesto out of garlic, olive oil, salt and some of the collard greens we had but didn’t think ahead enough.  It turned out really well even without the green and I am already thinking about what to make next time!

If you want pizza you can eat with your hands, try the flax crust I posted earlier and be sure to let us know what your favorite toppings are!

Best Hot Breakfast

Around this time last year I made a bunch of sauerkraut with my dad.  And then Dana and I discovered that it made an awesome compliment to fried eggs at breakfast.  So the sauerkraut went quickly.  When we planned our garden last spring, cabbages were on the top of our list.  Yesterday we harvested about a third of our crop: 22.5 pounds of cabbage.  Shredding it in the food processor went quickly and I layered the cabbage with 3 Tablespoons of salt for every 5 pounds of cabbage in one of our large pots.  Here’s the sauerkraut doing it’s lacto-fermentation under the weight of a big lid and some ball jars full of water.

Over 22 pounds of shredded cabbage turning into sauerkraut, this should last us a few months!

For a hot breakfast, how about a big handful of sauerkraut, plus eggs fried with onions, cumin seeds and paprika?  Try it as an alternative to a veggie omelet and get all the benefits of eating raw, naturally fermented food.  Then check out Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon!

Start your day off healthy with a big serving of fermented veggies at breakfast.

Ingredients:

A big handful or two of Sauerkraut, excess liquid squeezed out.  Set aside while you cook the onions and eggs to let the sauerkraut come up to room temperature.

Farm fresh eggs

Fat for frying: olive oil, butter or lard

Chopped onion or leeks (leeks are lower in sugars)

Whole cumin seeds

Paprika

Salt

Procedure:

Heat the fat in your skillet on medium.  Add the chopped onion or leeks and saute for a few minutes.

Add a generous sprinkle of the whole cumin seeds and let them cook for about a minute before adding the eggs to fry.  Cook your eggs, sprinkle with paprika and lightly salt, the sauerkraut will be plenty salty.

Onions and cumin seeds frying in lard from pork chops we cooked recently.

Serve the fried eggs and onions on top of the sauerkraut and serve immediately.  Dana likes his with 100% rye sourdough toast from these guys!

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