Do you ever feel sorry for people who follow gluten-free or paleo diets? After all, surely they can’t eat delicious things, right? WRONG! I learned a lot when I received the book The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook: 80 Gluten-Free Treats for Breakfast & Dessert by Kelly V. Brozyna to review.
As noted in the title, there are 80 treats – must I really point out that they are gluten-free? I fear that people who can have gluten will think that this cookbook is not for them. Let me tell you, though, that there are some good recipes in here. Just because they are gluten-free does not mean that they taste like cardboard.
Kelly, the author, blogs at The Spunky Coconut and The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook is her fourth cookbook. In the introduction she tells us this cookbook was developed so that she and her daughter could still enjoy all of their favorite chocolate treats without getting sick. (Kelly has celiac disease, her daughter is allergic to gluten.)
After the introduction, there is a section on getting started. We learn about the ingredients she uses in her recipes, techniques and troubleshooting, and about the equipment that she recommends.
Just before the recipes, there is the chapter Science, History and Ethics by Andrew Brozyna. There we learn about the botany of cacao, its history, cacao farming, and chocolate production. Not to be omitted, the health benefits of consuming chocolate are mentioned. (Did you know that chocolate has alkaloids and flavonoids? The alkaloid theobromine in chocolate is considered a mood-enhancer. Next time I get uptight I am going to reach for this cookbook and whip up a treat – to help me relax, of course.)
It was tough thumbing through the full-color pictures and recipes trying to figure out what to make first. There is a mouth-watering photo for each recipe. I decided to make the Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting.
- 3/4 cup (62g) cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup (50g) coconut flour, sifted
- 1/3 cup (29g) chia seed meal
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup applesauce with no added sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp liquid vanilla stevia
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup palm shortening
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (34g) coconut flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup (34g) almond flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Liquid vanilla stevia to taste
- Yellow India Tree natural food coloring (optional)
- Finely chopped dark chocolate for sprinkling on top
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients - cocoa powder, coconut flour, chia seed meal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the wet ingredients - eggs, applesauce, honey, vanilla extract, and liquid vanilla stevia, adding the melted coconut oil last.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine them with the electric mixer.
- Place 12 unbleached paper liners in a muffin tin and fill liners three-quarters full with the batter.
- Bake the cupcakes for about 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool completely before frosting.
- Mix together the palm shortening, honey, vanilla extract, coconut flour, almond flour, salt, liquid vanilla stevia and food coloring (if using). Note: Add more almond flour to make the frosting even more like cookie dough. Just note that you may need to spread the frosting in this case, as it will be more difficult to Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I use a #1M Open Start Tip for piping. The frosting (as directed, without extra flour) tastes even better the day after it's made. The flour absorbs some of the moisture, making it slightly thicker.
- Sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top.
Recipe reprinted from The Paleo Chocolate Lovers' Cookbook: 80 Gluten-Free Treats for Breakfast & Dessert by Kelly V. Brozyna with permission.
I thought they came out looking really cute. While I was making the frosting, I sampled it since the liquid stevia is added “to taste.” Perhaps I have too much of a sweet tooth – I ended up adding 2/3 cups powdered sugar to the frosting along with an additional 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. I found that the flavors developed better after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. Overall, it did not taste like “cookie dough” but it did have a surprisingly soft texture. (And I had no problems eating one, or two.)
The next recipe that I made was Chocolate-Glazed Cake Doughnuts (sans the glaze). While my daughter did not care for the cupcakes, she really enjoyed these doughnuts. I was very delighted with these. The texture was fabulous. I can imagine that they would win the hearts of kids everywhere when they have the glaze and perhaps a few sprinkles on top.
I am happy to add this cookbook to my collection of great cookbooks. You can get your own copy of The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook: 80 Gluten-Free Treats for Breakfast & Dessert at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com.
What is your favorite chocolate indulgence?