I have been finding it hard to resist chocolate lately, especially after I made an all-chocolate version of the Black & White Cake from The Paleo Kitchen. I confess to eating more than my fair share – but it was just so delicious. What’s not to like – it is made with chocolate and coconut.
For the Cake
- ¾ cup coconut flour, sifted
- 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, if making black and white checkerboard cake; ½ cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, if making a solid chocolate cake
- 10 large eggs
- 1 cup coconut oil, plus extra to grease the cake pan
- 1 cup maple syrup
For the Ganache
- 1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- 2 Tbsp lard, coconut oil works as well
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with coconut oil and insert a round piece of parchment paper cut to the size of the bottom of the pan.
- Make the cake: For a solid vanilla cake or black and white cake, whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl. For a solid chocolate cake, whisk together the coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and ½ cup cocoa powder in a small bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Mix until well combined. Once the wet ingredients are blended, add the coconut flour mixture and blend until smooth.
- If you are making a checkerboard cake, pour half the batter into a separate mixing bowl. Add one-third cup cocoa powder to the large mixing bowl and blend.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. If you are making a checkerboard cake, place the batter dividing ring in the pan and pour the chocolate batter in the center and outer sections and the vanilla batter in the middle section.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack.
- When the cake is completely cool, make the ganache: Combine the chocolate chips and lard in a double boiler over medium heat and stir until melted and well combined, about 10 minutes.
- Pour the ganache over the cake,letting it drip down the sides. Once the cake is covered, transfer it to the refrigerator and let the ganache solidify. Trim off the excess chocolate before plating. Slice and enjoy.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Paleo Kitchen, copyright 2014.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532 Total Fat: 38g Saturated Fat: 25g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 167mg Sodium: 427mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 33g Protein: 8g
- If you use a springform pan, be sure to place a baking sheet or something else underneath it. Some of the oil may leak out.
- If available, try using a liquefied coconut oil – the variety that stays liquid at room temperature. The coconut oil that I used firms up when cold; therefore when I added cold eggs some of the oil solidified. That was okay because once it starting baking it melted. (Perhaps that is why my springform pan leaked a little.)
- Be patient. Maybe it’s because my oven needs to be replaced, but it took about 37 minutes for the cake to bake in my oven.
The Paleo Kitchen Cookbook
At the beginning of the book is Juli’s story. Like many people, she loved convenience foods, hated vegetables, and did not understand the importance of food. At one point, she ended up in the emergency room because of digestive issues and intense abdominal pain. She was not given a diagnosis and her physician did not question her diet. In 2010 she began to question what she ate and started doing CrossFit. Her diet then became a key factor in her life. She ended up removing all processed foods from her diet and went completely Paleo. She began taking pictures of food that she had recreated from other blogs and posted them to her gym’s website. Next thing she knew, she was creating her own recipes and began sharing them on her own blog.
George’s relationship with food was different than Juli’s. He struggled with weight problems as a child and developed an unhealthy body image. When he tried to enlist in the Marine Corps, he was told that he was overweight and had to lose 43 pounds. He lost the weight, but in an unhealthy manner by going long periods without eating and working out extensively. He made it into the Corps and was deployed to Somalia in 2004. His unhealthy obsession with getting as big and strong as possible led him to weigh in at 253, which is a fair amount for a 5’7″ man. Through his own workouts and the forced marches, he developed exercise-induced compartment syndrome and nearly lost both of his legs. After his recovery, he likewise started CrossFit in 2010 and adopted a Paleo lifestyle. After his deployments ended in 2011, he attempted to teach himself how to cook and began his blog as a place to post his recipes and to hold himself accountable.
In the Let’s Get Started section of the book, there is a Paleo checklist of what you should and should not be eating. There are also tips for getting started on the Paleo journey, advice on how to makeover a kitchen for a Paleo lifestyle, seasonal lists for fruits and vegetables, as well as lists of nonperishables that help to make the Paleo kitchen complete. A section on the tools and equipment has been included along with the rationale for the various devices. Want to know how to shop smarter? They have included their tips on that, too, as well as how to cook smarter. Dining out can be daunting for those who are trying to stick to their Paleo diet. George and Juli know that and have included tips and suggestions to make it easier.
Getting into the meat of the book, there are eleven chapters of recipes, covering breakfast to dessert and everything in between. I like to skip to the back of the book where there is a photo index of all of the recipes.
Gorgeous full-color photos of the recipes grace the pages of the book.
The first recipe I tried from the book was Pumpkin Waffles. I thought they turned out okay, but I would have liked it if they had been lighter and crispier.
Next, I made a batch of Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes. The batter was quite thick, but the pancakes did turn out fluffy. With a little bit of real maple syrup, they were quite good.
The last recipe that I tried was my favorite – so far. In some ways I wish that I had not tried it. (It’s proving hard to resist eating it.) I made Juli and George’s Black & White Cake following the directions for the solid chocolate cake option. The flavor reminds me of a Mounds bar. It is so delicious.
There are several more recipes that I want to try, such as Biscuits & Gravy, Cinnamon Rolls, Candied Bacon, Creamy Cauliflower Soup, Steak Fajita Salad, Loaded BBQ Sweet Potatoes, Mongolian Beef over Cauliflower Rice, Honey Ginger Wings, Asian Marinated Asparagus, Afternoon Pick Me-Up (Coffee Smoothie), Coffee Pecan Ice Cream, Lemon Poppyseed Cookies, and Blueberry BBQ Sauce.
Juli and George have quite a few recipes for chocolate goodies on their blogs. In the future I hope to try:
- Soft & Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies
- Double Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
- Cookie Pie Ice Cream Bites (I could go for these right now!)
- Double Chocolate Brownies
- Glazed Chocolate Doughnut Holes, and
- Paleo Chocolate Haupia.
You can purchase a copy at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com.