Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Even better Paleo Chocolate Cherry Cake

Even better Paleo Chocolate Cherry Cake
So, I jumped the gun and got excited too soon. After making my original Paleo Chocolate Cherry cake, I found myself volunteering my cake making services to make a birthday cake for my friends next birthday only to realise a few hours later that his birthday was in 3 days time!
Straight away.. the pressure was on. While I was super happy with my original Chocolate Cherry Cake, immediately I started wondering whether its good enough to serve to a party full of non-paleo (and potentially not-healthy-at-all) people, some of whom I have never met in my life. I realised that I would need to get back in the kitchen. First of all to make sure that the recipe is replicable and also to test out my theory that loads of fresh cherries through the batter would give it something extra ordinary.
The new and improved recipe!

I made this one as a single layer as it was simply to test the texture and taste of the cake. I also made it in a larger cake tin (this time springform) and basically doubled the ingredients.

Even better Paleo Chocolate Cherry Cake
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup coconut flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 tbs natvia
1/2 cup apple sauce
7 fresh medjool dates pitted
2.5 cups fresh cherries - halved and pitted
2 tbs black cherry jam (100% natural) - can also use raspberry or blueberry 100% natural jam.
2 tsp vanilla essence                                     
8 eggs

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius

Combine cocoa, coconut flour, baking powder and natvia in a large bowl
Combine apple sauce, 1/2 cup cherries, dates, jam and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth
Add processed mixture and whisked eggs to the dry mixture
Beat with cake beaters until smooth
Fold through the remaining cherry halves (2 cups)
Pour into a lightly oiled (with olive or coconut oil) cake pan - springform is easiest - and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
For a double layered cake simply repeat the whole process with another lot of ingredients.
This cake is topped with a chocolate ganache that I made from 70% dark chocolate and coconut cream. I combined the two on the stove on low heat and then ran the mixture over the cake (I used more coconut cream than usual) rather than spreading as I normally would which allowed it to dry in a nice thin layer. I do think that when making a layered cake though, I will make a thicker ganache and spread a layer in the middle.
You could also spread some 100% natural black cherry jam between the layers to keep with the cherry theme! 
See below the results of the birthday cake I made for my friend last night!
The best cake I have ever made :).. which was a relief because I was unable to taste it before I gave it out to people like I usually do! Extremely rich and chocolaty and sweet - super happy!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Coconut Milk mint chocolate chip ice cream

Paleo Friendly, dairy free and 100% sugar free with the goodness of coconut and fresh mint leaves!

After wanting an ice cream machine for SO long, I finally bought one with a voucher I was given for my birthday. I knew EXACTLY what I would first make and was devastated when I realised that I would have to freeze the bowl completely before making my first batch!

So.. I prepared the mixture in the evening, chilled it over night and it was not until I got home from work the following day that I could churn my ice cream! : ) The drive home could not have been more exciting.

By using fresh mint in this recipe rather than mint flavouring, not only does the ice cream have a beautiful fresh and real flavour, but we recieve all of the wonderful health benefits of this delicious herb. Mint leaves can aid digestion by soothing the digestive tract, eliminate toxins from the body, aid settle skin irritatations as well as being a good cleanser for the blood.

Coconut cream, coconut milk and I only recently became friends. It was not until I did a lot of my own research regarding the benefits of these products and the truth about the saturated fat contained in them that I have become comfortable with eating them liberally. Known to be high in saturated fat, and due to the widespead vilification of saturated fat in the distributed modern day nutrition data, of course someone wanting to be heatlhy would cut out coconut products. Saturated fat is the worst thing you can eat right? Wrong.

I will compile what I have found in a separate post very soon for those of you interested in looking into it, but in the meantime... eat this wonderful ice cream. Its 100% natural and its good for you and thats all you need to know... really : ).

I adapted this recipe from a recipe by Kristen from The Endless Meal! In her recipe she uses dairy cream, whole milk and sugar which I replaced with coconut cream, coconut milk and stevia. I don't think my measurements are the same for the milk and cream simply because I worked in "cans" rather than in "cups". It turned out just fine but the wonderful instruction on how to infuse the mint into the milk through heating and leaving to stand then straining was invaluable so I will follow the same method here!

Coconut Milk mint chocolate chip ice cream


2 x 400ml cans of coconut milk (See note below)
1 400ml can of coconut cream
5 egg yolks
1 bunch (approx. 2 cups worth) of fresh mint leaves - washed and removed from stems
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup natvia (brand of stevia) - more or less to taste (note: the mixture will be less sweet once frozen)
50g VERY dark chocolate - chopped finely (I used Green and Blacks 85% Organic Dark Chocolate)


Heat 1 can of coconut milk and the can of coconut cream in a saucepan with the mint leaves until steam appears. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for approximately 1 hour so that the mint flavour infuses through the milk.

Strain the mixture into a bowl, and using the back of a spoon against the mesh squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the mint leaves.

Return the mixture to the saucepan, add natvia and heat until dissolved (should not take more than 1-2 mins)

Beat egg yolks in bowl and while continually whisking, pour mixture back into the bowl

Return entire mixture to the saucepan and heat over low heat until it begins to thicken. Stir regularly in order to prevent the egg yolks burning to the bottom and after about 10 minutes, strain mixture, place back in bowl and refrigerate.

Refrigerate overnight or until the mixture is chilled as this will produce best results when placing in ice cream maker. Once chilled, follow your ice cream makers instructions to churn ice cream. ...and Voila! 


Full fat coconut milk and cream will give you a creamier consistency and is less likely to contain artifical fillers to stabilise the product. Low fat or "light" versions may not be 100% natural but will also be lower in Kilojoules/Calories - so it really depends on your personal health focus. (Personally, considering the benefits of the fat in the full fat product, I would recommend using these and avoiding the artificial additives).

Dont throw away your egg whites! When I made this and any other time I only use the yolk in a recipe I have an egg white omelete for breakfast the next morning. A 5 x egg white omelette with avocado, boiled sweet potato and broccoli is one of my favourite mixtures! : ) 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Paleo Chocolate Cherry layer cake

*Follow this link for a new and improved version of this cake (trust me).

Hey everyone!
As the weekend draws to a close, I have some deliciousness to report about! By slightly tweaking my recipe for Paleo Chocolate Orange muffins, I have managed to create a very food porn-ish cake (i believe :D).

Paleo Chocolate Cherry layer cake to be precise!!

This image is something I have had in mind for a long while.. and I have also been waiting for a long while for cherries to become available! Today was the day. While I have had cherries in the fridge for quite a few days now, I had not yet had time to even think about what to do with them. Even now... by the time I got to making this cake, I had eaten probably almost half of the cherries I had, just in passing. Now, I was left with not quite enough cherries to use in the cake batter but instead got to test out my new all natural, sugar free Black Cherry Jam! Next time.. the cake will be FULL of cherries.. and will hopefully surpass this already amazing kind of paleo blackforest cake : ).


Note: This list of ingredients makes ONE of the layers. I baked each layer seperately one after the other but it would be possible to simply double these ingredients, make one cake and if you still want the layer of ganache in the middle - slice the cake in half. I dont believe that slicing the cake perfectly even would be overly easy though : ) - hence my baking the layers seperately.


1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1.5 tsp baking powder
4tbs Natvia (brand of stevia)
4 eggs
1/4 +3tbs apple sauce
2tsp vanilla essence
5 fresh medjool dates pitted
1.5 tbs black cherry jam
Approximately 10 fresh cherries - seeds removed and chopped into spall pieces
Some extra jam to add when serving


150g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa with the least sugar possible - aim for a naturally sweetened product)
4tbs coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 160 degrees C
Grease (with olive or coconut oil) and line round cake tin with baking paper
Combine coconut flour, cocoa, baking powder and natvia in one bowl - combine
In a separate bowl whisk eggs
In a food processor add dates, apple sauce, jam, vanilla essence and process until mostly smooth
Add to eggs and combine all wet ingredients togetherAdd wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat with cake beaters until smooth
Pour batter into cake tin and place in pre heated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until firm to touch and a cake tester comes out clean.

Repeat for second layer and let both layers cool.

To prepare Ganache

Gently melt chocolate in a saucepan over low heat
Add coconut cream and vanilla essence
Stir to combine


Place bottom layer on serving plate and spread a layer of ganache on top
Sprinkle with half of the chopped cherries and add some dollops of jam as desired
Place second layer on top and repeat ganache, cherries and jam

All that is left now is to slice a piece of and EAT! : )

As with the Paleo Chocolate Orange Muffins, I recommend trying a slice of this cake after refrigeration! The ganache will set and something happens to the batter to make it amazingly delicious.

I would also recommend rerfigerating this within a day or so of making (unless of course the cake is devoured before you have a chance :D) to keep it fresh for as long as possible. I find that he lack of preservatives in my baked goods causes them to spoil quicker than unnaturally sweetened and processed products.

Serving suggestion:

Try serving a slice of this cake with some freshly whipped coconut cream or some home made coconut ice cream! Mint-Choc chip coconut ice cream recipe coming soon! : )

Goodnight everyone - Have a great week!

Mel x