Fabulous Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday!  Woohoo!  Another journey with a teenager.  I am not sure if I am ready for it but what is a mom to do?

Celebrate with chocolate cake, that’s what we do.

Birthday

We had my family over on the weekend to help celebrate.  When making a cake for my family, I need to consider gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free.

So this is what I came up with. (For you visual folks, I promised my daughter that I will make another one on the weekend so I will take step-by-step photos and post them here.  Watch this space)

I had chickpea flour on hand and did not have time to go out to get brown rice flour and such so I decided to make the chickpea flour work.

I mixed it up with baking powder, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar and cacao powder.

I considered that chickpea flour is quite dry so to avoid a dry crumbly cake, I soaked some flax seed (as if I was using and egg) and shredded a zucchini (who doesn’t have tons of zucchini right now?!).

I wanted a rich tasting chocolate so I took my best bar of dark chocolate and melted it.  Organic, 85% cacao .

Still thinking about the chickpea flour being dry, I thought that I would use olive oil.  It makes a very smooth pesto so why not a smooth, creamy cake?  I was worried about the flavour of olive oil taking over but then I considered that the chickpea flour flavour is also strong and so is chocolate so I decided that the flavours would likely blend together.

I put all the liquid ingredients in a bowl (minus the water) with the zucchini and flax and mixed them together with my hand blender to create a smooth mixture.

This I added to the dry ingredients and then slowly added the water to get the consistency of a thinner muffin batter.

Once baked, the cake was beautifully high and I was exited!  Unfortunately, it did slowly fall.  I know that there is a scientific reason for this but I am not sure what that is.

To make it a true birthday cake, I made an icing with cashews.  I put all of the ingredients in the food processor and in a few minutes I had heaven.  I put this on top of the cake and all around.

When I served the slices, I put a dollop of raspberries (defrosted from the freezer) and a little touch of the raspberry juice on each one.

Delicious!

p.s. 9 of us ate the entire cake!  My brother eating most of it.  HeeHee!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 9" cake
 
This is a rich delicious cake that will please every palate. I promise. Remember to use organic ingredients whenever possible.
Ingredients
  • 3 teaspoons ground flax seed, soaked in 3 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, himalayan or sea
  • ½ cup sweetener...raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, dates that have been soaked and pureed
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • Cashew Icing
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked a few hours
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup very finely shredded zucchini (courgette), that has been peeled
  • 100g dark chocolate bar, melted (I used 85% cacao, organic)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup olive oil or ⅓ cup melted coconut oil and ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water (may need less if using a liquid sweetener)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare a 9" cake pan with parchment paper or greasing.
  3. In a small bowl, place the ground flax and the water. Stir and let sit to absorb.
  4. In a large bowl, combine chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cacao powder. If you are using a dry sweetener, add it to this mixture.
  5. Shred the zucchini in a separate bowl.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  7. To the zucchini, add the flax, melted chocolate, vanilla and oil. If using a liquid sweetener, add this now. Mix until smooth. You will find it helpful to use your hand blender for this.
  8. Add this mixture to the flour and stir until combined. Add the water, ½ cup at a time until it is smooth. Consistency should be thinner than muffin batter but not runny.
  9. Place in a 9" cake pan and bake 25-30 minutes.
  10. The cake will rise up and look fluffy. Be prepared for it to fall and be a short cake. Doesn't change the taste though!
  11. While the cake is baking, make the cashew icing. Place all ingredients in your food processor. Start by pulsing until the mixture starts to break up. Then process for a few minutes. You may need to stop the processor a few times to scrap down the sides. Continue processing until it is smooth. Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up. Now it is ready to spread around the cake.
  12. When serving, top with a few raspberries, if desired

 

Barbara’s Raspberry Dream Cakes

Raspberry Dream CakeI enjoy desserts that are delicious in flavour, not in sweetness.  I would rather have a juicy piece of fruit than say, a doughnut with icing.

In order to please myself with a dessert that I would love, I made this recipe this past weekend.  We had a holiday on the Monday (Victoria Day here in Canada) and I thought that I would make something special.  I made it as a cake in a springform pan rather than the individual cakes that I will show you today.

We ate it all up with smiles on our faces, longing for more.

Since I did not photograph the initial process, I decided to make the recipe again.  Last night, after work.  This time as individual cakes.

 

Dream Cake 1

I organized myself in the morning by soaking the dates and the cashews and putting the coconut oil in bowl, ready for the warm water bath.  I also took the raspberries and coconut meat out of the freezer.

I worked the evening and did not arrive home until 8:30pm.

I started preparing the cakes and by 9:30pm, the delicious treats (and photos) were complete AND I had tidied up!  Not bad, I say.

How is this done?

Let me tell you…

Remember to use organic products whenever possible.

Begin by soaking your cashews in water.

soaking cashews

Next get your dates soaking.

soaking medjool dates

Add the chia seeds to the thawed raspberries, along with the juice from the raspberries.  Put this mixture in the fridge to allow it to thicken.

raspberries and chia

Set out the coconut meat to thaw.

coconut meat

A word about the coconut meat.  I used an unpasteurized, organic,  frozen coconut meat.  This was my first time using the frozen meat.  It really added to the flavour of the creamy filling.  It is full of electrolytes and antioxidants and is so healthy for you.  It is a little on the pricey side but I think that it is worth it.

To make the base, you will need to grind the almonds to a fine meal…

almond meal

…add the dates (drain them first) to bind it all together.

almond and date crust

So far so good, right?

Get out your muffin tins and put a bit of parchment paper in each.  This will make it easier to get the little guy out when you are ready to enjoy it.

Make balls of the dough and flatten them out by hand.  Put them in the bottom of each muffin tin.

crust in the tins

Now for the filling.  Are you excited yet?  I am!

Drain the cashews and put them in the food processor.  I don’t bother to clean out the processor.  Let’s keep it simple, shall we?

Add the remaining ingredients: lemon rind, lemon juice, melted coconut oil, coconut meat, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

ingredients for filling of Dream Cake

Process this until it is smooth and creamy.

creamy Dream Cake filling

Scoop on top of the crusts in your muffin tin and top with the raspberry sauce.

Dream Cakes in the tins

Place in the fridge to firm up.

Dream Cake

Serve and enjoy.

Dream Cakes

Oh my,  definitely enjoy.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Barbara's Raspberry Dream Cakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
This is a refreshing, delicious dessert that can easily be made into a round cake in a 8 " springform pan. Switch the raspberries for other fruits that you like. Get organized the day before you want to make this. Thaw the raspberries, soak the dates and cashews. Add the chia to the raspberries. When you are ready to start, it will be a swift process.
Ingredients
  • 300g frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted (1 cup), soaked at least an hour
  • 1¼ cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 large lemon, about ¼ cup
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted using warm water bath method
  • ½ cup young coconut meat, thawed
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place the thawed raspberries, along with their juice in a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir together until well combined. Set aside in the fridge, to allow the mixture to thicken. May be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge.
  2. Place the coconut oil in a bowl and put this bowl in a bowl with hot water. Set aside to let the oil liquefy.
  3. Grind the almonds in a food processor until it resembles a fine meal.
  4. Chop the soaked dates and add to the almond meal. Pulse until a sticky dough forms.
  5. If making individual cakes, divide the dough into 12-16 balls. Flatten with your hands, to form small circles that will fit in the bottom of the muffin tin.
  6. Put parchment paper in your muffin tins and place the circles in the bottom of each tin. Set aside.
  7. In your food processor, put (remaining ingredients) cashews, lemon rind, lemon juice, melted coconut oil, coconut meat, maple syrup and vanilla. Process until you have a smooth, creamy mixture.
  8. Scoop a heaping tablespoon or enough to fill the muffin tin ¾ of the way, into each muffin tin. You may have filling left over (darn!). Have it for breakfast.
  9. Scoop some raspberry sauce on to each cake.
  10. Place in the fridge for a few hours.
  11. Remove from the tin and serve.
  12. May be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  13. May be stored in the freezer (be sure to bring to room temperature before serving) for up to 2 weeks.

Strawberry Lemon Chia Pudding

imageI splurged and bought beautiful organic strawberries this week.  I really wanted to just eat all of them but decided that I had better share with my family.  So I made this pudding for dessert tonight.  I had some for breakfast too but don’t tell anyone.

Chia seeds have amazing health properties.

Here are just a few:

  1. Important for digestive health – high in fibre
  2. High in Omega 3
  3. Good for your bones – high in Calcium
  4. High in Manganese – another nutrient that is good for bones
  5. Helps reduce belly fat – stabilizes blood sugar
  6. Lowers cholesterol

Great reasons to eat chia seeds, right?Continue Reading

Cacao; Friend or Foe?

cacaoI had planned to write this article earlier in the week about the difference between cacao and cocoa but after doing a little research to ensure that I did indeed have my facts straight, I came across a few articles that made me stop and think.

These articles were quite clear in their proclamation that cacao, raw or not, is toxic to our body; that we are being misled about it’s health benefits.

I felt uncomfortable reading this information.  I have always believed that raw cacao is extremely beneficial to our body.  I was not sure if I could talk about cacao and it’s ‘dangers’.Continue Reading

Fabulous Benefits of Flax

Linum, Leingewächs, LeinsamenFlax is a plant native to the Mediterranean that has been used as a food item for over 5,000 years.

Flax was brought to North America with the early colonists and was first planted in the United States.  In the 17th century, it was planted in Canada, which is currently the major producer of flax seeds.

flaxseed_oil2

Flax seeds are shaped like sesame seeds but are a bit bigger.  The colours available are usually a dark brown but can also be this light amber colour that you see in the photo above.  The flavour of flax seeds is warm and earthy, with a nutty edge.  To make sure that you are able to get all of the benefits of the flax seed, eat it ground rather than whole.Continue Reading

Rawsome Apple Pie

I made this raw apple pie for our Family Easter Potluck dinner.  Everyone loved it!  Thankfully it was also very easy and quick to prepare.  This is so delicious and nutritious that you could eat it for breakfast!

The original recipe comes from Nomi Shannon’s cookbook, ‘The Raw Gourmet’.

IMG_0191

Remember to use organic ingredients, whenever possible, for optimum health.

Makes 1 pie

Crust:
1 ¾ cup almonds, soaked 8-12 hours, drained and dried off
1 cup dates, chopped
1-2 Tablespoons water or more as needed
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 teaspoons psyllium
Procedure:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  • Dehydrate for 1 hour or if you don’t have a dehydrator, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Filling:
10-12 apples, peeled and cored, cut into chunks
2 cups dates, pitted (medjool are the best)
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons psyllium

Procedure :

  • Process the apples, dates and raisins in a food processor until very smooth. You may need to do each one separately and then together depending on how heavy duty your processor is. Add cinnamon and psyllium and process.  Or if you have a vitamix, process all ingredients together, until smooth.
  • Immediately pour the filling into the pie crust.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy with your friends and family!

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Rawsome Apple Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Raw Vegan
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pie
 
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1 ¾ cup almonds, soaked 8-12 hours, drained and dried off
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water or more as needed
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons psyllium
  • Filling:
  • 10-12 apples, peeled and cored, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups dates, pitted (medjool are the best)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons psyllium
Instructions
  1. Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Dehydrate for 1 hour or if you don't have a dehydrator, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  3. For the filling: process the apples, dates and raisins in a food processor until very smooth. You may need to do each one separately and then together depending on how heavy duty your processor is. Add cinnamon and psyllium and process.  Or if you have a vitamix, process all ingredients together, until smooth.
  4. Immediately pour the filling into the pie crust.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Enjoy with your friends and family!