Epic Chocolate Birthday Cake – Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free

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PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS ON THIS ONE OTHERWISE IT WON’T MAKE SENSE

Here it is–Braxton’s EPIC (if I do say so myself) chocolate birthday cake. So, this is the same recipes as Grandma’s Birthday cake, except I made 3 of them so I could tier it, and I forgot to sprinkle cacao over the top. But also, I decided not to use the avocado mousse topping like I used in the other one because I didn’t think it would hold out of the fridge for the day, which this cake needed to be able to do. I did want it to be super decadent so I used 70% dark chocolate, so the frosting does have sugar in it. The cake bases themselves don’t have any refined sugar, and I used an organic, fair-trade, 70% dark chocolate.

OK so it has a bit of sugar (which we NEVER have at home), but it was a one off and it was actually so worth it because it was amazing. No one could believe that it was dairy and gluten free.

I made the same cake in a smaller version for Braxton’s cake-smash cake.

INSTRUCTIONS: Now, I wasn’t sure it would be a perfect mixture if I just tripled the mixture from my original recipe, so–and yes this does make it more time consuming so totally up to you if you want to give it a go tripling it!–I made the mixture 3 separate times. So when reading the ingredients below, you have to do those measurements 3 separate times. 

For the frosting you only need the measurements I give you as is.

Right, here it is!

Ingredients – remember, do the measurements below, 3 times

Cake bases:
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
50g raw cacao powder
125ml boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
150g Natvia or coconut palm sugar
3 free-range organic eggs

Chocolate Ganache:
500g dark chocolate
The cream from the top of 4 cans of coconut milk (full fat), room temperature
2 tbsp Natvia icing sugar (if using standard Natvia, grind it in a coffee or spice grinder)
The cream from the top of 2 cans of coconut milk, chilled

Method

Preheat oven to 170° and grease 3 25cm springform cake tins. Line bases with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the cacao into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water with a fork until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. If you have a Kitchenaid or electric whisk with its own bowl, do it in this; it will make it extra creamy. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the ground almonds with bicarbonate of soda,  baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and olive oil into a bowl and beat together with the electric whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, with a slow speed so it aerates. After the 3 minutes, add the ground almond mix, and mix until incorporated.

Finally, add the chocolate mix slowly until combined and pour into the prepared tin.

You can do all of this with a handheld whisk, a fork and spoon if you don’t have a Kitchenaid but using one will just make the mixture a bit creamier. I have done it with and without and was nice both times – just a bit fluffier with!

Bake for about 30 mins. The sides should be set but not burnt and the top centre should still look very slightly damp.

Repeat this two more times with the other cake tins. I also put them in the oven separately so I could make sure they didn’t under-cook, but you can try and put them in all together if you want.

Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tin.

While in the oven make the ganache:

Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat just as it comes to the boil. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, pour the coconut cream over and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth, thick ganache. (If some of the chocolate still hasn’t melted, add boiling water to the used pan and put the bowl on top until it melts).

Whisk in the Natvia icing sugar. Transfer 8 tablespoons of ganache to a separate, smaller bowl. Put both bowls in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Remove the smaller bowl of ganache from the fridge. Add the chilled coconut cream (discard any remaining watery liquid) and whisk with an electric mixer until it is a pale, milk chocolate shade and mousse-like in texture, with the consistency of double cream. Hold back one large spoonful of this and add it to the ganache in the fridge. Leave in the fridge.

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Go back to the pale mixture and now spread over the tops of two of the cakes, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge of the cake. Place the two cakes with the ganache, one on top of the other, then add the third one on top.

Remove the remaining ganache from the fridge and gently mix so the paler one is incorporated into the darker one spread over the cake, and using a palette knife, spread over the sides and smooth down until the whole cake is covered. The cake should now be completely covered with ganache, with no sponge visible.

Dust with raw cacao powder and decorate with strawberries if desired.

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Love & health,
Lauren

 

Thank you to Dairy-Free Delicious for the ganache recipe.

 

 

Grandma’s Healthy Chocolate Birthday Cake (and a new sugar substitute)

Chocolate Olive Oil Bday Cake 1

It was my husband’s grandma’s 89th birthday on Friday and I adore her so it was only right to spoil her with chocolate cake! But of course it had to be healthy so I got inspiration for this one from Nigella’s chocolate olive oil cake, I just changed the ingredients around to make it healthier and added a chocolate mousse topping. Suffice it to say, grandma (and everyone else) loved it!

I’ve started using Natvia natural sweetener instead of coconut palm sugar. It is a really excellent natural sweetener that is a great alternative to sugar. It’s very low GI which makes it great for diabetics but also generally everyone, as sugar makes our bodies a breeding ground for caner, it’s GMO free, 100% certified organic and tastes amazing. I bought it on Amazon but I am hearing that it is now available in Tesco so that’s great news! I’m going to double this up to make a double layer cake with the mousse in the middle and on top for Braxton’s 1st birthday.

Chocolate Olive Oil Bday Cake 2

Ingredients

150ml extra-virgin olive oil (and a little extra for greasing) – my favourite is Cinque Foglie by Danilo Manco in Puglia, Italy
50g raw cacao powder
125ml boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
150g Natvia or coconut palm sugar
3 free-range organic eggs

Chocolate mousse topping:
1 ripe avocado
2 ripe bananas
6 dates
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao powder
Pinch Himalayan salt

Method

Preheat oven to 170° and grease a springform cake tin, line base with baking paper and grease with olive oil.

Sift the cacao into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water with a fork until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. If you have a Kitchenaid or electric whisk with its own bowl, do it in this; it will make it extra creamy. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the ground almonds with bicarbonate of soda,  baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and olive oil into a bowl and beat together with the electric whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, with a slow speed so it aerates. After the 3 minutes, add the ground almond mix, and mix until incorporated.

Finally, add the chocolate mix slowly until combined and pour into the prepared tin.

You can do all of this with a handheld whisk, a fork and spoon if you don’t have a Kitchenaid but using one will just make the mixture a bit creamier. I have done it with and without and was nice both times – just a bit fluffier with!

Bake for about 30 mins. The sides should be set but not burn tand the top centre should still look very slightly damp.

Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tin.

While in the oven make the mousse layer by mixing all the ingredients in the blender, put it in a bowl and leave in the fridge until later.

 

Once it is completely cool add the mousse layer on top and put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

Sprinkle with some raw cacao on top to serve.

Enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Berry Chia Jam & Chocolate Mousse Icing

Chocolate Birthday Cake

For my son’s first birthday I made a cake without refined sugar but still used stoneground wheat flour and organic butter. Last year for his second birthday I was determined to come up with a completely clean cake recipe, so I began The Cake Trials (which you may have seen if you followed my old Instagram account @unsinfully_divine.) I must have baked about 10 cakes in the month leading up to his birthday, and finally came up with the perfect recipe!
This cake was so good I made it again this year for his third birthday. You would never guess that it is so healthy… it’s rich, moist and has a good crumb (very hard to do with gluten-free baking!) Berry chia jam and my awesome Chocolate Mousse Icing finish it perfectly.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
70g raw cacao paste
150g pitted fresh dates
180ml boiling water
150ml organic maple syrup
200g organic virgin coconut oil
4 eggs
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of himalayan salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup almond flour
60ml raw cacao powder

For the Chocolate Mousse Icing:

320g mature coconut flesh and 1 1/2 cups hot water, OR 2 cups organic coconut cream
80ml raw honey
pinch of himalayan salt
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5ml agar agar powder (not flakes – they require different measurements)
40ml organic virgin coconut oil
90ml raw cacao powder

For the Berry Chia Jam:

1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp raw honey
1ml organic vanilla powder
small pinch of himalayan salt
2 tbsp chia seeds

METHOD

Set aside the frozen berries to allow them to defrost.

Firstly make the icing. If using fresh coconut to make your own cream, blend the coconut and hot water in a high speed blender for 30 to 60 seconds. Strain through a nut milk bag. Allow it to cool slightly before squeezing so that you don’t burn your hands! Return the coconut cream to the blender, along with the honey, salt, vanilla, agar agar and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for three minutes exactly and then remove from the heat. Boiling activates the agar agar, allowing it to set, but over boiling will destroy it, so use a timer. Refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper or silicone liners.

In a clean, dry blender, grind the oats until you have a fine flour. Sift together with the almond flour and 60ml cacao powder. Set aside.

Place the cacao paste, dates, boiling water and maple syrup in the blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add the coconut oil, vanilla and salt, and the eggs one at a time. Blend until the mixture is smooth, thick and glossy. Add the bicarb and blend just to disperse it thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto the sifted dry ingredients and fold them together. Pour into the cake tins, dividing the mixture evenly, and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, make the jam. Blend the berries with the honey, vanilla and salt. You can make it smooth or leave it chunky, as you prefer. Pour into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Refrigerate until needed.

Once the icing has set, blend it again with the 90ml cacao powder. Agar sets much firmer in comparison to gelatine, but blending it breaks up that glassy texture, giving you a smooth and creamy end result. Refrigerate again to firm up.

Once the cakes have cooled, turn them out. Use the berry jam to sandwich them together and then top with the icing.

My son asked for a Maleficent cake. I made two 20cm cakes and two 10cm cakes, and sandwiched them together with the jam. I then used coloured cardboard and ribbon to decorate, rather than using fondant icing which is full of refined sugar and chemical colours which are so bad for kids! Once the cardboard was on, I carefully piped the icing ontop, and placed a Maleficent figurine we got from the toyshop on the top of the cake.

Maleficent Cake

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine