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.

 

 

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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(Post has been updated since Braxton’s birthday to show new pictures)

I’m starting to plan Braxton’s 1st birthday (can you believe it?!?!) and of course the menu is of utmost importance. I’m not going to feed him the way I do then all of a sudden spend a day filling him with sugar and rubbish, so I have to come up with enough gluten, dairy & refined sugar-free cake options for everyone. We’re only doing a tea party at home for family, but I want it to be special, so Daniel and I are making a lot of the decorations ourselves and of course we’re making all the food. I’m going to make him the chocolate cake that I made from grandma’s birthday, but I’ll make it a 3 tiered one with heaps of chocolate frosting and that can be the cake we put the candles on, and I’m going to make a small sponge cake with a chocolate frosting for his cake smash picture (gotta be done!) but I also wanted to make some cupcakes as everyone loves a cupcake and it just looks nice.

I first made this a few weeks ago but made it as a cake originally, and cut it into squares, but the recipe wasn’t perfect. So I tried again last night, changing the things I think went wrong last time and they really are honestly delicious, and so nice as cupcakes, especially for a birthday. I made them with eggs the first time but then thought, hey, I can easily make these vegan by using banana instead of egg and the banana goes so nice with carrot and also makes it more moist, which is essential for carrot cake.

The banana keeps it quite sweet so I used a few spoonfuls of maple in the cakes themselves and that was it, but the frosting was so easy to make thanks to Natvia! Their icing sugar came in really handy this time as I was able to make a vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free frosting with Natvia icing sugar, dairy-free spread and a bit of vanilla.

These are the ones I made with egg and I tried a soya cream cheese frosting but the sweet frosting I made with Natvia was much nicer:

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I’ll post them again when the party is over and I can take a picture of all the food together!

Original ones:

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Ingredients

150g buckwheat flour
1tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1.5 tsp baking powder
80ml coconut oil
3 ripe bananas
7 tbsp maple
3 large carrots
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Topping:
250g organic, dairy free spread / margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g Natvia icing sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake baking tray with cupcake liners.

Peel and grate the carrots and leave to the side.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and spices.

In another bowl mash the bananas then mix in the coconut oil (melted but not hot) and maple.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, adding slowly and mixing as you go along. Once it is mixed, add the grated carrot and walnuts and mix again.

Pour into the prepared tin and put in the oven for 18 minutes.

Once it’s in the oven prepare the topping by mixing the ingredients really well then leaving in the fridge.

Remove the cake from the oven and wait until it is completely cool before adding the topping. The topping will need to come out the fridge 5 minutes before you’re going to start adding it to the cakes. I did mine with piping bags but you can just spoon it on if you don’t have time.

Add some more chopped walnuts to the top.

Love & health,
Lauren

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