Crazy for Cake

Read on for the recipe for this delicious, sugar free, gluten free, organic chocolate cake!!
I'm sitting here in front of an open window, fresh air coursing through the house. I smell clean earth. I have sheets drying on the line outside. I see beautiful blue skies and green grass... where am I? This day has the distinct feel of spring, and yet we're settled smack dab in winter. Typically, here in Ct, January and February are usually the coldest and snowiest months of the year. The months when we hunker down and express gratitude everyday for our woodstove and warm home. They often feel like the longest months of the year as we inch toward longer days and warmer temps. But this year? Amazing. It has been so mild and beautiful, I surprise even myself with the thought "I could really get used to this..." I'm usually the one anxiously awaiting the snow, and the more the better. Now? I think I'm changing my mind. :)

Today I was going to share one of our favorite soup recipes, but this weather just won't let me. So, I'll get back to that when the temps drop again, but for now let's do something fun!! At Thanksgiving I played around with one of my recipes and made Scott a chocolate cake. Really, I could get that man to do anything for me if I dangled a cake in front of him. ;) It was my first attempt (we've been eating only carob for years), and while Scott manically and happily devoured it, I knew I could do better.I tried again at Christmas, much improved, but not quite there yet. And the next week, and the next...much to the delight of my family, I've been baking one just about weekly and finally feel like I've come up with a recipe that we all love. The bonus? This cake isn't only delicious, but healthy. Yes, you heard me, healthy. So, go ahead and dig in, guilt free, the only way we do dessert in the Smitten family. :)

Chocolate Cake with Coconut Vanilla Frosting
1/2 cup organic millet flour
3/4 cup organic cocoa powder
3/4 cup organic brown rice flour
1/2 cup organic flaxseed flour
1 rounded tablespoon stevia
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1/2 cup flax gel (see below) or 2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup organic applesauce
1 cup boiling water

Combine millet flour, cocoa powder, brown rice flour, flaxseed flour, stevia, baking soda and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and stir well. In a separate bowl combine water, flax gel, melted coconut oil and applesauce. Stir well to combine thoroughly and add to the dry mixture, once more mixing well. Add in one cup boiling water and mix well again (yes, lots of arm exercise!). Immediately pour into 2 greased/floured round baking pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Notes : As a vegan we don't eat eggs and this is a wonderful replacement ~ flaxseed gel. It has much the same consistency as eggs, foods rise beautifully and it provides many of the same healthy fats. Flax Gel ~Add 1/2 cup flaxseed flour (1/3 cup whole flaxseeds equals 1/2 cup flaxseed flour once ground) and 2 cups of water to the blender. Mix for about 2 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and gooey. Store unused portion in the refrigerator, good for up to one week. 1/4 cup of flaxseed gel is equal to one egg.

I grind my own flaxseeds freshly as I need it in a small coffee grinder. They retain more of their health benefits this way, but if you feel you won't want to be bothered with this step you can buy the flaxseeds already ground. I prefer the golden flaxseeds over the brown, they seem to make baking lighter (both in color and cosistency)

This cake is also particularly tasty if you wish to substitute the cocoa with carob. Just swap out the cocoa for the carob, no need to adjust anything else.

This is the thicker "frosting" consistency
Coconut Vanilla Frosting
1 cup organic coconut milk
4 tsp organic potato starch
1/2 cup water
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup raw shredded coconut
1/4 cup toasted coconut (optional)

In a small saucepan combine coconut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, raw coconut, potato starch and water. With a whisk combine well. Stirring constantly you'll find this frosting will begin to thicken after a minute or two. Continue stirring until it reaches the consistency you desire (thinner for an icing, thicker for a frosting ~ we like it both ways!) and then remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

This frosting does have a very small amount of sugar in the form of maple syrup. Initially the recipe called for stevia, but I couldn't make it taste the way I wanted to, so I experimented with maple syrup and hit the jackpot. It seems to enhance the vanilla flavor and while not super sweet, balances the cocoa perfectly. :)

If I have time I like to toast some coconut and sprinkle it on top. It tastes delicious and is such a pretty contrast against the white frosting.  This is the thinner "icing" consistency

Of course now I'm craving a moist, dense, delicious chocolate cake. :) Anyhoo, I'm off to enjoy this lovely gift from Mother Nature. I'll be collecting my girls and heading out for a gorgeous walk where we'll all pretend that spring is just around the corner... Happy Saturday!

Peace & blessings ~ Melinda