Cacawate Cake

Today is Grace’s 2nd birthday. I can’t believe it. I don’t remember being this stunned at Asher’s 2nd. In fact I think I may have the tendency to rush him in my mind, thinking each milestone takes forever to arrive….somehow with Grace they creep up too quick.

I’ll let ryan, the mast photo-poster put up the birthday pics…I wanted to talk about the cake. ;)

Last year I made basically banana bread (with extra sugar) into cupcakes & topped it with weird, to sweet, heavy cream cheese icing. Overall: far too sweet & kinda gross, definitely too heavy! The kids didn’t mind but when it comes to things with sugar, their opinion doesn’t really count…they’ll eat anything called “cake”. ;) (ok…it won’t work for thing OBVIOUSLY not cake…like fruit or veggies).

This year, added to my obsession with trying to turn food items that are by default unhealthy into healthy(ish) treats is the pressure of it being gluten & casein free (google it if you don’t know what they mean).

I did some internet reading & opinion asking…and i finally settled on a cake recipe taken off the Tropical Traditions website and an icing recipe taken off one of my favorite gluten-free blogs, everythingfreeeating.

I was going to go w/a more traditional gluten-free cake but i’ve found coconut flour recipes to be less oddly textured than the normal gluten-free recipes that require starch flours. This did not fail us for sure. Though the icing may not have been QUITE sweet enough for the average bear, i would still feel confident to serve this to non-health-nut guests. Due to the cocoa powder used (Chatfield’s) , it had a definite dark chocolate essence to it, vs. uber-sweet milk chocolate. Since i’ve been converted to the “dark-side”, this was heavenly for me. Unfortunately ryan’s not a fan of coconut, but since he’s not much for dessert anyway, i decided to not cater to his palate (sorry ryan). Here’s my versions of the recipes below:

Coconut Flour Chocolate cupcakes (I didn’t actually change this recipe at all)
1/2 cup coconut oil (i used expeller pressed)
1/4 cup coconut milk (or heavy cream if you’re not dairy-free)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (..heaping 1/4 cup)
9 eggs (yes…9…)
1.5 cups sucanat
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour (i actually followed the rules & sifted. figured dana would be proud)
3/4 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat (or live in central FL & it will never reach a solid state anyway). Add cocoa powder and coconut milk and mix together. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir in cocoa mixture. Combine coconut flour w/baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Pour batter into muffin forms. Bake at 350 for 30min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool & cover w/frosting as desired.

Sin On a Spoon Icing
(my take on it)
4.5 TBS Ghee (or butter if you’re not casein-free)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 TBS coconut milk (or heavy cream)
3 TBS agave nectar (or honey or 8 drops liquid stevia…haven’t tried the stevia myself as i’ve had bad experiences w/stevia + chocolate)
2 tsp. lecithin (i did not plan in advance, so had to buy some from the local whole-foods. Which of course only had soy lecithin. I’m usually anti-soy, but i made an exception here due to the fact that i didn’t have time to wait for egg or sunflower based lecithin to be shipped from an online store).

Blend ghee in mixer on high till soft. Pour in coconut milk, lecithin and sweetner, whipping until blended. On stir setting add cocoa powder, turning speed up to high as the powder becomes incorporated. Mix until the desired consistency, adding more lecithin if necessary to emulsify the ghee and coconut milk.

I sprinkled some unsweetened shredded coconut on top for the coconut-likers in the house. The kids & I definitely enjoyed what Grace called “cacawate cake”…and I did notice that ryan ate his cupcake as well….coconut flour & all. ;) ooh, if you’re really daring, chocolate chips in the cake would be pretty awesome i think.

3 thoughts on “Cacawate Cake

  1. Sounds delish! I have TONS of questions about stuff. My ignorance is really showing here. Thank God for you to keep me straight on my health nut journey. Okay, questions one, do you conconutty is the coconut flour? I use coconut oil frequently and find it to have a very mild coconut flavor. I’m not a huge coconut fan, its okay, just not major. My husband likes it a lot so, he’s easy to please. Just wondering if the coconut flour has a strong coconut flavor? MY second question is really a comment. I didn’t realize Ghee was casein free! Since it comes from butter I just never gave it a second thought for casein free dieting. That is GREAT news! And finally, the lecithin. Again I thought (don’t make fun of my ignorance here, Jenn!) that all lecithin was from soy. Why are you anit-soy, by the way? And what form was the lecithing in? I have granules, but was wondering if you had powder or what? Okay, keep these great recipes coming! And i’m still advocating for you to write a book…tips and tricks for the health conscious mommy! You would make a killing!

  2. BTW, sorry for all the typos in that post…my attention is split between my typing and keeping aliyah from breaking her neck on everything…she’s a climber!

  3. let’s see if i can answer these here…

    1) the ‘flour’ itself def. tastes like coconut as it’s really just finely ground coconut, not actually “flour” in the grain sense at all. As for the taste of it in baked goods…it def. has some coconut taste, though i think it’s mild, but perhaps ryan can add his 2 cents on this particular recipe since he’d be more ‘aware’ of the flavor than me?

    2) Virgin coconut oil definitely tastes like coconut to me, and i pretty much only use it in either dishes i intentionally want that flavor in, or raw applications (like smoothies), since heat destroys the anti-viral/bacterial properties to it. Therefore in cooking, i use expeller pressed coconut oil. This has the same goodness regarding the fatty acid chain stuff (that kinda information doesn’t stay in my brain, i just remember something about the fat chains are good), but no flavor & is cheaper, thus not wasting the stuff that’s really best raw in cooking/baking. It’s nearly the only cooking oil i use so i buy it 5gal. at a time! compared to ghee or olive oil, quite a savings (I’d love to rotate w/lard as well, but don’t have a local/affordable source).

    2) Ghee technically is casein free, however some people who are super sensitive still react to it, so if you’re working on an elimination diet i’d recommend you even avoid that and then when you get to a good baseline, try adding it in & seeing if you can handle it.

    3) On the lecithin: you can google “egg yolk lecithin” or “sunflower lecithin” & probably come up with some sources. I actually haven’t used/bought it in some time. The original recipe used granules, i bought the liquid variety & other than being really sticky & messy till incorporated fully it worked fine. either way would be fine i’m sure.

    4) don’t have the time/space/desire to go into the hot button topic of soy but here’s a site w/some starting points. Personally, in my terribly NON-professional opinion my biggest issues are: phytate levels (they are not decreased as easily by soaking/sprouting as the phytates in other grains/beans & there’s much more in them), and the politics behind getting it pushed as a health food when in fact there is some evidence to the contrary (i could say the same for corn). The photo or phyto-estrogens whatever they are, are on my radar of concern but for me, not my biggest issue. A good thought for that argument though is: soy is promoted & documented for helping ease menopause symptoms…because it mimicks estrogen. so…unless you’re a menopausal woman, PROBABLY a good idea to not get extra estrogen in your diet regularly. Traditionally fermented versions are the exception, such as miso & tempeh (assuming they’re properly fermented).

    5) nearly everything i know is from other books &/or other people who are currently writing (or will be soon) books. add to that an inability to organize copious amts. of data = i won’t be writing a book. ;) but thx. that was sweet. :)