Flourless Chocolate Torte

Chocolate

So, funny story about this recipe.

This was back in late July of 2012—Josh and I were up near Woodland Park, Colorado, visiting with his father who had just flown in from out of town, and his brother, who is watching the family property until their dad retires this summer. With his dad came his Grandma, Ruth, and his eldest brother, Jason.

Josh and I had just recently made the switch from Keto to Paleo, and I was dying to try my hand at a few chocolatey recipes to cure a particularly nasty bout of cravings. Being relatively new to the idea of alternative flours, I didn’t want to mess around too much with cookies or brownies or pies, lest I bake a disaster and embarrass myself in front of my soon-to-be in-laws.

Before we moved to Colorado, there was a little Italian deli in Minneapolis that we liked to visit on occasion and, before ever going keto/paleo, a rich, delicious chocolate torte that we liked to share every time we went. In the spirit of this little deli, I did some searching and found a few flourless torte recipes to give me a little inspiration.

Without considering the fact that half of the family originated from the deep south, I set out with my baker’s chocolate and a got to work. As I started cooking, people from around the house came sniffing into the kitchen with big eyes. “What are you making? That chocolate smells so good!” I was pretty excited at this point, and couldn’t wait to share it with everyone as an after-dinner treat.

Fast-forward to dessert time. Anxious, I topped the torte with cinnamon and some extra powdered cocoa and cut it into small slices for everyone to try. Josh and his brother came first; at the first bite, they nodded encouragingly and noshed on it with espresso in hand. Next came Josh’s nephew, who took one bite and set his plate down. “That’s okay,” I told myself, “he’s only 11, he’s allowed to dislike these sorts of things.”

Then came Ruth. I handed her a plate and a fork and she cautiously picked at it before breaking off a piece and taking a bite. This only being the second time we’d met, I was anxious about giving a good impression about my baking skills.

At first, her expression was curious. Then, as if she’d taken a surprise bite of dirt, she quickly shuffled to the counter, grabbed a paper towel and spat the entire piece out. “No, no.” She said, shaking her head. “No, I can’t eat that, that’s much too bitter. I don’t like it.”

Only slightly mortified, I watched as Josh and his brother tried hide their laughter, and quickly apologized to Ruth, who was already grabbing a glass of water to wash the extra flavor away.

“Oh, god! I messed up!” I thought. Admittedly hurt, I shoved the torte away in the fridge in a hurry and watched as the rest of the family cut into a giant German Chocolate Cake we’d bought for Josh’s dad on the way up.

It only took me another 24 hours to learn that the delicate Southern palate is not always compatible with these non-traditional types of desserts. Josh reassured me later on, and helped me finish off the rest of the torte, which really wasn’t that bad for my first attempt at ever baking one.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce this flourless torte recipe, but KEEP IN MIND: it’s rich, dense, dark chocolate. Pair it with a nice espresso or glass of almond milk for the best results. This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on epicurious.com.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Serves: Eight

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate or cacao
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted  grass fed butter
  • 3/4 baker’s stevia
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F
  2. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan with the grass fed butter.
  3. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of wax paper; grease the wax paper with more butter.
  4. Break the chocolate into small chunks.
  5. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a sauce pan double boiler with the water just barely simmering. Stir it until it’s smooth. Be careful not to burn the chocolate!
  6. Remove the pan from double boiler and whisk the stevia into chocolate mixture.
  7. Add the eggs and whisk them into the chocolate until fully incorporated.
  8. Pour 1/2 Cup of the cocoa powder into the melted chocolate mixture and mix until combined.
  9. Pour the batter into your wax-paper lined pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes.
  10. Dust the cake with additional cocoa powder or cinnamon and serve with espresso or fresh berries.
  11. Enjoy!

For the Love of All Things Coconut: Paleo Coconut Super Snacks

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If you’ve been eating paleo for any amount of time, you’ve probably come to either love or hate coconut. The paleo enthusiasts’ favorite little gem has a multitude of different uses, and is held in high regard for its many health benefits, stemming mainly from the high amount of lauric acid (good stuff) and medium-chain fatty acids that contribute to lower LDL levels, weight loss, skin health and heart health. You can smother it on your skin, add it to your coffee, use it as deodorant, drink it’s milk and sprinkle it over sweet treats to give that extra bit of love.

I, for one, love the stuff, and I try to find ways to incorporate it into my cooking whenever I can. Whether it be curried chicken or dark chocolate truffles rolled in toasted coconut shreds, I’m kind of in love with the stuff.

I hope you’re just as excited as I am, because today I’ve come up with something similar to those little chocolate truffles I made a while back, and they’re chock-full of coconut deliciousness. Get ready, today we’re making…

Paleo Coconut Super Snacks

Prep time: 5 minutes | Wait time: 2 hours | Serves: several

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 C. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 Tbsp regular, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 C. almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Stevia in the Raw (baking quantities)

Directions:

  1. Mix the coconut milk and shredded together in a medium mixing bowl until you get a crumbly texture.
  2. Add the stevia to the coconut shreds and mix well. IMAG0783
  3. Put the almond butter and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them together in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, stir together well, then microwave once again for 30 seconds. Stir it one last time to make sure the oil and butter are completely incorporated.
  4. Mix the butter-oil combo with the shredded-coconut mixture.
  5. Put the mixture into the fridge for two hours.
  6. When the mixture is cold enough, roll it into separate bite-sized balls (Should yield roughly 16, depending on how large you’re rolling them.)
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

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Quick and Easy Flourless Brownies

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I think I may love sweets a bit too much sometimes.

Maybe it’s a seasonal thing, but these days, it’s hard to get through the week without cravings for some coconut truffles or almond vanilla cake. One of my biggest sweet-treat weaknesses has always been (and probably always will be) fluffy and moist brownies with big chunks of chocolate melted inside. You know the kind: it comes in a box, and you eat half the batter before it’s even had a chance to hit the oven. That’s the kind of brownie my heart yearns for, and that’s the kind of brownie I’ve dreamt of making.

In the past, I’ve always used ground flax meal or almond flour to give my baked goods depth and density, as well as a good amount of nutritional pop. However, those flour substitutes tend to suck up all the moisture in your batter and make things a little tough to swallow if you’re not careful with how the recipe is prepared. What was supposed to be a chewy brownie might come out more like a Clif bar.

So, for this round of chocolatey goodness, I decided to try a flourless brownie recipe using Stevia in the Raw as my sugar substitute (we’re sorely low on honey over here, and with this big winter storm coming through the front range, I don’t think I’ll be getting any for a few days). Rather than using any flour substitutes, I added a few more eggs and a bit less coconut milk.

What I got was a moist, spongy, rich chocolate brownie that makes for a perfect after-dinner treat, weighing in at only 60 calories per piece, with 4g fat, 3g protein, and 2g fibre (based on 12 servings).

Quick and Easy Flourless Brownies

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 C. regular, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C. Stevia in the Raw – baking quantities
  • 1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder (the darker the better)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened, toasted coconut shreds

Directions

  1. pre-heat oven to 350
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until they’re frothy, then add in the coconut milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Mix the stevia, cocoa powder, salt and baking poweder in a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, mix well.
  5. Grease a 12-section muffin tin with butter or coconut oil (make sure not to skip this step)
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the 12 sections. Top with the shredded coconut.
  7. Cook for 15-20 minutes
  8. Remove from pan and let rest on a cooling rack. Top with honey, cinnamon and homemade whipping cream.

Best Ever: Paleo Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Toasted Coconut

IMAG0693It’s another snowy day in Denver, which for me usually means adventure time in the kitchen. Having a somewhat insatiable appetite for all things chocolate, I decided today would be a good day to try my hand at some chocolate truffles.

About a week ago, my maid of honor came in to town to spend some time planning wedding-type things with me. We ended up at Barnes and Noble because we’re just a little nerdy, and I came across this book, Paleo Desserts by Jane Barthelemy. It has boatloads of delicious looking treats, of which I took the truffle recipe and tweaked slightly.

Let me tell you, I am so pleased with the results.

Paleo Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Toasted Coconut

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Wait time: 1.5 hours | Serves: many

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Ingredients:

  • 4oz. unsweetened bakers chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup sweetener of your choice (you can use equal parts baker’s stevia, 1/4 C. honey or equal parts baking splenda)
  • 1/4 Cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup unweetened coconut shavings, with 1/4 set aside for later

Directions:

  1. Line a medium mixing bowl with wax paper.
  2. Take the bakers chocolate and cut it into thin shaved pieces. You can also use a fine cheese grater and grate it into tiny little bits. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan over a double boiler on medium heat, melt down the sweetener, coconut milk, vanilla, almond butter and 1/4 cup coconut shavings. Heat them until the sweetener is completely melted and the almond butter is no longer chunky. Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Be careful not to burn the mixture!
  4. Add the chocolate shavings to the melted mixture and mix in well, until all of the chocolate is melted.
  5. Set the mixture in the wax paper-lined bowl and let it chill in the fridge for about 1.5-2 hours, or until it’s non-sticky and tough to the touch.
  6. Lay out the rest of the toasted coconut on a plate.
  7. Using a small spoon, take out chunks about 1 Tbsp in size, roll them between your hands to form balls, and coat them in the toasted coconut.

Enjoy with a glass of red wine or almond milk. And be careful not to eat too many in one sitting!

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