It's my birthday--in more ways than one! Tomorrow I turn 26. And this week marked the one year anniversary for threedietsonedinner.com. I can't believe how one little project I started at the stubborn insistence of my friend, Chaz, became such a huge part of my life. Through my blog, I have met so many new people who want to take control of their health, lovers of food and new friends. Without this blog, I would never have been a part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, PaleoFX or Paleo Pen Pals. I would not have written a cookbook (coming soon!). I would not have learned so much about paleo, food, photography, writing, social media, the blog community and myself.
So many wonderful comments and emails from my audience (a year ago, I would have never thought Brittanie Duncan would ever have her own "audience") have kept me writing recipes and preaching paleo for the past year. You have motivated me to love my family, friends and self better by encouraging nourishing, quality foods every day. That being said, let's eat some cake.
Thank you to everyone who encourages me. You know who you are.
Before I ate paleo, I baked. I mean baked. I think I contributed to the vanity pounds and tooth decay of most of my friends in Virginia. Sorry y'all. At any given time, I had a layer cake in my fridge, at least a dozen cookies in a tupperware and a homemade boule in the bread box. I confess that I still bake when I am super stressed. It's kind of sadistic, but it comforts me.
So I was hesitant to "paleo-bake," because I knew it would be really good. Damn it. It was.
This chocolate cake is rich with that deep cocoa, dark chocolate flavor. If you aren't into really dark (70-80%) chocolate (some sugar-addicts may find it too bitter), you can use something a little lighter. You may also adjust your maple syrup. I used 1/4 cup and it tasted like a ding dong to me! If you need to substitute coconut oil for the butter, go ahead. I will make this again for sure, but I'll add chopped pecans to make it more of a "Texas style" cake. You will love this! My family certainly did!
Paleo Fudge (Birthday) Cake
serves 8-12 (depends on your slicing!)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons canned coconut milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup
Dark Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
Preheat your oven to 350º and grease an 8" round cake pan (or 8" square brownie tin or a 12-muffin tin) with butter. In a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients until there are no clumps. Coconut flour clumps easily, so make sure it is nice and smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Spread the batter evenly into the pan with your spatula. It will be thick, so you'll have to be careful about smoothing it out. Bake for 30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to cool on a wire rack. Cover with dark chocolate ganache and serve.
This ganache can top anything from strawberries to paleo ice cream. Because it is made with coconut oil, it hardens on cold surfaces or in the refrigerator. After refrigerating this cake, the chocolate shell created a hostess ding-dong effect. You know what I'm talking about!
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
3 ounces dark (70% +) chocolate, chopped
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a bowl, microwave all the ingredients for 2 minutes, stopping and stirring at 30-second intervals, until melted and smooth. Let cool before spreading on chocolate cake.