Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chocolate cakes with sea salt and olive oil (grain/dairy/sugar free)

I don't post too many treat recipes on this site. When I do, it's generally because I get an idea that gets stuck in my head that I just have to try. I was inspired by this recipe; I love salted chocolate and olive oil seems like an interesting twist, particularly to eat after a Mediterranean-inspired meal. I love the fudgy texture of chocolate cake made with almond flour; in fact, it was my staple chocolate cake even before going grain-free. I used olive oil in place of butter, Truvia with unsweetened chocolate, and topped it with a dairy-free ganache. I also drizzled some additional olive oil on the warm ganache and sprinkled the top with fleur de sel.

If the idea of olive oil with chocolate grosses you out (though I assure you it was delicious!), you can certainly choose a different fat. Ghee, coconut oil, butter, or macadamia oil would all work well. Or, make a batch of bacon salt, reserving the bacon grease. Then bake the cakes with bacon grease and sprinkle the bacon salt on top, perhaps adding a tablespoon of espresso or Kahlua to the cake batter.

I thought the cakes tasted even better the next day after they had chilled, though I thought the ganache was better when it was warm and freshly-made. The ganache is easy enough that you can make it at the last minute, even when serving company. I do not recommend Truvia or erythritol for the ganache, as it can become gritty as it cools. I used stevia extract, though you could use powdered xylitol or just use regular sweetened chocolate.

Makes about 4 individual cakes or one 8"-9" cake


For the cake:
  • 1 bar (about 4 oz) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 Tbs Grand Marnier or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sweetener of choice to equal 1/2 cup sugar (I used Truvia). If you use any granular sweetener, powder it in a blender or spice grinder first.
  • 1/2 cup (56 grams) almond flour
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
For the ganache:
  • 1 bar (about 4 oz) unsweetened chocolate + stevia extract to equal 1/2 cup sugar, OR use 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 mini 5.5 oz can Thai Kitchen coconut milk (or 1/3 cup coconut milk), stirred
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil or ghee
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 4 ramekins or one 8"-9" springform pan. Measure out all your ingredients and have them ready to go!
  2. Melt the chocolate. I used the microwave, initially for 1 minute on high, then I stir and microwave on medium at 30 second intervals until smooth. Stir in the olive oil and Grand Marnier or vanilla. Stir in the sweetener and almond flour, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Set aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Vigorously stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest. Make sure it is thoroughly combined but take care to not deflate the whites.
  4. Pour the batter into the cake pan or divide among ramekins. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. This should be about 45 minutes for a single cake or about 15-25 minutes for individual cakes (check on them after 15 minutes). 
  5. For the ganache, chop up the chocolate. Bring the coconut to a boil on the stovetop or by microwaving for 1-2 minutes. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and melted. Stir in the coconut oil or ghee and the sweetener, if using. 
  6. To serve, slice a thin layer off the top of the cake(s) to form a flat surface, then invert. Pour some of the ganache over the top and either spread it with the back of a spoon or rotate the cake around to distribute it. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and sprinkle with sea salt.


Amelie Jefferson said...

I think that people should start baking sugar-free desserts always even if they are not diabetic. We can still enjoy eating dessert even if it is sugar-free because we will not have that guild feeling if we eat too much sweets.

Elizabeth Tiegs said...

I agree with you Amelie. There are alternatives for sugar. There are now bake shops which are very famous with their sugar free pastries and cakes.

Rose Palfreyman said...

I prefer eating salted chocolate rather than dark chocolate because of its amazing taste. For me, salty and sweet seems like a perfect combination than bitter and sweet.

Brooke Schweers said...

Yum I love the idea of ganache made with coconut milk. Looks divine!

Corrie Peck said...

OMG!! I have Type 2 diabetes and just found I'm pregnant. I'm now on a super carb restricted diet! Could you please come cook for me. Please! Actually I'm wondering if almond milk can be easily substituted for coconut milk in recipes? thanks

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